Appreciated Dan's patience. I haven't done one of these contests before. He did a great job from beginning to end!
How gwortheyastro started their book cover journey
Ace Carroway and the Great War
In mid career as an astrophysicist, I study galaxy evolution and I know a fair bit about spectroscopy. As a fiction writer, my first series is the Ace Carroway series. "Great War" is the first, then "Around the World," "Handsome Devil," "Growling Death," ... you get the idea. Pulp fiction adventure fun.
Young Adult, Fiction
Accomplished ace pilot, surgeon, and crime fighter Cecilia "Ace" Carroway travels the world with her five associates
• Bert – Hubert Ewing Devery Christopher Bostock III – is dark, handsome, and on the slender side, an inch taller than Quack. He is an American-Panamanian lawyer and diplomat.
• Quack – Boxnard Warburton Snana – is a blond master of disguises. He was a field medic in the Great War. Now he is a stage actor when not adventuring with Ace.
• Gooper – Phileas Locknard – is a broad, hulking London East-ender with pale skin and red hair, including a bushy mustache. He’s also a field biologist and sesquipedalian (lover of big words).
• Tombstone – Gregory Jamison – is bony and tall. From West Texas, he usually wears cowboy boots and a Stetson. He is an electrical engineer with war experience as a sharpshooter.
• Sam – Sam Raia Biming – is short and round, sporting a carefully waxed black mustache. Egyptian and Chinese in heritage, he is an archaeologist with not-so-secret tendencies to punch people.
In ACE CARROWAY AND THE GREAT WAR, Ace is shot down behind enemy lines. With five fellow prisoners who will later become her crime-fighting associates Ace plots sabotage and escape.
Teens and fun-loving adults of both genders.
Book cover type
Artistically composed to give a sense of desolation, yet the title stands out brightly. Also, I just like the Saturn system, heh. OK, maybe Saturn-bias made me pick this one.
I like the boldness. Even though nobody is getting dismembered on the cover, there is still somehow a vivid sense of drama
The "posterization" using only a few colors is a way to add drama, and I WANT DRAMA.
What colors do you want to see in your design?
Ideally, I'd like a female figure in a flight suit (goggles, flyer's cap, etc) of 1920/30 vintage in a dynamic pose. Ace's physical description: gold skin, gold flecked eyes, short-cropped gold hair. (Bring on the colorization!) The Doc Savage book covers were an inspiration for me. They were almost comic-bookish. This is pulp fiction adventure, as dynamic as possible. Ace Carroway is a female superhero, though no super powers, always kicking bottom a la Wonder Woman. She can have some rips in her flight suit, but I do not want cheesecake or overtly sexy. The back cover could include silhouettes of her 5 associates (one tall, one broad, one short & plump, 2 average, all men). If you can manage more than silhouettes, Sam and Gooper have mustaches, Gooper might wear a bowler hat, and Tombstone the tall one wears a Stetson and cowboy boots. By book 3, Ace has four parallel scars across temple and cheek - tough woman. I am leaning toward the 5.25x8.00 paperback size. As regards spine size, the Great War is fairly thin as it is of novella length.
What to avoid
No glam. No (overt) lipstick, eyeshadow, etc.
Ace steals an enemy airship in "Ace Carroway and the Great War"
My own attempt at a cover. I didn't have luck finding stock images, so this model has too-long hair. Pose should be more dramatic.
Ace's five associates. Description is on the back cover ... so far ... I could be talked out of this easily.
Another of my attempts, slightly different stock image. I love the biplanes.
Classic, iconic cover art from 1964. It reeks of power and confidence.
Amelia Earhart. A wimp compared to Ace, but an excellent model for period aviator clothing.
Action pose. Now we just need less hair and a flight suit.