Now that the jacket for Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse is complete, I can concentrate on my golf swing, cracking open a bottle of champagne, and getting my yacht tuned-up for a mid-September Caribbean jaunt of sorts. Ha, as if. I’m going to be busy the next few months more than usual in preparation for my book’s release. So, I thought before heading into the unknown, for Monday Mayhem I’d give you a tour of my book’s jacket. It’s an interesting story. I hope you’ll like it.
A few months ago, I complained to my wife, well, more like explained, I hadn’t come up with any concept art for my book’s jacket. Being the practical person she is, she suggested I work through my 14,600+ photo collection and find something in there. My initial feeling was positive. Something I had shot years gone by must have some semblance of my book’s concept. I didn’t worry about it much, but it was in the back of my mind as something I needed to do.
In the meantime, my wife also asked me if I had any ideas of what I wanted on the jacket. I answered her with the very clichéd, overused statement, “I’ll know when I see it.” In fact, that’s exactly what I thought.
Anyway, as the months went by and I sifted through my vast collection of digital photos I had taken over the course of nine years, I was finding I didn’t see what I was looking for. I had a very specific idea, but nothing really stood out as “the” photo I wanted to use as a representation for the book.
Eventually, I spoke with one of my friends about the problem and over a period of a few weeks, the subject would come up over tea. I would hum and haw and he would placate my need for resolution of my creative plight. He’d ask what I was looking for and I’d say, “I’ll know when I see it.”
This whole thing between my wife, my photos, my friend and I continued for months.
That is until one day, my friend and I were having tea and talk surfaced of his trip he’d taken last year to Utah. I thought for a moment and asked if he had photos of that eventful journey. He did. I asked if I could have a look at a few. He asked how many? I said a handful; I was looking for those Utah mountains with the flat tops.
A few weeks later, he gave me an assorted collection of photos, and as I perused them, the seventh photo in the lot jumped out at me. Seriously, the “I’ll know when I see it” statement turned into “this is the one” statement. I had no doubt I had the right one.
And right there, within the span of seconds after seeing it I described to him how I would crop, darken and perhaps add a few elements to the photo to make it more dramatic in order to convey the book’s theme. The assessment went that fast.
That very weekend I spent playing with the photo exactly as I’d described to my friend. I didn’t deviate one bit from the plan. I implemented everything I said I was going to put in it and then some.
When I showed it to him a few days later, his jaw dropped to the floor. He couldn’t believe it was the same photo. Hey, I couldn’t believe it was the same photo.
So that’s how the book’s jacket came to be. I hope you found that story just as interesting to read as it was for me to write.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.
Are you curious about anything I may have not mentioned about the concept art?