Saturday, 28 April 2012

Some Cover Design Ideas

Hi Ya! I'm up in a coffee bar on Muswell Hill, North London, today.  I have been knocking around a few cover design ideas for the new book.  It's practically all written now, at least in so far as I wish to take.  As I've said before: it had not not my intention to write more in this idiom once the last volume was finished, other than the occasional idea or reflection to go on the blog.  My next work had always supposed to have been something on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (mad cows' disease, CJD and the like) and / or so-called 'protein conformation disorders'. But it's done now, all but for a few paragraphs awaiting rewriting, all that copyright statement stuff and the 'by the same author' pages.

Anyway here are a few ideas I have been playing with.  The title is not absolutely finalised yet and I'm still open to ideas as it is very easy to change last minute. The main antagonist somehow ended up being called 'Alice' (don't know why) and so 'Alice though the something-or-other' or 'Alice in something-land', or 'Alice in wonder-something' came to mind, or some punning stereotypical horror based on one of these formats. I'm kind of glad I have not been seriously tempted down one of theses avenues (unless one of you has some outstandingly original idea or concept of course!).

Among other titles I am toying with are those including the words 'Tethered', 'tethering' or 'leash'. Alternatives that come to mind include; 'Alice Tethered' 'Alice: The Tethered Heiress', 'Tethering Alice', 'Alice on a Leash', 'Alice: Heiress on a Leash' and 'Girl on a Leash'. 

Just to explain: The term, 'tethering' is something I have used within the storyline as a direct replacement for the term 'shadowing'. The latter term was one used historically to refer to a particular disciplinary regimen operated within a real-life institution that I have used as inspiration in an attempt to inject a little more plausibility into the storyline. While the regime was not dreamed up by yours truly, it might well have been. It is certainly another of those 'you-could-not-make-it-up' (should-not-make-it-up?) factual (allegedly) inspirational sources, albeit adapted and augmented for literary purposes (but frighteningly, not exaggerated by much!). The crux of this technique harks back to a question postulated a few posts back; whether or not to alow some modicum of social contact between inmates.

To quote from the source: “Shadow[ing] meant she must be as close to her assigned staff member as a shadow at all times. She was not to speak, or look at anyone. She was to essentially disappear in the bustling close quarters of ------------- house. She was to become a 'shadow'”.

And: “Ten weeks passed and ------- [had] seemed to [have sunk] into herself. The bright, snapping intelligent eyes that never missed a thing [had] faded. She [had] spent hours [obliged to stare blankly] at the floor or the wall and had learned to [follow behind] staff without even a glance towards them or looking at her destination... Thirty weeks passed and she had begun wetting the bed. Forty weeks passed and [the] proud, [intelligent teenager] [had been left an empty shell]. [The once rebellious young woman] would [now sit passively, not moving a muscle] unless she heard someone approach, [when] she would then [cringe against the wall, submissively].”

The above is nothing like anything that appears in the book of course - I messed  around with it a whole lot more and it is realy only the concept I have stolen. I have to say, though, that this particular vein of source material  was an extremely influential one when it came to defining one certain section of the storyline (albeit, a relatively small fraction)... Well, I'm sure you get the idea!


Madmonkey said...

I think you might enjoy this story:

Toyntanen said...

I just wonder if by chance the story on that link is by the same 'Snooz' I have previously featured artwork from here and with whom I was at one time collaborating with along the lines of producing an illustrated / graphic novel. I'll have to email him and ask (it's been too long in any case).

I'd know instantly if I could view the accompanying artwork but I am connecting from a coffee bar (Nero's in Highgate Village, North London - where it's pissing down with rain) and some sort of content filter is flagging up 'pornographic or adult content' and wont let the pages fully load - really annoying, that!

Anonymous said...

I like "Alice Through the Barred Window" as a title, but I like the "Alice Under Discipline" design best.

Anonymous said...

I like "Alice Through the Barred Window" as a title, but I like the "Alice Under Discipline" design best.

Anonymous said...

I like "Alice Through the Barred Window" as a title, but I like the "Alice Under Discipline" design best.

Dante said...

What about Alice Under Rule?

I like the cover with the Louis Malteste drawing of the girl over the birching horse.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Alice Under Discipline as a title, it sounds too, well...ordinary. Either of the other two titles would be good, though I think I like "Alice Through The Barred Window" a little better.

As for a cover, I'd go with the middle cover, the one that says Alice Under Control. But I would get rid of the hand with the pills.

The "tethering" idea sounds fascinating, and I can't wait to read it. It seems a little different from the methods used on Susan and Lavinia, but then you don't want to be repetitive. And of course Dr Ecclestone is probably experimenting with new methods constantly, so it will be interesting to see what she's come up with this time.

The Non Victorian Chick

Orage said...

I agree with the Non Victorian Chick: IMO the hand with the pills is too obtrusive.