A while back, I talked about changing the cover of my previous novel, Lost Dogs, to align more with other titles in the young-adult post-apocalypse genre. It’s not that the original cover is bad: it’s a spectacular piece done by my friend and pro artist James Arnold. It’s just that I didn’t tell James exactly what was needed, because I didn’t know any better 5 years ago, when I was publishing it.
The original cover
James has moved on to bigger and better things, living the dream as a designer at a major gaming company, so I turned to Suzie O’Connell at Sunset Rose Books for a new look. I’d say she delivered:
I love, love, LOVE the photo-realistic look of Buddy, the protagonist (how about that name tag, huh?). With those clouds and that color palette, Suzie has the desolate feel of the novel down, and the plane falling from the sky (which is from the opening of Chapter 1) is a great touch. So, too, is the tagline above the title.
The criticism I received about the previous cover was that you could tell that it was a “dog” book, but not what type. People might have been confused into thinking that Lost Dogs was more Marley and Me than it was Call of the Wild. Well, there’s no question with this one.
Here’s the full version for the softcover:
(The red box is where the bar code will go)
Props to Suzie for the rural setting, the empty house, and the water, all of which nicely place the scene on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where the story is set.
Look for the new cover soon, and if you have copies with the original cover, hold onto them: they might be worth something some day.
If you’ve read Lost Dogs, than you might be surprised to find that most of the dogs also appear in my latest novel, This Wasted Land, albeit under different circumstances that I can’t explain without giving away spoilers. But here’s an excerpt where TWL’s Feisty Teenage Heroine meets Sally, Buddy’s Beagle friend:
The dog saw me, strained on the leash, tail wagging like mad. Beagle, I think. I crouched, and she got up on her back legs, put both front paws against my knees, started licking my hands.
“Sally! Behave yourself!” The old guy shook her head. “I’m sorry, she just really loves everybody.”
“It’s okay. I like dogs.” Pretty. White coat with big brown patches, some black ones, too. Big, floppy ears. Huge brown eyes. Spots on her legs. “Dogs don’t judge you. They just like you no matter who you are. Or what.”
“That’s true. My name’s Roy, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you.”
I stroked Sally’s head and her back. “What kind is she?” I leaned over, and she licked my nose, my cheeks, my chin.
“I think she’s a mix of Beagle and Basset Hound. She was a stray I picked up on the side of the road last fall. We just came from the groomers.” He tugged gently on the leash. “C’mon, Sally, we have to get back home to Mama.”
(Speaking of TWL, have you checked out the Playlist? If you’re a fan of vintage hard rock, you’ll want to hear this)
Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young. In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.
Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons! With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature. Kenton also published Hand-Selling Books to help authors better their sales.
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