Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Cover: Of Absence, Darkness

Here’s the draft for the cover of Of Absence, Darkness. I think we’ll go with something very close to this. I’m not sure the title is visible enough, especially at thumbnail size.

I am aware this is not the correct back cover copy — it’s borrowed from the first book to look at placement and color and so on.

Here is the back cover text I’ve got for this book:

Down the rabbit hole, but not to Wonderland.

Never once did Daniel imagine that Tenai’s memories of her earlier life might be absolutely true. But when he and his daughter are swept up in the plots of Tenai’s enemies and dropped abruptly into a world of dark magic and darker history, Daniel is faced with the need to find a way to aid Tenai against the all-too-real echoes of her past.

Though the hidden schemes of Tenai’s enemies offer peril enough, the worse threat comes from within: if Tenai cannot master the vast rage she still carries, her own fury may shatter her world.

What do you think?

“Tenai’s enemies” or “her enemies” in the first paragraph? I’m thinking “her” is better in that paragraph. What about the last sentence?

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7 Comments Cover: Of Absence, Darkness

  1. Robert

    I’d leave “Tenai’s enemies” in the first paragraph to avoid confusion with Daniel’s daughter. But I’d remove “Tenai’s enemies” from the second paragraph since there isn’t any ambiguity, and Tenai is referenced by name in the second clause.

  2. Mary Beth

    Agreed, I would use “Tenai’s enemies” in first paragraph bc otherwise the nearest female antecedent is “daughter”. However, I don’t like the “never once did Daniel imagine” phrasing. Maybe “Daniel never imagined…” or “Psychologist Daniel never imagined that his patient Tenai’s memories of an earlier life might actually be true.”

    Is there a way to avoid “Tenai’s enemies” entirely in the next paragraph? The repetition of the phrase might just stand out to me because I’m thinking about it, but otherwise the reuse of the phrase bothers me because it’s SO deliberately vague about who or what those enemies are.

    I really like the sword repetition from the first cover: we recognize the sword and now we see it a doorway between worlds!

  3. Rachel

    Thanks, Mary Beth! I think you’re right on both counts. I’m having trouble avoiding “Tenai’s enemies” twice, but I will try to think of a different phrase.

  4. Elaine T

    you could swap ‘those enemies’ for Tenai’s enemies easily enough in the second paragraph.

    Like the image.

  5. Rachel

    I could, but that wouldn’t address the deliberate vagueness of the term “enemies.” I went ahead and used a somewhat more specific phrase that I think will do.

  6. Kim Aippersbach

    Love it! (Though, just to be difficult, I’ll point out that having our world so prominent on the cover sort of implies that it will play some part in the book.) But the sword as gateway is great!

    I’m probably too late to be useful again, but:
    Daniel is faced with the need to = Daniel must

  7. Rachel

    Well, Kim, you’re certainly right that “faced with the need to” is not as good as “must.” Why are these things so obvious in retrospect and yet invisible at the time? I don’t think I’ll bug the artist to change it on the actual book, but I’ll change the online description.

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