Life is full of lessons, but being stubborn, I don't always accept them the first time I'm thumped on the head.
My writing is filled with lush sights, sounds and textures found in the natural world. I don't write dark fantasy. My stories are what I have termed Cozy Fantasy, but my covers fail to accurately reflect the magical world found inside. I didn't learn with Blue on the Horizon, at least not until now. Last year, I entered a book contest in Europe. I reckoned the trolls are European, so it was a natural fit. School children read my book, and they served as my judges. Blue holds a powerful message, and I softened it with humor and an amazing adventure, but children can be brutally honest. I was terrified.
I learned in May that I had not made it into the final round, but only recently did I learn why.
The Cover Is An Utter Failure.
The children really seemed to love the book, but they thought the cover looked like either a travel book, or worse, a romance novel. (a direct quote from the feedback) They wanted to see a troll on the cover, and they are right.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I'm busy preparing to write book three, but I can't help but worry about Cairn: A Dragon Memoir. You see, I knew that cover was not good enough, but the comments from those children in Europe was just the thump I needed.
Today, I am proud to reveal the true cover of Cairn: A Dragon Memoir. This cover conveys the spirit of the story, the beauty of the setting, and the emotions of Troika, the dragon with the twisted tail. The dragon you see here, is how I see him. I worked with Vanesa Garkova of Bulgaria to design this amazing cover. Soon, I hope to begin working with Vanesa on the true cover of Blue on the Horizon.
Thank you children of the Wishing Shelf Book Awards. You have taught this stubborn writer a valuable lesson.
If you are interested in reading what the children thought about the story, follow this link to their review. The children bored right to the heart of the story, and found it fun.
What a relief.
And if you had already purchased an ebook copy of Cairn, just go to manage my kindle on Amazon and request the update. If you already have a paperback, thank you, and know that your copy could be very valuable one day. Very few printed copies of Cairn: A Dragon Memoir with the original cover exist, and you have one of them.
(Note: it may take a few days for the cover to change for printed versions, but the ebook with the new cover is available now.)