|'Midnight Peacock' by Anni Betts|
Paintings often work well on poetry books whereas, nowadays, novels and short fiction mostly carry photographs as cover images. There are lots of headless ladies gracing the fronts of novels just now - who knows what that is all about?
As regards my covers, I've been lucky with the publishers I have been published by: three of them let me choose my own cover art (Arlen House, Salt and Salmon); one gave me a choice of images and I picked the same one they liked (New Island); Templar commissioned a witty image to go with the title poem; and Arlen House always kept me closely involved with cover art choices, one time using an image I had commissioned from a photo, another time using a sexy Pauline Bewick painting.
You form deep attachments with your covers; they are so familiar to you. It must be very hard when you hate the cover of the book you are trying to sell and promote.
|'Gráinne Meets Queen Elizabeth, 1593' by Pat Jourdan|
I own two of the paintings from my book covers and I bought prints of another two. There is something about owning the original art that makes it all tie in beautifully: the writing and the artwork. It makes you feel wrapped up in the whole thing. I'd give my eye teeth to own the Bewick painting that was on the cover of my short story collection To the World of Men, Welcome! (See below.)
|Lovers and Feathers by Pauline Bewick|
|'Claddagh Basin with Long Walk' by Maura Flannery|
I sourced the image for my forthcoming poetry book The Juno Charm but I have yet to see the cover and what Salmon have done with it. The poetry is full of moons, and the peacock is Juno's symbolic bird, so I googled something like 'peacock moon art' and found lots of images. The one I liked the best was Anni Betts's 'Midnight Peacock' - I love its delicacy, its blueness - so it is the image that will be on the cover. I am dying to see it on the actual book and to become as familiar with it as the artwork on all my other books.