Aug 132013

Division of the Marked

What was your intention for the cover?
Most importantly, I wanted something that would look professional and be genre specific. I also wanted a cover that would capture the mood of my novel and give a hint about the plot. I did not want a generic one-size-fits-all fantasy cover with a sword or a hooded figure. It was also important to me that the cover work well as a thumbnail, as that is primarily how it will be viewed. I wanted the typography to be clear and eye-catching. It bugs me when I can’t read the title of a book in thumbnail.

How did you create the cover?
I used a base level Wacom Tablet and the program SketchBookPro6 to paint the image itself. This took a fair amount of time, patience, and trial by error as I’m new to digital painting. The symbol that is watermarked in the background I made in a free program called Inkscape. I put the entire thing together in Gimp, another free program that is similar to Photoshop. I got the fonts at (If anyone else is looking to make their own cover art, and isn’t a master painter, I wrote up a blog post with tips.

Are you happy with the end result?
I’m reasonably happy, yes. My cover does what I wanted it to do. It isn’t a great masterpiece art wise, but it evokes the mood I was aiming for while still being simple and eye-catching. I hope it it will intrigue people enough to click and read the blurb–as that is the whole point after all.

Is there anything you would change?
There isn’t anything major that I would change, though there are small flaws in the artwork that still snag my eye. This is unavoidable for me. I could keep working on the same piece forever, continually trying to improve it–but at a certain point I have to declare it finished and move on, or I’d get nothing done.

What do you think the cover says about your book?
I hope that it represents its genre well. My novel is gaslamp fantasy, which is a Victorian-like setting, but not steampunk. Hence the tophat, but no gadgets. I painted in rain and storm clouds for a sense of atmosphere. My characters get rained on a lot–literally and figuratively. The glowing orb in his hand is central to the plot, but not until the end. I included it because it is visually appealing and because I hoped it would intrigue potential readers. With the colors and the fonts, I wanted to give a graphic novel vibe, as my book is heavily influenced by comic books. My characters are martial arts experts and are essentially superheros. But ultimately, I’m sure we all hope our covers say the same one thing: “I’m interesting, read me!”

Division of the Marked (The Marked Series #1) by March McCarron
Published by Self published on Jul 20, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Find the book: AmazonSmashwords, Goodreads

For all of written history, on the day of Da Un Marcu, fifty boys and girls across the three kingdoms are marked. They become a class apart from society. Taken to join their brothers and sisters, the Chisanta, they enter a culture of knowledge-keepers, martial artists, and possessors of strange and wonderful abilities.

When Yarrow discovers himself marked, he feels lost and lonely; until he meets Bray, a spirited and curious girl with whom he feels uncommonly connected. As the two of them become familiar with their new lives, unaccountable events unsettle the peace. A mysterious murder leaves the Chisanta in confusion. Odder still, one of the fifty children never arrives. In the years that follow, more and more children of the Chisanta go missing.

Ten years later, the devastating truth comes to light. The death of a young marked girl is uncovered. Yarrow and Bray—separated for a decade and grown apart—are thrust back together to investigate the crime. Can they overcome their differences to save the fate of their kind and the peace of the nation?

My Thoughts: I can never keep up with all the different genres, so I’d never peg a book for gaslamp fantasy since I didn’t know what it was. But I think the cover does say Victorian fantasy quite well. I like the 3 brightly coloured elements against the mostly dark cover. It’s well balanced and soft and inviting.

What do you think of the cover? Does it make you want to pick up the book?

  2 Responses to “Cover interview: March McCarron”

  1. Thanks so much for featuring me on your website! I didn’t know the term “gaslamp fantasy” either. I had to look it up after I’d written one. 🙂

  2. I love this cover! Great interview 🙂

    Reviews Until You Drop

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