As an international author, I am continually amazed at the covers by WhiteFire Publishing. I simply had to share the design process from Roseanna White's own blog on how she created these breathtaking covers showing exotic India. Thank you so much Roseanna White.
Remember When . . . The Series Was Complete? By Roseanna White as previously published on Writing Roseanna
WhiteFire's first series to be contracted and completed just got its final cover. The Twilight of the British Raj has won some awards and garnered a lot of very well-deserved praise. And when Christine Lindsay (the author) and I started chatting covers for the final installment, Veiled at Midnight, I think we were both rubbing our hands together in delight.
The first book of the series took place in British India of 1919. It was one of WhiteFire's first two titles other than mine, and at that point, I was not designing covers. We hired the amazing George of Tekeme Studios, and he blew us away with this fabulous cover for Shadowed in Silk.
Christine started a Pinterest page for the book, which is where our idea-gathering began. She wanted gold on the cover, to represent the joy of a new dawn. Though "midnight" is in the title (the Partition took effect at midnight), she wanted the images to represent a new day. (Not to mention we already had a night scene on cover 2...)
Our first thought was to use green and gold, to represent the Pakistan flag. The most compelling images we found were of a night sky, and my (very very very very very sloppy) playing around led to this.
So we began with this model picture from Shutterstock. We both loved the pose, and I especially loved the motion in the sari.
Obviously, next we take out the background.
To blur the background in the distance, but not the water up close--because I LOVE that reflection--I duplicated the layer, blurred the top one, and then applied a layer mask and faded the top image from the bottom of the screen upward--that way, the bottom layer comes through in its non-blurred glory toward the lower portion and fades into the blurred image at the top.
Okay, so now I had a great base. I loved where it was going, I loved the way the red and the gold worked together. But now I needed to add some texture.
In the first cover, Tekeme had used a flower overlay that I liked but couldn't match exactly. So for book 2, I used a paisley design. For this one, I wanted something altogether different. So I did a search for "photoshop texture lotus gold" (don't you love the random words you can put together for searches? LOL) and I found this one.
Oh my. Yes. This was the point where my breath got all knotted up in my throat, and I knew I'd found my look. I went ahead and added the layer with Christine's name, making it red. But that layer is also always textured, so I duplicated my texture layer, shrank it down, and this time didn't fade it out. The result was this, and I gotta say, silly as it is, that's it's one of my favorite elements on this whole cover, LOL.
Then I looked at the original texture layer again. And I noticed that it had really cool sides that were not on my cover because I wanted the lotus part to extend off in both directions. How to get those on as the border, without interfering with the nice transparency of the original texture layer? Well, I fiddled with it until I figured out the obvious answer. I pasted it on, narrowed it to fit the width of the book, and then deleted everything accept that border part that I wanted. And voila!
So I emailed it to Christine, who said, "CAN I SHOW THIS OFF?" ;-)
I emailed it to best friend/crit partner Stephanie, who said, "I think this might be my favorite of all your designs!"
I don't pick favorites, LOL. But I do adore this cover. I like the continuity with the other books in the series, but I also like where it's different. I feel like this one was somehow more my design and less trying to mimic that first cover. And I just adore those colors together. So overall, we're all very pleased. =) The Twilight of the British Raj will finish up in style!
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