Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going With My Gut

 This is my first outing with Criminal Minds.  I want to thank them for inviting me to join this impressive gang (or is that gaggle?) of crime writers.  I will be sharing Sundays with Hilary Davidson.

I write three mystery series and all of my covers to date have been done by the magical Ellen Dahl at Llewellyn/Midnight Ink.  I have loved each one and every time I’m sent a draft of a new cover, it feels like Christmas morning and I’m the luckiest little girl in the world. 

It’s difficult for me to imagine anyone but Ellen doing my covers, so when the question was posed as to who would be my dream artist for my book covers, I went with my initial gut reaction – Andy Warhol.  Seriously. That was the name that instantly popped into my head.  Not sure why, as I’m not particularly a fan of his work, but I am a big fan of gut reactions, so instead of dismissing it, I considered the possibilities.

Hmmm. Andy Warhol – Campbell’s soup can. Marilyn Monroe. Repeating frames and comic book colors.

Yeah, that would work.

I started mentally marrying Warhol’s style with the premise of each series and waited to see what developed. It was kind of like trying on shoes at a Nordstrom’s sale.

6th Odelia - out 6/11
Ghost of Granny Apples Mysteries – this didn’t work for me. Pairing Warhol’s style with that series – a funny, sweet cozy, featuring the sleuthing team of a 100-year-old ghost and her great-great-great granddaughter – felt like trying on sequined pumps with work out clothes.  Both styles are fine on their own, just not together.

Odelia Grey Mysteries – this had possibilities. Odelia Grey is a fat, middle-aged paralegal (rather like myself) nicknamed “corpse magnet” by her friends.  She’s quirky, funny and often cranky.  Looking at my six current book covers for this series, with their bold color pairings and Odelia in simple and varied poses, I could definitely picture them enhanced with the Warhol touch.  Maybe Odelia’s hair in bright yellow, her lips lime green and her dress neon pink, like a print negative on psychedelic drugs. The fit was close, but still no cigar.

Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries – okay, now we’re talking.  Madison Rose is a twenty-something live woman who finds herself mixed up in the scary and often dangerous day-to-day world of the Southern California vampire community, a community dead set on keeping their existence a secret.  When I imagined this series getting the Warhol treatment, it was Cinderella slipping her foot into the perfect glass slipper. 

I can see it now.  A book cover with four frames of a sexy male vampire portrait in garish Day-Glo colors. The only consistent color in each frame would be the vampire’s fangs. They would be bright red. 

I must call Ellen…

Sue Ann Jaffarian
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Rebecca Cantrell said...

Welcome aboard! We're glad to have you here!

I love the idea of Andy Warhol doing a vampire book cover! If he were around, he'd definitely be doing something post-ironic-vampiric.

Your series all sound fascinating. Can't wait to hear more about you and your work here!

Meredith Cole said...

We're so glad to have you join our merry blog! Love the idea of having Andy Warhol doing your cover, too. Very fun.

Lois Winston said...

Great to see you here, Sue Ann! I can definitely see Warhol doing your vampire series covers. You'd have to raise him from the dead, though, but that shouldn't be too difficult for someone who writes about ghosts and vampires.

Gabi said...

Welcome to the team, Sue Ann. Warhol is a great choice.

Joshua Corin said...

Very creative idea, Sue Ann (and welcome to the gang)!

I think I would an Andy Warhol silk screen cover for a vampire series, especially if the books each were a different bright color and could be arranged to form their own multi-colored print.