JOE: My book designer asked if she could see a version of one of my previous cover designs with the orc looking back over his shoulder at the viewer, and my response was, "Can I make it a wrap-around?" She said sure and the rest was a piece of cake. Just add some dragons and a little computer magic and I had a finished cover.
STAN: Making it a wraparound was inspired. It flows really well. I have to chuckle at Joe saying that he "just" had to add a couple of dragons and a under take a bit of computer tinkering. Yeah, right. The same way I "just" write a book. Don't believe him - it's hard work. I've finally become "Nicholls". Hurrah!
JOE: To chime in on Stan's previous comment, I agree, it is hard work. I guess what I'm saying is different aspects of creating a piece of art like this, the stages have relative difficulty. The hardest part could be seen in the previous three entries, where I'm struggling to find the perfect image for the cover. None of the early incarnations were good enough, and the grueling part is going back and forth to find what works and what doesn't. Once you find the right image, the rest comes naturally and all of the surface elements, like the ones added in Photoshop (challenging as they may be) are easier because all of the difficult decisions have already been made. I'm also glad I finally learned how to spell Stan's last name.