Cover Stories: In the Time of Dragon Moon

Janet Lee Carey's new book, In the Time of Dragon Moon, has a tagline that is irresistible: Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine. Hello! Sold. She's here to tell the tale of her latest cover (my favorite part is a the glorious sunspot at the top!):

"Early on I thought the cover would show a dragon circling an eerie full moon. The trouble with that image is, it simply repeats the title and doesn’t show conflict or, more importantly the central characters. (Excellent example of why I was meant to be a writer and not a cover designer!)

"My editor, Kathy Dawson, was kind enough to ask for my ideas. Early on we both agreed we wanted a dragon on the cover, something that alluded to the powerful dragon on the cover of book 1 in the Wilde Island series (see all three covers above).

"I also sent Kathy a few photos of what I imagined Uma to look like. She’s half English half Euit, so I found some beautiful images of mixed raced girls. Kathy kept the photos and also asked me to describe Jackrun’s arm scales in detail. (More about that later).

"I knew my publisher had been working hard, trying and rejecting a number of cover ideas to get just the right strong fantasy feel for the book, so I was excited to see what the talented artist, Tony Sahara, had finally come up with. When I opened the attachment, I was thrilled! 

"My editor and I asked for a few small things, mostly color tone changes. And I requested a few changes to the dragon to make him appear more powerful and a little more menacing. Tony Sahara did a brilliant job with the changes.  

"I also noticed the dragon scales on Jackrun’s arm were not like the small scalloped scales I’d described in the book. Tony drew them larger and slightly more diamond shaped. Tony’s were masculine and powerful and it didn’t take long for me to realize I liked his version better. So instead of requesting artwork changes, I went back to the manuscript, used Find/Replace and changed the sections describing Jackrun’s arm scales to match the ones on the cover. Voila!

"The artist did a brilliant job of capturing the tension between Uma and Jackrun. Magic brings them together. Murder tears them apart. At first they don’t agree about who’s behind the crimes. Later they argue over whether Uma should stay on serving the queen at Pendragon Castle or make a run for it. Knowing Uma’s life’s in danger, Jackrun wants her to run. Uma has other ideas. Both are strong-willed and stubborn – the kind of people dragons like. 'For battle is dragon’s bread.' (pg 41)

"I was also happy to see Uma in her green gown. This gown has a lot of significance in her character arc as she leaves a past of dressing like a boy behind and begins to claim her womanhood."

Thanks, Janet! Read more about the book below and watch the trailer too.

About the Book:
            All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic?