* GENERAL *
I am looking for a beautiful, classy, high quality cover for my novel, “INSECTA: Planet of the Ants (Book 1 – Zombie Queen)”.
* AUTHOR *
W Thor Larson (Note: there is no period after “W” – it is just an initial.)
* FRONT COVER REQUIREMENTS *
This book is primarily for middle graders / young adults, but adults enjoy the story as well. To quote one reviewer: “My 11-year-old son loved this book! It’s perfect for a boy who loves science, bugs, war strategy, adventure, and suspense.” The cover needs to grab the attention those looking for a uniquely fun and exciting (but clean) story. No gore.
I envision the cover being the stylistic midpoint between “Searching for Dragons (Book 2)” by Wrede and classic Conan the Barbarian comic book covers. It should capture these concepts:
• The bioluminescent otherworldliness of the distant planet.
• Giant fearsome insects, and an “advanced” and highly intelligent race of ants that use weapons fabricated from parts of other bugs (beetle shields, etc.).
• In sum, it should hint at action, adventure, exciting battles, cool bugs, cool weapons (ants use mantis claw swords, bows, and spears, but not guns or lasers), awesome armor (fabricated from other insect exoskeletons), crazy creatures.
The cover should have a realistic environment and realistic bugs that are relatively true to their anatomy. I’m open to insectoid interpretations of ant characters that help readers relate to them better—especially the faces—but I don’t want over-personification as in “A Bug’s Life”. They should retain correct basic anatomy. See http://insectaplanetoftheants.wordp…/glossary/ for links to the actual creatures that inspired the characters, places and things in the book, and for insights into the tone of the book.
Listed below are some possible scenes or ideas that approximate what I’m looking for (but I’m open to other creative ideas):
1. An unarmored prisoner ant bound before the leafcutter queen (elaborately adorned) who is inspecting a crystal that was taken from the prisoner. They are in the throne room surrounded by the leafcutter military generals (infantry, cavalry, airstrike) with themed banners behind their chairs. A royal guard or two might be visible, and the fate of the prisoner will depend on the queen's assessment of the stone.
2. Two or three ants in beetle armor coming to the aid of an unarmored ant being attacked by a butterfly (in the book, butterflies are vicious creatures). I would love to see a reinterpretation of Frank Frazetta “Mothman” (http://aliens.monstrous.com/gallery…play_media) but with these changes:
• daytime desert scene, no tree
• make the butterfly a vicious bug rather than an alien
• change the woman to an unarmored ant with glowing green eyes being rescued by a second ant in tiger beetle armor (beetle shell shield and Spartan inspired helmet made from beetle's head and mandibles) with glowing cobalt blue eyes
• add an ant or two with tiger beetle shields and atlatls or bows/arrows to the foreground shooting arrows at the butterfly
• get rid of the spaceships
• add a flying stag beetle with ant riding in background
• add a lit firefly in the distance
• add three hazy blue suns in the backdrop
3. Three leafcutter ants (pill bug armor, smaller than the zombies) fighting a troupe of zombies (whose bodies are at various stages of decay) inside a dark but bioluminescent nest. Two of the leafcutter warriors would be holding off the zombies (front cover) while the third leafcutter warrior is digging an escape hole in the nest's vent system (back cover) so he and his companions can follow him and escape out of the chamber. A few phorid flies (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/…mbie-ants/) are also buzzing in the nest.
• http://coolvibe.com/2013/fantasy-ar…folk/#prev (but instead of mermen underwater, small leafcutter warriors fighting larger zombie ants in a nest chamber--I like the look of the linked scene, but converted to an underground ant nest chamber).
• http://aliens.monstrous.com/gallery…play_media (change woman to three small ants in pill bug armor, make the creatures bigger zombie ants and change the setting to a luminescent interior of a nest)
• http://konjur.deviantart.com/art/Th…-128209971 (but with three small ants in pill bug armor attacking zombie ants, and a no gore)
• http://michifromkmk.deviantart.com/…-264577528 (again, armored ant verses zombie ants)
4. An ant with glowing green eyes in a nest chamber mixing chemicals in a large beetle shell vat. An older ant (with glowing blue eyes and clothing or robes of some sort) is observing--doesn't quite believe what his is witnessing. An ant cacoon is in the bubbling mixture with a surprising transformation taking place. This would not be a mad scientist type scene, and there would not be beakers or other modern equipment there. Those interested in designing this scene should send me a message to discuss.
5. Ant wearing beetle armor flying a stag beetle or riding a big rhino or elephant beetle on the ground (for example, http://conceptartworld.com/?p=3730 – scroll down to pictures 9 and 10 – the big beetle and the flying honeypot ant. Change people to armored ants).
6. Ant wearing beetle armor flying on a stag beetle with a prisoner bound on board, and a small firefly blinking along with them.
7. Or, more of a "Hunger Games" logo type cover approach. Here are some cool models of this: http://www.jamesmaxwell.com/books/
*** SEE ATTACHED DOCUMENT FOR GENERAL DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS, SPINE REQUIREMENTS, THE BACK COVER DESCRIPTION, AND A BUNCH OF LINKS TO CONCEPT ART THAT I LIKE ***