It's all a clever cover up
- Wednesday 29 March 2017
Sarah Mussi tells us what she loves about the Snowdownia Chronicles covers
I have to say hand on heart that every time I go into a school the students, teachers and librarians comment on how fabulous the covers for the Snowdonia Chronicles are. And I couldn’t agree with them more.
So how does Shrine Bell (Vertebrate's fiction imprint) manage it? How do they continually get it right? How do they create covers that are refreshing, eye-catching and so apt?
And with Here be Witches they’ve done it again! I couldn’t have been more excited, than when I had a first peek at my latest cover, but hang on a tick – what’s it covering up?
Here be Witches is the second book in the Snowdonia Chronicles trilogy by moi, Sarah Mussi. It’s a perilous adventure into the magical and murderous realm of mythical Snowdonia.
The story follows Ellie Morgan, who wants is to be with her one true love, Henry. But she's caught in the middle of a battle as old as Snowdon itself. A battle between good and evil.
It starts very like Macbeth with a witches' spell, to wake up the dragons, cast high on the mountain. The spell speeds up time and wakes up a whole lot more than it was designed to – a host of mythical creatures and evil ghosts rise up as well! And nearly all of them want Ellie dead. Thank heavens for loyal friend George, (disloyal) bestie Rhi, and mysterious stranger, Davey.
Armed with Granny Jones's potions, Ellie and her companions must set out on a journey to reverse the spell, stop the evil White Dragon and find Henry. But as an eternal winter tightens its grip on Snowdon, Ellie and her friends have just three days to survive and complete their quest.
It’s a mission of life and death for Ellie and her friends and practically no one wants them to succeed.
Now let’s look at that cover again …
As soon as I opened the PDF file sent to me by my publishers, I felt a tingle run down my spine. Not only had Nathan (the fabulous and awesomely clever cover designer) created a companion cover artwork to Here be Dragons, but he had subtly changed the cover colour to reflect the magical and symbolic winter that the story is set in. The whiteness of the silvery scales on the cover also – completely capture the feeling of the White Dragon (yep – that’s the bad one) hovering at very close quarters over the whole story. SHIVER!
Ellie’s journey through Snowdonia in Here be Witches is set against this massive snowfield, an eternal winter, a white countryside and frozen mountain-scape. Above them white snow clouds hover and behind the white snow clouds stalks the White Dragon on his skeletal wings, watching, waiting and weighing up the moment to strike – the moment when Ellie makes a mistake.
White in some cultures is the colour of death and this cover captures all of the scary sinister nature of impending death in the story. I just loved it! I also LOVED the title with the cute witch’s hat drawn in black. I felt this was absolutely spot on! It pinpointed the humorous elements in the story as George and Ellie tried to stay cheerful by cracking jokes even in the face of death and danger.
This cover captures the essence of Ellie’s story beautifully, and scarily on the nose too. The magical witch’s mirror on the back is the final masterpiece. The witch’s mirror is the key to whole story, though Ellie doesn’t know this at first … and I’m certainly not going to spoil the story by telling you!
So just look into the mirror and start reading!