Monday, March 4, 2013

Shadow Eyes Anniversary Blog Tour:
Guest Post with Dusty Crabtree

Today I'm thrilled to be a part of the Anniversary Tour for Shadow Eyes. We've got an awesome guest post ahead from the author, herself!

The Story of My Cover Art
Shadow Eyes Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway

Thank you for hosting me, Melissa, and thanks for your amazing review of Shadow Eyes back in July!  Click here to read the review!

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes, your full name in the sequel, and a KINDLE FIRE!)

The cover of a book, even if it is primarily an eBook, is one of the most important marketing tools an author has in his/her tool belt.  Just think about it.  When you’re skimming through book shelves (real or virtual) or book blogs with covers plastered everywhere, what’s the one thing that will make you pause long enough to stop, pull the book out or click on it, and read the synopsis?  The cover, right?  Generally, from the cover you can tell whether or not it looks like something you might enjoy, often before you even read the title. 

That’s why I was so picky with my cover.  I’d been dreaming about what the cover would look like almost since the idea for the story first came to me.  It was absolutely perfect in my mind, and I knew exactly what I wanted.  The problem is, when you’re working with a cover artist over emails (no matter how amazing that cover artist is – and mine was and is amazing!), it’s extremely difficult to describe the image in your head well enough so the artist can replicate it.  And I’m a very wordy, descriptive person…I mean, I’m an author and an English teacher.  Of course, I’m wordy and descriptive.  But I still found I wasn’t describing it well enough as mock-up after mock-up was sent to me that wasn’t quite right.  I felt bad for continuing to ask for changes, but in the end, after a total of 8 mockups with the final one being absolutely wonderful, I’m so glad I did!

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so let me show you the progress my cover artist and I made together.

To be honest, I kind of liked this first one and toyed with keeping it, even though it wasn’t what I had pictured.  The main thing was I wanted both eyes, and I wasn’t sure about the font of the title.  It also seemed a little too creepy for the book.
I loved the color of the eyes on this one, but I wasn’t getting the shadow effect I’d wanted.  I wanted the black fogginess to curl around her face like the shadows in the book might.
New font – wasn’t sure about it. Still working on the shadows and blending.
Getting closer…
Better title placement and larger eyes.
Working on the shadows…getting closer…
This was almost perfect!  The color was much better!  The eyes were darker!  The font was perfect (One of my students actually found it)!  I think I had tried to have the cover artist make more defined swirly lines like tendrils for the shadows, but I realized that having the top just like the bottom would be much better.  And that brings us to…
Ta da!!!  I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when I saw this picture!  I loved it!  I was in between classes at the time, and I couldn’t help but show my next hour and the teachers next door.  I was so proud and excited!  I think it gives off the perfect mood for the book – mysterious and intriguing yet not overly creepy.  Just enough to catch the reader’s eye and entice them to click on the cover and check out the synopsis.  Speaking of…

Shadow Eyes Synopsis:
Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil.  But she is the only one who can see them.  She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

 Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters.  First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

Book Trailer:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out Dusty’s blog at
Follow her on twitter at
(also available at all major online bookstores)


  1. Love the evolution of your book cover, Dusty! It was quite a process, but the result was well worth it! Kudos!

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad you enjoyed Dusty's guest post -- I thought it was really cool to see the cover evolve and you are right, so worth all the work!! :-)

  2. Thanks for having me Melissa, and thanks for stopping by Sharon! This post was one of my favorites. :)

  3. It was great to see the process for your cover art!


This blog does not use CAPTCHA, please comment freely! However, I have had to disable the "Anonymous" commenting feature since the spammers are just out of control. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment -- I love to hear what you think! Feedback and discussion are always welcome. Happy reading :-)