Last week, I decided that I wanted to put out a short story as a prequel to INCARNATE. The heroine of the series, Elodie Capshaw, has a pretty interesting backstory and I thought it would be fun to explore her history a little more fully. I also thought a free short might spur interest in the series when the first book comes out.
But not only did this mean writing another several thousand words, it meant coming up with a title, a storyline/cover copy, and cover art for the prequel. Of the three, I was most worried about the cover art. I’m not a graphic artist, but I can’t afford to pay a professional like Nathalia to do artwork for a story I’m giving away for free. I needed something I could do myself using relatively inexpensive stock art and my limited skills. I started poking around on iStockPhoto, but I wasn’t expecting to find anything I could use right away. And then I came across an image that was so near perfect, it seemed like the artist who created it must have had my story in mind. It was a fairly expensive image to purchase, but I think it was well worth it.
So, here are two versions of the resulting cover. (They are pretty much identical except for the color of the tagline text.) I’m leaning towards the version on the left, so if you strongly prefer the one on the left, let me know!
I’m still toying with the cover copy, but I have the bones of it:
On a chilly morning in 1852, Elodie Capshaw gets the surprise of her life when she wakes up dead. As if her sudden demise at the tender age of twenty-four isn’t enough of a shock, Elodie discovers that she is capable of materializing in fully solid form. This appears a welcome reprieve from the hollow existence of the spirit world, but it has its own set of hazards. First, her family is convinced her resurrection is the work of the devil and is determined to drive her out of her childhood home. Next, her ability to maintain her physical form will vanish if she doesn’t return to her grave periodically and pour the blood of a living animal into the soil. And finally, there are The Reapers—angels whose mysterious and seductive beauty lures unsuspecting specters into shuffling off their immortal coils.
It’s a wonderful afterlife…if Elodie can survive it.