For those of you who didn’t know, Myrrhlynn was able to get the final cover of Beauty and the Beast to me earlier this weekend, and here it is!
Myrrhlynn (pronounced like Merlin) is my cover artist who is a regular wizard with Photoshop. (Hence the nickname.) I apologize to those of you who suffered through viewing the previous place holder covers I whipped up. Myrrhlynn did another great job with this cover, I’m so glad she reads my books before I release them because she makes the images very meaningful. This cover depicts Elle in a dark cloak (Which is very fitting, as those who have finished the book will agree with me.) in a snowy forest. Chanceux Chateau–Aka the beast’s castle–is in the middle of a woods, making the setting in the cover perfect. Myrrhlynn chose to use a winter scene because about half to a third of the book takes place in winter. Snow is something of a plot device in certain parts of the story.
Keeping Myrrhlynn’s reasoning for the cover design in mind, today I thought I would reveal a bit of my writing/inspiration process. When I’m writing a story I try to get clear pictures in my head to make the places and characters feel more real. For Life Reader I mapped out the library building design and had a folder on my computer that had dozens of photos from incredible libraries. For King Arthur and Her Knights I viewed A LOT of armor photos, and looked at A LOT of castle blueprints. For beauty and the beast I collected a lot of different garden photos/art images–Each part of the gardens (like the rose garden, the walking hedge area, and the fountain in the flower garden) were inspired by different images. The same goes for the Chateau. I originally planned for Severin to have a castle, but as I looked for images and photos of french castles I learned more about chateaus and decided that was a more appropriate setting. I even collected photos of papillons, mirrors, and roses.
My point is that the pre-writing footwork isn’t just research, it’s also imagining. Granted I changed a lot as I went because I needed to mold the scenery for the sake of the story, but if I ever got stuck or bored I went back through and looked at my pictures for inspiration.
Thanks for reading Champions, and an extra big thank you to Myrrhlynn for another spectacular cover!