Marianne Morea's Blog - Posts Tagged "halloween"

Why Book Covers are so Important

I never really understood exactly how important or how powerful a book’s cover can be until this past Saturday. I was a featured author at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for one of their annual autumn weekend tour events. I know that sounds completely creep—a book signing and excerpt reading in the cemetery. Yuck. But you have to understand, it’s October and it’s Halloween season, and it’s the real village of Sleepy Hollow—as in The Legend of—so it actually makes sense. Especially since the book signing was right outside the Old Dutch Church and burial ground where famous people such as Katrina Van Tassell and Washington Irving are buried.

There were hundreds of people that came through the cemetery for tours and seasonal interest, and many of them flocked to my table. Why? Because my gorgeous book cover was blown up on a huge vertical hanging banner with the tagline, “Something evil this way comes, but it’s not who you think.” …and “Two hundred years of lies and horror are coming to an end...”

The book cover was like a magnet drawing people from all over, especially the teens. They wanted to know what the story was about. They were intrigued by the history behind the story line and how it related to where they were at that very moment—in the cemetery, right next to the people mentioned in the book. It was amazing and thrilling, and right then and there I realized having the right artist, who can capture the correct feel of the book and convey the basis of the story in a single picture, is worth everything. All the work an author puts into their story in terms of writing, research and editing will fall completely short if no one picks up the book to read. Your cover is your calling card as much as what you have to say about the story, and first impressions mean everything, so why not get it right from the beginning?

What you might not know is that the current cover for Hollow’s End is actually a redesign. When I weighed the first cover against some of the New York Times best-selling books on the market, I realized the original fell short. It was too busy, so I hired a different artist to take a crack at it. It was by far the best money I ever spent next to what I paid my editor. Professionalism and marketability is key, in editing as well as in the book’s presentation. A great cover and back cover blurb will draw the reader in; good writing and editing will make them your fan forever.
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Published on November 05, 2013 16:31 Tags: book-covers, cover-art, cover-design, halloween, inspiration, sleepy-hollow

History and Fiction...Inspiration and Modernization

People always ask me about the inspiration for my stories, and I always answer that it comes from everyday life, from the people I meet and the places I go. My books to date have been mostly Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. I love the idea of a ‘what if’ world. A world of magic and of things that go beyond what we can see and comprehend. I also love to laugh. Humor to me is the most powerful aphrodisiac around. I love to find humor in almost everything, even when life gets heavy. It’s the reason I try to make my readers laugh, even when my stories get dark.

With Hollow’s End the inspiration was a bit different. I still love the whole idea of ‘what if’, but in this case the question of what if came after the actual historic fact. The inspiration for Hollow’s End came from the story of Cornelius and Elizabeth Van Tassell. Cornelius was an American patriot fighting against the British during the Revolutionary War. At that time in 1777, tensions were high, and the American forces were starting to become a thorn in then Governor Tryon’s side. He gave the order to “Burn the Tarrytowns” and that included the hamlet of Sleepy Hollow. The Van Tassell home and lands were on the list to be burned, and Cornelius captured as a prisoner of war. On the night of November 17, 1777, one of the coldest of the year, the burning occurred at the hands of a hessian commander by the name of Andreas Emmerich. He was so vicious in his command, that he burned the house with the Van Tassell’s two year old daughter, Leah, still inside. As Elizabeth Van Tassel cried for her daughter, her husband Cornelius was dragged away as a prisoner of war tied to the back of one of his cattle. BUT, a soldier in Emmerich’s command, also a hessian, broke rank and rescued the child, reuniting her with her mother and bringing the two to safety in a root cellar to await help. Town legend then takes the story further, that when this same soldier was later killed, decapitated in a skirmish, the Van Tassells had him buried in a clandestine Christian burial and interred in an unmarked grave in the Old Dutch Burial ground. It was to repay kindness with kindness, but with the soldier being a mercenary on the side of the British, they couldn’t bury him outright in a patriot strong hold such as the Old Dutch Church.

THAT, my readers and friends, is the inspiration for Hollow’s End. A wronged spirit in the graveyard, dishonored for centuries as being a harbinger of horror as the headless horseman…
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