Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BOOK COVERS – MY WAY


Perhaps my attitude about book-covers is naive and borders on stupidity.  I know it costs me book sales because the 12 novel covers don’t provide the SHOCK AND AWE necessary to lure a prospective reader into the bowels of the book.  In other words I don’t have a HOOK for the BOOK.
Most of my covers are photos that have some significant meaning to me.  Not to the reader or anyone else -- just me. 
 

The Black Fin Sport fishing boat on the cover of MURDER IN PANAMA, has a history.  I had it listed for sale during the time I was brokering boats here in Panama.  The owner is a good friend.  I was in a ponga taking photos of all his boats for sale while visiting a sport fishing lodge.  There is a sportfisher boat in the novel that plays a significant role. 

The lonesome beach on the cover of EX PAT has a history, too.  That photo was taken by me at Playa Zancudo in Costa Rica.  I shared a great day with a wonderful person; it is a delightful beach and depicts the peace I experience living in Central America.
 

The cover of ALASKA BE DAMNED was taken by my father 60 years ago.  Although it was taken in Panama in 1956, the ‘ship gone aground’ defines that novel. It’s my best seller; perhaps because of the cover?
 

The cover for THE LAST FRUIT STAND ON GUAM was also taken by my father.  It shows Tumon Bay without any buildings. (Now, it’s hotel after hotel along that beautiful white sand beach)  This photo I converted to Black and white because the original color had bleached out of the 35 mm slide. It’s not a great photo and a lousy cover for a book that contains so much bawdy humor and drama. But, it depicts how the world has changed.

The covers for PARTNERS, BOOMER, CRYSTAL COWBOY and UNTAMED are photos of paintings by artist, Bill Moomey. Most of those paintings sold for between twelve and fifteen thousand dollars each.  How cool is that?

 

REVOLUTION OF FOOLS has a second choice cover.  It’s of a beach in Puerto Armuelles, Panama.  I took the photo one evening – not a soul in sight.  I had to use that cover to satisfy Amazon.  They wouldn’t allow the original I chose; Gillard Cut by my dad.

The cover for HART RULES is by permission of my friend and talented photographer, Ed Wheeler. His cinematography and B&W photography is top shelf.  I appreciate his talent and the opportunity to use his photograph on the cover of my novel.

Most of the recent covers were created using the photos I took.


 THE JIMMY HART TRILOGY cover is a bamboo hut with a thatched roof that serves as a home for a family working on a farm here in Chiriquí province. I took several photos of their encampment; one which will appear when my novel, TRES PIEDRAS is released. ('soon' says my editor)

The TUCSON TERRITORY cover is a section of a photo of the horse pasture on my old riding partner’s ranch in southern Arizona.

As time marches on and more people read my work, I may change some covers.  Vamos a ver! 

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