What’s in a cover? All tell a tale. The best show a strong synopsis of the book, what’s inside. A grand work of art depicts grand myths. Legends too. A tale of adventure and romance. And characters, both heroes and villains. Some forgo illustrations, focusing on bold lettering. If you wrote a masterpiece such as Ulysses, this is a solid approach. Take a look at this cover, the YES is highlighted, which depicts the book perfectly. Within the story, the Signature Solliquey of Molly Bloom, awake next to her husband, makes a grand appearance. Consisting of 22,000 plus words, only 8 sentences, the stream of consciousness begs on. One clocks in at over 4,000, the longest sentence published until 2001. John Galt eat your heart out. And YES, ninety times. Nobody writes like this anymore.
For me, I’ve always wanted a cover to show a glimpse of interpretative intent. And I’m fond of paintings. For both Knights of Legend and the Dark Harp, I commissioned artists to bring the story to life. I won’t dwell on these here but the art is meaningful to this writer.
For my tale of first word problems, the curse of one Elliot Downs, I tried a different approach. Despite the flash of a neon rock god, the cover doesn’t depict a character. No stage exists in the book. Nor, is this an unknown devil in a seedy part of town. The Nokia-style phone, paper dragons, and guitar are mentioned, old technology is part of this story. The computer code in the background exists, I wrote a similar program and embedded my reference comments into the cover. Inspirational quotes, always a favorite. As a child, I built a space invader rip-off that struggled to lift off. The game was too buggy.
But who is holding this Gibson-style guitar?
For the curious, he’s modeled after a true grunge god. Think Vedder. Weiland. Cantrell. Staley. Those with a passionate rasp and wail represent an ideal. You can feel the pain in each verse; yes, songs have memories.
As we know, all heroes have blemishes, warts even. But a dream lifestyle nonetheless, at least for the lead in this tale. This is Elliot’s ideal life. I suppose, this book can have any infinite number of covers for secondary characters, the villain of this tale, and the kind and gentle souls who read this book. What job does your cover represent? Start-up founder? Work at a charity? Teach children? Argue in front of the Supreme Court? Runway model? Baseball player? Oscar award-winning actor? Firefighter? Parent?
The beauty of many lives, you just have to choose.