I am thrilled to reveal the cover for my debut novel, The Road Back From Broken.
People say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but really, when you’re an author in search of a cover design, that’s precisely what you want would-be readers to do: to see the cover and immediately get a sense of the book, its subject, its tone, and its basic themes. And my cover designer, Mark Aro of Hyperactive Studios, did a fantastic job distilling my novel into a single image. He took the swirling muddle of ideas I gave him and created a unique and gorgeous cover for my tale of a man and his family struggling to heal from war trauma.
The Road Back From Broken is set in Colorado, and since the Rocky Mountains are a constant presence in the book, I wanted the cover to reflect that. A good half of the story takes place in and around Colorado Springs, and one of the key scenes takes place at a scenic overlook adjacent to Garden of the Gods. I was thrilled that Mark was able to work the Colorado landscape into the cover art.
Like many tales of homecoming warriors dating back to Homer’s Odyssey, my novel Road is a story of transformation, healing and return. With a literal road in the center of the image, the cover does a fabulous job of showcasing the concept of journey, but because we don’t see the driver’s face or hands, the image puts the would-be reader in the driver’s seat.
I also love that the rear-view mirror features so prominently in the design, because Road examines the problematic role of memory and hindsight in recovery from trauma and loss. It’s appropriate that the landscape in the rear-view mirror is especially blurry, since hindsight is always distorted by our experience of the present.
I adore what Mark did with the vehicle’s interior. The deteriorating metal trim around the windshield and the cracked, faded dash do a great job simulating the interior of the 1976 Scout that appears in the story. The colors are great, too. Not only do they complement the scenic backdrop, but they evoke the hues of military camouflage, which helps set the tone.
But my absolute favorite part of the cover is the set of dog tags hanging from the rear-view mirror. Mark rendered them in exacting detail. Let’s take a closer look.
Go ahead, click on the image to enlarge it. I love the detail—the dog tags actually show my protagonist’s name, SSN, blood type and religious preference, all arranged in the proper Army-approved format. So while we don’t get to see Fitz on the cover, the cover does give us a hint of him and signals that Road is a story about military life.
The Road Back From Broken will be available on Kindle and in paperback on October 20th, 2015. You can add Road to your Goodreads “Want to Read” bookshelf here. And while you’re at it, pay a visit to my brand-new Facebook page and drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.