Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sultana: Final Cover Artwork


Remember last month when I was agonizing over the cover artwork for Sultana? Some of the blog visitors who commented were helpful in the selection process and I'm thrilled with the end result. The foreground image is A Jewish Girl of Tangiers by Charles Zacharie Landelle (1812-1908), while the background is Adolf Seel's Innenhof der Alhambra (1829-1907). Both paintings are public domain images made available through Creative Commons. My brilliant cover artist Lance Ganey compiled the two images and created the cover font - he's so talented. The original Landelle painting has a gray, non-descript background. In addition to the beautiful girl on the cover, I wanted something of the majesty and beauty of the Alhambra, too. It was a stroke of luck finding Seel's painting. In addition to the compilation, Lance also made subtle changes to the artwork, making it truly unique. You can see the originals and his handiwork in the comparison below.




Sultana's been a labor of love for me and it deserved a gorgeous cover that captured the essense of the story. I think the artwork achieves that aim. What do you think?

10 comments:

Margaret said...

Gorgeous cover. So, tell us what it's about? Let's see. You love medieval Spain, but Catherine of Aragon is post medieval and you wouldn't call her a Sultana anyway. The Alhambra is the only connection I could make.

Margaret Lake

Michelle Gregory said...

i absolutely love it. makes me what to know what's inside.

Lisa Yarde said...

Thanks Margaret and Michelle. I'm in the beta reading phase and hope that what's inside the book is as interesting as the cover.

I started working on this book in 1996 (no I'm not joking!), but it was only in 2005 when I joined a critique group that it became something viable. Got two agents out of submitting it, but it never went anywhere. Actually I'll never forget having one publisher say that they couldn't take it on because a positive protrayal of Muslims in post-9/11 America would never sell.

Anyway, it's based on historical figures, members of the Nasrid Dynasty which is responsible for the beauty of the Alhambra. The protagonists married when she was only 8 years old, he, ten years older. Their union sets off a civil war with one time allies, who thought the girl should have married into their clan, preserving a 30-year alliance forged by dynastic marriages. Lots of betrayal and intrigue. The guy's story is as important as his wife's; he's trying to regain his family's lost heritage. He comes into his own, but my heroine is truly the driving force, hence the title.

S.L. (Samantha) Stevens said...

That is a beautiful cover. I have a bunch of folders on my laptop of public domain images, particularly paintings, that I can use for future book covers. I'm glad I stumbled on your book--I'm interested in the Moorish period too, but Portugal rather than Spain. Now that is a real pain in the neck to research. There's plenty on Moorish Spain, but basically nothing about Moorish Portugal.

Lisa Yarde said...

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Samantha. You're right, I found very little in the Golden Age of the Moor on Portugal. Iberia's history if fascinating, if you can find it.

Richard Warren Field said...

The cover looks great!

Lisa Yarde said...

Hey, thanks Richard. I know it's a "woman's cover" but I hope readers will find the male and female protagonists equally interesting.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Lisa! You've captured the essence of both the times and the setting. And what an eye-catching heroine.

Lisa Yarde said...

Thanks for recommending Lance, Gemi, it's been great working with him.

Frank Zweegers said...

Beautiful works!

Thank you for seven great years

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