Friday, September 7, 2012

Naissance, Inc. Design for "In My Youth" Parts 1 and 2

Kirk Richard Smith of Naissance, Inc. has again come up with an impressive book cover for Parts 1 and 2 of "In My Youth". I wasn't sure if I wanted this to be one or two volumes. There's a natural break between the first and second half of this collection, so I was already thinking I wanted it to be two. But I'm always pressed for time - time spent publishing and marketing is time not spent writing. I tossed out the idea for a two volume set to Kirk, but told him I'd decided on just the one. My direction is always simple. I tell him a little about the book, and then send a copy of the ms. so he can read it. I think it's important that the designer does read at least some of the content. Other than that, I want him to be as free as possible. I intentionally don't want my covers to look like all the other ones out there - whether they be from small or large presses. And I respect the designer as an artist - I want him or her to interpret my words and come up with something of their own - something not always literal to the content of the story. You can see that in his design for "Ballad of the Confessor", which works very well, though isn't necessarily a literal reflection of the story.

A couple weeks after our initial discussion, he sent me the twin design for "In My Youth". As usual, I was pretty awe-struck. I hadn't expected him to do two. If he hadn't hit the two halves right on the head, I don't think I would have gone for it - I'd have probably told him thanks, but lets just stick with one. But he understood where I was going in the stories, the distinction between the innocence and fumbling eroticism of the first set and the hardened, more masculine-oriented take of the second. They worked alone, and they worked together - as you can see by the way they flow into one another. There are always some tweaks and back forth, but this time I pretty much went for the interpretation Kirk was going for without the ping pong game. People comment quite often about the covers of my books - it's not by chance that they stand out from the crowd.

"In My Youth ~ Part Two" will be out late this year or early next. Check out Naissance, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter.

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