I am looking for a quality, 300 dpi, 6 x 9 inch cover for my mainstream fiction novel, “The Man I Love.” I will be publishing as both an e-book and a paperback so I will need a front-spine-back jacket design
I am leaning more toward graphic/illustrative style although I'm open to photo-realism or other artistic interpretations. I'd prefer not to have any portrait-style photographs on the cover that dictate to the readers what the characters look like.
The focus of the story is a man, Erik, remembering the love of his life from school, Daisy. They were both involved in an on-campus shooting incident which led to the destruction of the relationship. Twelve years later, Erik still has never dealt with either of those traumatic experiences - the shooting, and losing his lover. The story is his evolution and decision to go back and find her: confront the issues, have a conversation, gain understanding about what happened. And forgive.
The strong themes are love, soul mates, unfinished business of the past shaping one’s life, and forgiveness. This book is for people who want to get swept up in a good story and connect with honest, complicated and diverse characters. And perhaps think about who they love and why. Maybe think differently of their own unfinished stories.
Though Daisy is a dancer, and ballet is featured in the novel, it is NOT necessary to have a ballet dancer be the primary focus of the cover. Don't feel you have to slap a ballerina in there for the sake of having it. The story is told from the lead MALE character and he is NOT a dancer.
If you choose to use a dancer, please use a professional picture from classical ballet. No ballroom, burlesque or modern. Also, this is NOT "Black Swan!"
In case you are going for literal representation in photographs: Erik is blond with brown eyes. The lead female Daisy has dark hair and stunning blue-green eyes.
The novel’s protagonist is Erik Fiskare, called “Fish” by his friends as Fiskare is Swedish for “Fisherman.” He is nineteen at the story’s start in 1990 and thirty-four at its end in 2005.
Erik attends the fictional Lancaster University, a fine arts college outside Philadelphia, and studies technical theater. There he meets an exceptionally talented ballet dancer named Marguerite Bianco, called “Daisy” (the French call daisies marguerites.)
Erik and Daisy fall passionately in love. The relationship is marked by a deep, wordless and soulful bond, and intense sexuality. It's not infatuation. Though they are young, their love is grounded and adult.
Erik’s circle of other friends includes Will Kaeger—Erik’s roommate and Daisy’s exclusive dance partner, who is rumored to be bisexual. And David Alto—a fellow stagehand who carries a not-so-secret torch for Daisy.
Junior year, Erik watches Will become involved with James Dow, a talented but mentally unstable dancer. The relationship ends badly and James attempts suicide. Two weeks later, James walks into a rehearsal in the theater and opens fire on the dancers.
Five students and a professor are killed. Both Will and Daisy are shot and seriously injured but survive. Erik is in the lighting booth and durling a lull in the shooting, he attempts to get James to talk to him and put the gun down. James instead turns the gun on himself.
The novel, told exclusively from Erik’s point of view, follows the friends through the rest of college as they struggle to recover from physical injuries and deal with the mental trauma of the shooting. They battle depression and drug use. Erik and Daisy remain emotionally bonded—he tattoos a daisy on his wrist and she gets one of a fish on her hip. However they struggle with sexual issues and a pervasive anxiety that comes whenever they are in bed together. Daisy overcomes her injuries and returns to the stage, but she is severely traumatized and depressed and ends up foolishly sleeping with David. Erik discovers them together and abruptly leaves school—leaves Daisy, Will, everything—running from his past and never looking back.
The story then follows just Erik through his adulthood as he comes to grips with the demons of his youth, the effects of the shooting on his psyche, and the ungrieved grief and unfinished business of leaving Daisy. After a failed marriage and learning of the death of David Alto, Erik returns to Lancaster and realizes that while Daisy hurt him, he hurt her just as badly by completely cutting her off. He decides to turn around open the door of his heart and call her, seeking both to forgive and be forgiven.