IT'S HERE! “Angel with a Shotgun” Zima-style. =]
I hadn’t the faintest idea for a cover when I began writing Angels in the Mist all those years ago. Fast-forward to today, and the first thing I do before writing a single word of a new manuscript is use Google Images and my meager Photoshop skills to design a cover. It gives me something to focus on, even if it’s not pretty or permanent.
Zima: Origins was the exception. I scrolled through thousands of images before this one jumped out at me. The dirty angel wings, disheveled hair, alley backdrop, and, of course, the mist… it was a metaphor for Zima in her early days on so many levels that I immediately snatched it up and made a cover.
What I didn’t expect was for the publisher to love it as much as I did. As the cover deadline neared, we agreed it was worth contacting the artist to see if they would be willing to license it. “Richard Desmarais” was the watermark, and it didn’t take long to track him down. Richard responded quickly and said he’d be delighted to work with me, and would even customize it if I wished. The icing on the cake: it was all within my art budget. I was ecstatic.
There was only one, small problem: The image was several years old, and Richard couldn’t find the original files, which were somewhere on his myriad hard drives containing his other (amazing) artwork. He said a file name would help and asked if I could tell him where I’d found it.
By then, of course, I’d completely lost the original link. I sifted through hundreds of search result pages with absolutely no luck, until I discovered a cool Google feature: the ability to search by image. A quick upload took me right to the original site.
With the file name in hand, Richard was able to get to work. The angel in the original image didn’t have pistols, which he fixed in short order. From there, it took the designer just a few passes to fit it with the series design, and voila!
A shout out, too, for Niki Lenhart's talented design skills. Thanks, Niki!
You can see more of Richard Desmarais’ incredible work here: https://lenzscape1.myportfolio.com/