I’m thinking about the cover for Keraunani

Okay, so, I sent the story to the very first of first readers, which is (a) exciting! and (b) a bit nerve-wracking. Hopefully it will essentially work for them. Then I will fiddle with it, then a couple more of you will see it.

No rush, because I will probably aim for, say, January of next year to bring this out. That’s ample time. However, I can ask the artist to start working on the cover art any time. Except — hmm.

Tuyo — a white tiger

Ryo mentioned white tigers and occasionally someone or other referred to white tigers and white tigers are spectacular and eye-catching, so this was easy.

Nikoles — a wolf

No wolves appeared in the story, but after all, tension with the Ugaro was the main problem, and Ugaro, wolves, it seemed reasonable.

Tarashana — a white eagle

I actually wrote the eagle into the story after asking for the cover to include a white falcon or golden eagle or something of the sort. Then I adjusted the story to make the white eagle more important after the cover was finalized.

Keraunai — what?

Well, what should it be? No animals are referred to in the story. After I decide on the cover image, I may go back and add a couple references to whatever animal. In fact, that’s quite likely. As the story is basically a romance, I’m thinking two animals. But what would suit a story from Esau’s point of view? You’ve all met Esau, though you’ll get to know him a lot better in this novel. Still, since you’ve met him, does anything come to mind?

So far I’m musing upon: two crows, or perhaps two foxes. Not red foxes. The summer country is not as much like Europe as people may have guessed from what we saw in Tuyo. The borderlands are relatively cool and get a good deal of rain, but as you move farther south, that is not the case. I don’t want to use an animal that is obviously European or American. I’d rather use a much less familiar fox species. Swift foxes and kit foxes don’t look at all like wolves and don’t look a lot like coyotes, so perhaps those. But either could be mistaken for a jackal, and I was thinking of a jackal for Tasmakat, for obvious reasons. But I could use a fox or even a jackal for Keraunani and then might use something else for that one; perhaps a cheetah. If I decided to do that, I could put cheetahs into the story, which might be fun.

Or perhaps something else. Crows, foxes, and jackals are all clever, but none of them are, you know, brawlers. But then what? The only thing that actually comes to mind is a molosser breed of dog, such as a cane corso. Which I could put into the story. Not by that name, obviously. But there could perfectly well be unexaggerated mastiff types of dogs all over the place as guard dogs and I just haven’t mentioned them before because they’re more common farther south in the summer country, or something.

If anybody has any ideas about the cover animal for Keraunani, I’d love to hear it.

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12 thoughts on “I’m thinking about the cover for Keraunani”

  1. I thought first of horse, both bc the summer country horses are notably beautiful and because I loooove books with horses on the cover. Plus, surely Esau did or does some riding!

  2. Don’t you compare the children of the Lau to little deer? And aren’t you telling Lalani’s story as well? I suggest deer.

  3. I’m guessing the setting for Keraunani will be more domestic. She’s living in a town or village in a settled part of the country, and the country itself is more settled than the winter country – not nomadic.
    So the first thing I thought of in answer to your question was a domestic animal of some sort. A dog, or a pig (which I think could be common to take along as provision on the hoof for armies, so could be fitting for the talon wife parts, as well as for someone living on a farm or in a Roman/medieval type village), or some geese.
    Dogs might be useful to the army too, as additional guards, but you wouldn’t want them around if you could come near a sorcerer. It would be too easy to turn them against you. Maybe geese would be harder for a sorcerer to get into their heads? I expect their thinking is a lot more different from human thinking than a dog’s would be, less comprehensible and probably less familiar, thus harder.

    Somehow I can see Esau as a guard dog type of person. Maybe a guard dog type, looking at (sneaking up on?) some geese guarding a farm or village or encampment in the distance – two different but linked animals, both domesticated and used as guard animals.

    I think that the geese guarding the house has a better vibe (domestic, fierce, but linked to the feminine, as they were usually the responsibility of a goosegirl or farmwife) than the non-dog-breeders associations with a bitch.

    But I have no idea if that would fit with the story.

    PS. I also like Mary Beth’s suggestion of one of the pretty Lau horses, tacked up/saddled, symbolising the travelling Esau is doing.
    You could get the cover split in two separate sections that way too, one referencing the talon-wife part of the story with an army encampment in the distance; the other with Keraunani’s town or village for contrast, and the horse with maybe signs of a small campfire in between to show the travelling/ distance/ separation between the two parts of the story.

    I’m no visual artist, so I have no idea if that would work.

  4. I thought of fennecs immediately–desert mammals are generally cute because of the enormous ears, and fennecs are cutest of all. But i didn’t think it made sense for a story about an army wife.

  5. I also thought of fennecs immediately — and bat-eared foxes — but I don’t think a delicate, cute animal is very suitable for Esau.

    I’m now thinking of different kinds of animals … Like a mastiff and a horse, or two horses, or a mastiff plus a horse *and* a falcon, or something like that.

    Thank you all for your suggestions!

  6. I like the idea of horses, since they are characterstic for the summer country. But for a kind of a romance story two crows sound cool. Two for the hint, they travel, they are mysterious, can look cold and scary but are actually quite friendly and intelligent, which reminds me of Essau.

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