The original photograph is by Derek R Audette, a talented chap with a portfolio of freaky looking guys. The original black and white shot was so good that it only took me a couple of hours to adjust it on Paint.net, a free photo editing software available from filehippo.com. It’s not PhotoShop, but still manages to pack a good range of tools. All I really did is apply some virtual makeup and contact lenses, some pixel blood and a green filter really. The typography took longer, making it suitably fantastical, but legible even on a diminutive thumbnail of the book cover. After about three hours of experimenting and lots of help and advice from my friends at Writers of Extraordinary Vision, I settled on a blackletter font called Griffin from fontsquirrel. A light green outline added the last bit of flair and voila, the cover art was ready. Now hopefully someone will nominate me for the David Gemmell Legend Awards for best cover and best newcomer.
To read more about my journey to publication, check out this guest blog at Virtualbooks.