Geckos and Witches and Snowmen, Oh My!

I recently completed a couple of book covers for the very talented Christina "DZA" Marie, whose work you can check out on her blog Dragons, Zombies and Aliens.

The first book, Gary the Gecko's Guide to Getting Your Humans to Get Together and Other Short Stories, is a cute collection of tall tales for kids. The cover features the eponymous Gary with some of his friends from the pet shop.

This cover came together pretty quickly, as right from the start Christina had a very clear idea of what she wanted - namely Gary, surrounded by books. You can see from the rough sketches below how the idea gradually developed.

The second book was The Minnesotan Witch, which tells the story of a young agent for the U.S. Department of Fae and Magical Creature sent to investigate strange goings-on in Minnesota.

I loved the premise of this story, and was super happy with the final cover, but boy, did we try a lot of ideas before we finally got there. I knew right away that I wanted to feature the DFMC badge somewhere in the image, so that was actually the first thing I created.

After that I floundered about for several weeks, trying and failing to come up with an image that worked. I tried cluttered police desks, homemade quilts, even patterns on a knitted jumper. But nothing quite captured the vibe of the book.

One of many scrapped designs.

Finally, at Christina's suggestion, I sketched out a couple of snowmen - one a witch, the other a police officer - standing outside a cabin in a snow-covered forest. That was when everything clicked into place. My rough sketch evolved quickly into the final image above.

It was fantastic fun working with Christina. She's a great lady with lots of cool ideas and if you get the chance you should absolutely pay a visit to Dragons, Zombies and Aliens - and don't forget to download the Gary the Gecko and Minnesotan Witch ebooks!

If you'd like me to create a cover for your book (or if you just fancy a chat) I'm open for commissions all summer so do feel free to get in touch!

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