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Behind the Scenes: Cover Design of A Wing and a Prayer

When Christina Tarabochia approached me about designing the covers for a six-book series by Dianne Price, I wasn’t sure I was up to the monumental task, but I knew I wanted to try. There are so many moving pieces involved in just one book cover, and a series requires similar formatting, coloring, fonts, and feel.

And then we also needed the same cover models. That’s why we opted for live models — see the making of Broken Wings for more information on that process. Of the 3,000+ photos of these great models, I went through to find the right mood for each cover based on my general knowledge of the series.

(HUGE shoutout to Ashlee Murr Photography for her incredible work in finding these awesome models and taking a hundred different poses, costumes… We had so many demands for this shoot to get six different covers for the series!) 

For book two, Maggie and Rob are married and their relationship further grows — so we wanted some intimacy on the front cover that wasn’t on the first one.

I started with this pose:

wing and prayer

And then looked for backgrounds that would jive well with the rest of the series — set in Scotland, but not too similar to the first book.

wing and a prayer blog

I loved the coloring of this image and the Scottish hills are similar to the first book. Maggie and Rob still face the toils of war, so the dark clouds bode well for some trouble in the book.

I “extract” the people from one shot and put them into a new layer within my document in Adobe InDesign. There are dozens of ways to do this in Photoshop too, but I’m more at home with InDesign. I adjust colors based on how the photos go together so they aren’t too different. Then I add in the other elements including text and additional images.

We added the flying fortress to reinforce the time period, WWII.

Screenshot 2014-02-14 12.00.41

There were about 8 different “drafts” in between start and finish, but we finished with a clean cover that fits well within the entire series.

front cover design  2 Wing and a Prayer COVER front  Dreams Can Tell a Lie Cover

Book three is next on the docket for “finessing” and will be published by Ashberry Lane in the coming months. Check out all of Ashberry Lane’s books!

(DISCLAIMER – I am now officially the head of marketing for Ashberry Lane, so I have a vested interest in their works. 😉 Thus, this blog is certainly not unbiased. Glad we understand each other.)