Sunday, April 09, 2006

Covert Art

After reading this post over at Miss Kate's place, I did an internet image search and found cover art for one of my novels that I'd never before seen:

Paradise Island, Beeler Large Print hardcover edition

Incredible, isn't it? So bright, so primal, so enthusiastic. All the colors are inside the lines. And if some child labor laws were broken in the creation of it, we don't have to mention that to anyone, do we?

I bet all you writers with those SIMs people covers feel way better about your art right now.

Authorial observations: The way she's bravely trying to give herself a tracheotomy with her fingernails against the three palm fronds floating in the background is almost Daliesque in its symbolism, don't you think? Or maybe she's real hot and is being fanned by three large sweaty naked men standing just out of sight. Either way.

Not that I had any of this in the story, but then, the chick depicted wasn't in the book either. Sad to say, she's not my protagonist. My protag was not blonde, never wore evil sunshine yellow, and would not be sticking her feet in that beautiful blue sea because one of her quirks -- not to mention a major plot point in the novel -- is how TERRIFIED SHE IS OF THE WATER.

My best friend is now on notice; she can no longer harp that she has clunkier art than me. But you know what? I really love it. I'm going to blow it up, frame it and hang it in my office. Maybe the next time I feel like going all diva over some cover art I dislike, it will remind me that things could be much, much worse.


  1. Well, yes, if you actually expect the cover might be some indication of what you'll find as you read the novel, this is way off.

    But this so reflects the title, and I'm willing to bet that's ALL the information the artist was given.

    Let's weigh the two Self-Tracheotomy at the Beach or Flipper in Drag; which is worse?

  2. I almost can't bring myself to believe that's a real cover. Are you sure you're not playing a late April Fool's joke on us? ;)

  3. I dream of a Frank Frazetta cover, but on the occasions when I allow myself to jump ahead far enough, I have nightmare visions of a crap fantasy cover, with a knight in fantasy armour with stupid spikes and a silly impractical leaf-shaped greatsword.

  4. The only conclusion I would draw about this book is that Paradise Island is the Island of Bad Art.

  5. I think it's cool when publishers let their six-year-old kids design the book jackets. Makes it more of a family thing, don't you think?

  6. Ditto on what Stuart said. Looks like someone in the family did it, and the publisher was too kind to say no.

    Don't they show you cover arts before books are published?

  7. Anonymous11:56 AM

    You knew I couldn't pass up an opportunity to comment on the self-administered tracheotomy.

    We have a couple of generations of people out there who think (based on their wealth of television experience) they can do a cricothyrotomy with a pocket knife and a ballpoint pen casing. Eh, guess again. When I taught med students, I used to give them The Rules:

    1. Know the anatomy. Cric (pron. crike for the nonmedical folks reading this) in the wrong place, and you've just killed someone. A surgical intern at a California med center/teaching hospital did a cric into someone's carotid artery. Not good.

    2. Make sure the patient's head and neck are absolutely straight. Twisting changes the anatomy. See #1.

    3. Don't be alarmed by all the blood. Even in the best of circumstances, emergency cricothyrotomy is a bloody operation.

    Thank heavens, I've never seen anyone who had an amateur cric. Maybe folks have more sense than I give them credit for. Or maybe their victims don't live to tell about it.

    Sorry for hijacking your comments ;)

  8. At least there's nary a mantittie in sight.

  9. Yah but it's got the traditional man-titty/clinch pose blowing hair thing going -- her hair's going one way, the palm fronds are blowing the other.

  10. Looks like a high school art project.

  11. Come on admit it, you painted that, didn't you? ;-)

  12. Yep, that is pretty bad. But my very first cover was worse--a time travel romance with a Union soldier on the cover. Unfortunately my husband insisted that the soldier's hand was placed so that it looked like he was. . . um. . . enjoying himself too much.


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