IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a young adult, high/epic fantasy book that focuses on time travel. It is the THIRD installment in a series, so please refer to the images I provided to see what the first two covers look like and to make sure this cover looks similar enough that potential readers can tell it’s part of the same series.
I have selected the top 3 scenes I feel will make a good cover. The coolest one (and my favourite) is the first, but I included two more in case the first one doesn’t speak to you. Please just make sure the colours are VIBRANT and the contrast HIGH (like the first two covers in the series).
SCENE 1 (MY FAVOURITE): Will (the main character) is at the center of the Earth. He stands in the foreground of the cover with his back to us (sort of like on the cover for the first book), on the roof of a skyscraper. He stands near the edge, staring out at the city that stands all around him. I have included an excerpt from the book below so you can picture what the centre of the Earth and the city look like. The sun shines bright and yellow. The city is modern and sleek, but alien in origin (it was built by aliens). Both the sun and the buildings that “hang” from the “ceiling” and the ones that protrude from the “walls” should be visible. I know that sounds weird, but it will all make sense when you read the excerpt. Here it is:
The center of the Earth is unlike anything I ever could have imagined. Massive by any standards, the spherical cavity expands for kilometres. Never before have I seen such a gargantuan void. But that doesn’t mean the center of the planet is empty. Far from it.
Buildings and dwellings stretch as far as the eye can see. Pulled outward by the inverted gravity, they follow the curve of the earth, giving the impression the city is folding in on itself. A few parks are scattered throughout the alien metropolis, yet they are few and far between. But I forget all about that when I look up.
Buildings hang from the ceiling. At least that’s what it looks like. In reality, there’s no up and down, only inward and outward. I’ve never been inside a beach ball, but this is what I imagine it would feel like. Then again, I seriously doubt beach balls have alien cities built inside them.
I enjoy the view for a while before the unusual perspective activates my acrophobia. Ignoring it, I focus on the dozens of tall buildings that riddle the city. Stretching toward one another like giant fingers protruding from the earth, the skyscrapers are linked together by an intricate web of bridges and passageways. Beyond them, hovering at the very centre of the Earth, is a sun. Though quite small, it glows with enough intensity to light up the entire city. A mere glance is all it takes to blind me.
NOTES: I realize this concept is complex, so please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. --- Will is 15 years old. Please refer to the covers of the first two books to see what he looks like. I purposefully don’t describe him so the readers can imagine him how they want, so don’t show his face. He wears a ring on his left ring finger and an hourglass symbol on his the inside of his left wrist (see the “Files” section of the brief for the symbol).
SCENE 2 (MY SECOND FAVOURITE): Will is in the foreground of the cover, with his back to us. He’s flying backwards, propelled through the air by the explosion that lies before him. The explosion itself is an expanding ball of flames, shrapnel, and yellow light that destroys everything in its path. A large statue stands behind the explosion and is being destroyed by it. It shows an alien (keep reading for description) standing tall and a human (description included below) kneeling before it, offering it a large glowing yellow crystal. The explosion causes the ground to fissure and break. Pieces of it have fallen away, revealing the emptiness that lies beneath. Aliens are gathered around the explosion. Some are fleeing, terrified. Others are sent flying by the force of the explosion. It’s complete panic. This all takes place on the elevated network of suspended bridges I mentioned in the excerpt above. Two bridges meet and form a large platform. The statue and the explosion stand at its centre. In the background, we can see the city, pulled outward by the inverted gravity.
NOTES: The aliens are short (around 4-5 feet tall) with thin frames and grey, quill-like scales (sort of like a hedgehog, only less puffy) on all of their bodies. Their heads are big for their bodies and are covered in smaller versions of the same quill-like scales. They have big black eyes with no pupils. They have no ears, no nose, and no mouth. --- The humans are short (around 5-feet tall) and stalky, with wrinkled, ashy skin, gnarled hands, and thick, knotted hair. They also have bushy beards.
SCENE 3: Will and Kara (Will’s girlfriend) stand on the edge of a rock overhang (sort of like the first two covers), looking out at the scene that unfolds before them. Stretching before them is a HUGE cavern that stretches so far it vanishes into the darkness. The ceiling is high and barely visible. Beneath them, at the center of the front cover, is an epic battle. Hundreds of robots (keep reading for full description) attack from the right. Their ranks are ordered. They shoot spheres of yellow energy at their enemies. On the left, emerging from a forest of trees with glowing yellow leaves are hundreds of clones (description below). They are all men and are wearing torn, filthy clothes. They throw glowing crystals at the robots. They explode on impact, sending the robots flying in explosions of yellow light and fire. The humans and robots closest to us are clearly visible, but they sort of blur into a mass of bodies and explosions as they grow farther away (that way you don’t have to draw hundreds of people and robots). There are torches (wooden sticks with glowing crystals attached to them) scattered around the cavern, lighting it up. To the left (on the back cover), we see a vast forest. The trees have glowing leaves that emit a soft yellow light. Emerging from the forest are the clones. There are also stacks of glowing crystals gathered along the treeline. Every once in a while, one of the robots shoots them and they explode in a powerful explosion of yellow light and fire. On the foreground of the back cover stands Jonn (the man from the cover of the second book). He stands on the same rock overhang as Will and Kara and looks out as the battle unfolding beneath them. The only reason this is my least favourite scene is because the cover for the first two books are very colourful and the contract is high, but this scene is darker and the contrast is lower. If you can find a way to make the colours pop and make it similar to the first cover, that would be great.
NOTES: Kara is 16 years old. She’s a cross between Barbie (long, blond hair and a well-developed, curvy body) and Lara Croft (basically, she’s a badass). --- Jonn is in his late forties. He's the typical badass soldier, with bulging muscles (think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime) and a crew cut. He has black and white and usually has a large hunting knife strapped to his right leg, but it was taken away from him in this book, so all that remains is the sheathe (please refer to the cover for the second book in the series to see what it looks like). He wears standard military boots, cargo pants and a t-shirt that's way too tight for him, but shows off his muscles. He has severe burns marks on his most of his right arm. Please refer to this description of him and not the cover for the second book as he was inside a computer simulation and his body was altered. For this cover (if you choose a scene he’s in) you can use his appearance for the second cover as inspiration, but make sure his muscles are bigger and his hair is short. --- The clones are all men. They are short (around 5-feet tall) and stalky, with wrinkled, ashy skin, gnarled hands, and thick, knotted hair. They also have bushy beards. --- The robots are 8-feet tall and look very similar to humans. They are black, have emotionless faces with no mouth, no nose, and two glowing yellow eyes. Their arms and legs are massive and move with surprising fluidity given their artificial nature. A bright yellow light emerges from the centre of their chests. They can shoot spheres of yellow energy from their palms.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.