Artwork for Closer Than Family

It’s about time that I seriously start thinking about artwork for Closer Than Family. I’m not ready to talk to my artist yet (because last time when I jumped the gun, I ended up with a picture whose scene got scooted to the next book), but I certainly would like to have a very clear idea of the things I want when it does come to that time. I’m thinking I will probably want four, maybe five images total. There are two new main characters in Closer Than Family, but they are largely functional in nature, and while I’ve got a good idea what they look like, I don’t expect people to really want to latch onto them visually.

First and most importantly, I definitely need a cover image. Time is an important factor in this book, more so than in Tamed Hearts, so maybe a Full Moon superimposed over a clock face can figure in somehow. When I eventually assemble the full design, I’d like to go with an aesthetic that makes the title big, bold, and easily readable in thumbnails, something even more straightforward than the (already excellent) cover that Blessed D’Signs made for me for Tamed Hearts (although I probably will retain the same designer). I’m trying to think of a cover image that fits with that aesthetic, but it’s not easy, especially because I’d also like to allude to the title somehow. I don’t know, I’m really struggling with the cover image for this one.

There are two other pictures I know I want, evocative scenes within the plot of the book that I would like immortalized. They’ll probably both be expensive, I’m afraid.

The first is a scene in the rain outside the Chapter House, the bookstore where Aaron works. He and the others are confronting someone, hoping to talk a little information out of her. It’s a key moment, and one where everyone recognizes they have stepped into something big and unnatural and possibly dangerous.

The other comes near the end of the book and is simply Cassie, Aaron, and Becky walking side by side out of a particular building. This, too, is a key moment, and I’m actually hoping my artist will grok what I want when I say I want to leave room… Because someone is still missing. But otherwise, this picture is in the style of a ‘call to arms’ shot from an action TV series, where you see all the heroes going off to do hero-y stuff. But this is a case where they are also, obviously, coming off of a big defeat. Can’t say much more than that without spoilers.

I have a few candidates for the fourth picture, but I haven’t settled yet. Might be a car chase, or the aftermath of one. It might be a tense view of Becky creeping through an unfamiliar house. It might involve a ritual circle.

The last picture I want is 100% indulgence. It’s not really based on anything that’s expressly described in the book, but I’ve had this idea for a  good long while: a couple picture with Cassie and Aaron sleeping. She’s got her arms around him, her hair’s probably braided, but a few messy strands have managed to get away. He’s sort of dozing, half-awake looking down at her where she’s wrapped around his abdomen, lost to the world, her mouth wide open in a snore. I don’t know, I just think it would be an adorable picture.

What kind of pictures would make YOU want to read the book?

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