Creation of a Cover

Today sees both an end and a start. The ending is Armchair BEA 2013. It has been another intense year, but that intensity hasn’t put me off coming back next year. Not even with the added work of a book release in the middle of it! For those of you who haven’t joined in with Armchair BEA this year, come back next year and give it a try! It is so much fun!

And now for the start. May 30th saw the release of my second novel: Last Chance. Today is the start of the blog tour. I’ll be touring the internet with guest posts and interviews and reviews for the new book, but let’s kick off with a few bits about the creation of the cover…

When I first started looking at book covers for The Keeper’s Chronicles, I had an idea of what I wanted. Serenity standing in the trees, clad in a cloak, turned ever so slightly towards the viewer. The trees were dark with autumn leaves. And when someone looked close enough, there would be faces peering out from behind those trees.

The end result turned into something completely different, as you can see.


And that’s what happened with Last Chance, too.

After seeing the success of The Last Keeper’s cover and hearing the responses, I made a decision very early on that I wanted something similar. A face in cloth, with a pair of bright eyes staring out at the reader. But not the same image, and not the same character.

So the first step was deciding which characters played a big part in Last Chance and who would be best suited for the cover. The answer there was pretty easy: Elena, Kiros, Serenity, Ray, and Lizzy. Those are the main five characters in Last Chance. Given that Serenity is on the cover for book one, and she and Lizzy look alike that left me with only three choices, and one problem.

Who could I get to play the part?

In the end I asked my good friend Rachel. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but she looks good as a blonde, too. So I got hold of a blonde wig, asked Rachel to come play dress up, and set about getting the pictures taken.


On the day, we went through five costume changes, two set changes, one location change, and over four hundred pictures. These included the obligatory test shots and silly shots, including the one below.

pic 1 ja citam a ti

The guy in the tea towel is my husband, and the one in the chair, who looks far too happy, is Rachel’s husband.

The first shots for the book cover were very similar to that of book one. Close ups of Rachel in her make-up and costume. Shots of her dressed in a cloak with the hood around her face. However, it wasn’t any of those that drew my attention.


When the pictures came through and I had chance to sit and look through them, one stood out from all the rest. It wasn’t overly posed or one that we had planned, but when I saw it, I knew. It was the one.

And even though it’s not the same as the first one, it is everything I wanted for this book. I just didn’t know that was what I wanted until I saw it.

But I’ll let you decide. Here is Last Chance’s book cover:

Last Chance

For more stops on the Last Chance blog tour, click here.


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Filed under Michelle Birbeck, The Keepers' Chronicles

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