French Edition of Spellbound
This is my cover design for the French edition of Spellbound, which is the second book of Larry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles series (you can see my cover for the first book, Hard Magic, here). The French title, Malédiction, isn’t a direct translation of the English title, and it took a while for the French publisher, L’Atalante, to settle on the title for their edition, as ‘Spellbound’ doesn’t translate well (Larry Correia also touches on this in his blog post here). The English language edition is already out and this French edition should be out later in the year.
As with the cover for the previous book, I took some artistic license with the image, so rather than directly illustrating a particular scene and sticking to every detail, I worked with the publisher to come up with an image that we felt would capture and convey the essence of the book to readers.
Below are some work in progress shots. The scene is a showdown between two of the characters: Crow and Bolander. Crow can take the form of a demon so we also played with having him in full demon form; I thought it’d be more interesting though showing him in the midst of transformation. As you can see, we also toyed with adding another figure to the scene, which would have been Sullivan (the central character on the first cover) but it was decided that this wasn’t necessary.
It also took a few goes to get the lightning, which Bolander is both shooting from his hand and drawing down from the sky to strike Crow, looking right. In the original version the lightning was too diffuse and didn’t look like it was connecting with Crow, and also it wasn’t completely clear that it was coming from and being controlled by Bolander. Another issue was that the lightning bolts didn’t look like they were hitting Crow with enough force so the main part of the bolts were made bolder. Finally, it was important that it looked like Bolander was wielding the lightning as a weapon, so the bolts coming from his hand were also beefed up and focused more at Crow. Alain Kattnig at L’Atalante gave lots of great suggestions for this and was a big help in getting this right and looking as good as possible.