Monday, April 30, 2012

Version 294587.0

I've been revising - can you tell? Okay, maybe not that much. But it sometimes feels like it.

I'm excited about the changes I've made to my Key West historical, Angels, Sinners and Madmen. This is the book that flashed before my eyes during a visit to the island, on a trip to the Wreckers Museum. It was a very powerful vision, and for the next two days I copied everything I could in the library and then visited the home of a former wrecker captain which also a museum. There, I bought books about the island history and about the wreckers.

The wreckers blew me away. These guys salvaged ships that sunk off the dangerous reefs beyond Key West. They'd race out to the ships during the most terrible storms and dive into turbulent waters. They could stay underwater for crazy long periods - I think the museum said five to six minutes. They were rascals and heroes, and I knew I had to write about them.

This is the book that my editor (bless you, Chuck) swore would nab me an agent. But a few reviews pointed out flaws with the heroine that neither of us had thought of.

The rights to this story will revert to me in July, so I've been working on a better, stronger version. A stronger story overall, and a stronger heroine. It's been a bit arduous, but I've added some plot points that add more tension and interest too. So I'm excited about its re-release this summer!

The cover was a bit of a challenge. I'm not a Photoshop expert, but none of the images I found depicted a hero who fit the time period - 1856.

Yes, there were hunky guys like this one:

But I decided against him. I really wanted a tall ship in the background, but couldn't get it to work.

Next I found a closeup of the same guy in the water, but it just didn't have a historical feel even with the Blackadder font (which is overused, honestly). And frankly, I've been seeing this guy on lots of other book covers. There's no way to avoid it, these days, but it's disconcerting to see an image on someone else's book.

I knew I had to find two images that meshed together in a unique way. So I came up with this:

I love that it makes them appear to be drowning in a whirlpool of their own making. And I get my tall ship in the background.
This very well might be version 294587.2! Okay, not really, it's version 11. It took a long long time and many clicks to reach this point. I hope you like it. :)

I know I'll go back over the story a few times again to polish here and there before August, but I'm getting very excited for its re-release!


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing that process. I'm thinking about creating my next book cover by myself.

Cate Masters said...

If I could find a really excellent cover designer that I could afford, I would hire them. Unfortunately, my budget's almost nil, lol.

Arlene said...

You're an amazing artist, Cate and I cant wait to read this one.

Cate Masters said...

Aw, you're too sweet Arlene. Thanks!