The Genesis of My Covers for Vindictive/Vindictive Too

I Chose To Make The Karambit On Vindictive‘s Cover All Black For Maximum Contrast To The Background Greys

THANKFULLY, I was fully involved in the creation of my novels’ covers, and yes, I had a plan from the get-go. The concept and design for Vindictive and Vindictive Too, to suggest a theme of revenge through starkness and specific, impactful imagery, was a relatively straightforward process. Both books have the same basic colour scheme of light to dark gray, virtually black. With each novel, I’ve chosen a weapon that plays a defining role in specific characters’ storylines, placing it prominently on its respective cover. Each lethal object features strategically placed vibrant colouring to help it stand out amid the gray tones’ chilling bleakness. 

Vintage Style Of Straight Razor That Inspired Vindictive Too‘s Cover (Photo Credit: Eric Mclean)

A deadly karambit is featured on the front cover of Vindictive. The weapon is black with highlights, and exquisite detail was put into the blade and handle. A deep, dark red blood residue stains the sharp metal. In contrast, the handle of the vintage straight razor with a folding edge featured on Vindictive Too‘s cover is orange-red, adhering to the authenticity of the 50s shaver that inspired it; its wood grain detail is aesthetically striking. This time, however, the blood accent is a more brilliant hue. With Vindictive Too‘s cover weapon, I wanted to differentiate its look from the first novel by having the blood drip down the blade’s metal and appear viscous yet fluid. The blood ends its trickling journey by forming the dot on the last “i” in the title word, creating a more stylized look for this book’s cover.

Shadowplay was also vital, especially when utilizing grey tones as my main colour scheme. The shadowing I insisted on for both novels, with each blade, had to be visually compelling to draw the reader in. While the karambit’s shadow is more profound than the vintage shaver’s, the appropriate shading was used to illustrate each unique weapon’s thickness and shape, giving both notable visual dimensions.

The Full Fairporte Panorama

Finally, the part I’m most proud of is the imagery that lines the bottom of each cover. The illustrations represent the three central backdrops in the series: the Château Bergé, the Cartell Worldwide Tower, within the downtown core of the fictional city of Fairporte, Ontario, and the Morrison Farmstead. Vindictive‘s front cover features the Château Bergé directly in the centre, while the back cover situates the Cityscape and the Cartell Worldwide Tower. As we move to the second novel, Vindictive Too, all the images from the first book have been placed on the back while the Morrison Farmstead takes centre stage on the front. For both books, lush vegetation and forest connect the locations, creating a seamless panorama. All these images are done in dark grey/almost black with highlights when necessary to add dimension and depth, like windows, doors, rooftops, and such. 

In all, and including each novel’s unique but connected revenge-themed quote on their individual back cover, I feel I’ve created an engaging “literary handshake,” much more than suggesting the notion of “bookends.”



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