do, please, judge a book by its cover | nanowrimo 2015 covers

NaNoW­riMo 2015 is upon us in less than three days! Have you plot­ted and planned? Are your char­ac­ters all ready to fall in love or be ripped apart or slay the drag­on? Have you let your day­dream­ing get to you, imag­in­ing what it would look like to see your name on the shelves with the best? I have, with­out hes­i­ta­tion... okay, with some hes­i­ta­tion. I wasn’t too sure, until mid-Octo­ber, whether I would par­tic­i­pate in NaNoW­riMo (Nation­al Nov­el Writ­ing Month) this year. Last year, a lot of life-relat­ed issues kept my best friend and I from reach­ing our goal, and it was a blow to my ego — my first “loss” in the six years I’ve been giv­ing my soul over to the lit­er­ary deities and mus­es so as to bleed out 50,000 words with­in 30 days. I final­ly decid­ed that no, I wouldn’t let last year’s bad luck and emo­tion­al tur­moil spoil the fun I’ve had every year throw­ing new char­ac­ters into new sit­u­a­tions, shar­ing excerpts and gripes and mile­stones.

Plus, and here’s where I get to the point: it means that I get to design a cov­er for my nov­el! One of my favourite, ran­dom lit­tle hob­bies, is graph­ic design. I’ve been mess­ing around in pho­to­shop pro­grams since 2003 (even before then, if MSPaint can be count­ed). For the most part, the art I make is for myself; col­lages to depict char­ac­ters, cer­tain scenes, moods; dig­i­tal jour­nal pages to clear my head of thoughts; and every now and then, some­thing fan­dom-relat­ed. It’s a medi­um that I like to think I’ve grown tal­ent­ed in, and I love when oppor­tu­ni­ties arise for me to share my work with oth­er peo­ple. NaNoW­riMo is a great out­let for this. On the forums, there’s a gor­geous lit­tle sec­tion called NaNo Arti­sans, where artists of any make or mea­sure can come and offer things such as char­ac­ter sketch­es, per­son­al­ized sound­tracks, and, as my luck would have it, cov­ers!

This year, I want­ed to get back into the spir­it of NaNoW­riMo and include myself in the forums and chats. I start­ed that jour­ney off in the Arti­sans forum, ask­ing oth­er writ­ers to tell me the syn­opses of their nov­els, so that I could, with a lit­tle inspi­ra­tion, cre­ate some­thing that they could use to moti­vate them­selves and do that thing we writ­ers love to do: imag­ine our­selves on the shelves. Over the last week, I cre­at­ed 36 mock book cov­ers for some amaz­ing­ly tal­ent­ed writ­ers. I had an amaz­ing time with every design, want­i­ng to do right by each author and the world they have ready and rar­ing to go come Novem­ber 1st. I hope above all hope that every­one is suc­cess­ful with their 50,000 words this year, and that maybe a few years down the road, I get to see their book on a shelf some­where (like­ly, with­out the cov­er I’ve made, but hey, at least I can say I helped inspire them a lit­tle back in the day).  

Here’s my per­son­al Top 10 from all of the cov­ers I did!

Con­tin­ue read­ing