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Cover designers are the unsung heroes in the world of books! Some publishers say a good cover is up to 50% of sales – yet who notices the name of the artist who creates the cover. Tradition puts the name in small print and, most times, it hardly registers for readers. But it should!

Elena Betti, cover artist
introducing Elena Betti

Here’s the very very talented artist whose work you see – and admire! – on the cover of Ferren and the Angel. And with luck she’ll be doing the covers for the rest of the trilogy too. She’s Italian, and her name – I’ll put it in capitals – is ELENA BETTI!

Gerry Huntman of IFWG knew her work and hoped to secure her services for the Ferren Trilogy. When I saw her portfolio, I had my fingers crossed too! The moment she said yes, we knew we were on a winner!

It was my job as author to offer suggestions – which publishers always ask for and usually ignore. But Gerry liked one of several suggestions, and proposed it to Elena, who felt it had potential for artistic inspiration. It’s really the central bit of visual drama in the book: the angel Miriael tumbling from the sky, shot down in the opening chapters.

So far so good! But capturing a falling body is hard enough – capturing a falling angel with outspread wings (but not so widely spread that they go right off the cover), that’s harder again. Miriael had to look spreadeagled and sprawling, but still with the grace of an angel. Elena came up with the following depiction. (I don’t know whether she had to go through hundreds of attempts, or struck it right first time – secret artist’s business!)

Angel falling artist's draft
Towards the angel falling, and a possible face
Angel's new face

A great start – but Elena wasn’t happy with the face. Way too cheerful for an angel shot down from the sky! So she worked on creating a different face. Here it is —–>

Next stage was to give the angel wings and set up the look of the full cover, with fancy lettering for captions (love that lettering! love the wings! And see how that supernatural light is now lighting up the angel, as if with a sort of interior radiance!)

Black and white draft of full book cover
Draft of book cover in B&W

Now for the finishing touch! One thing you’ll see if you browse Elena’s portfolio is that she does great spectral light effects. And Miriael not only has an aura that surround her body and wings, she’s also plunging earthwards in a trail of fire. So Elena went to work with her special magic, and produced a truly spectacular cover. (Note how the lettering’s become even better too!)

The final Ferren and the Angel cover

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