Book 2--Relics: The Case of the Mysterious Moon
I had no preconceived idea for the cover of Relics. They sent me a draft of the dustjacket and I saw a lot to like. It was very similar to the final cover--
--except instead of the eclipse at the top, there was a triangular shape made of flames thrusting down through the top half of the design like a dagger. And the font for the title was decidedly gothic. It looked like a horror novel, and until that moment, it had never occurred to me that Relics could be the title of a horror novel just as easily as it could be the title of an archaeological mystery. The dagger and the gothic font really needed to go.
The graphic artist was very cooperative and I really liked the new font. But the space above the title was now blank and she said we needed something to fill it.
No problem! I told her that a solar eclipse figured prominently in the story line. I pointed her to NASA's website. I even gave her the page where they display eclipse photos. Then I sat back and waited for the next draft.
It came promptly, but when I got a good look at the new image above the title, I had to laugh. Either that, or I had to cry. Then I immediately zapped a quick email to her saying, "The new cover is lovely, darlin'. Really. But that's the moon."
She dug up a photo of the sun in eclipse, slapped it on the fourth draft, and we had ourselves a gorgeous cover. But imagine what it would have been like if I hadn't been involved in this conversation. I could have spent the last eight years saying, "Yes, I know there's an eclipse of the sun in the book, and that's an eclipse of the moon on the cover, and yes, I do know the difference, but..."