The 6th book in my Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Four Puddings and a Funeral, is releasing at the end of this month and I’m really excited to share the cover with you, plus show you how it was created!
As some of you may know, I design my own covers and it is one of my favourite parts of the process (aside from writing the story). I’ve always done a lot of “art” ever since I was a child – like painting, drawing, sculpture, etc – so when I discovered Photoshop, it was like finding a wonderful new toy!
I’m completely self-taught (it’s amazing what you can learn on Youtube! 😉 ) and I found that I really enjoyed cover design – it came very naturally to me. My early books (the children’s mystery series) had covers created by a professional cover designer but I do all my own covers now… In fact, I’ve got so many ideas for covers that I can’t write the books fast enough – haha! 😉
The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries covers can be quite complex as there are so many components. They are not drawn from scratch but created by combining several pieces of vector graphics together (oh, except the cat – I did hand-paint part of that) and often, the hardest part is finding the images that look “right” together (as you’ll see in the video below, there is a lot of trial and error!) plus having all the colours harmonise, and the finished cover not look too “busy” with clashing colours.
Anyway, so rather than doing a traditional cover reveal, I thought you might enjoy a little “Behind-the-Scenes” sneak peek at the making of the new cover. The whole process took me about 2 days but I’ve condensed it & speeded it up into a 5 min “highlights” video for those interested in watching the process.
But first… here’s the finished product! What do you think?
You’ll notice that Muesli has a little friend – yup, Four Puddings and a Funeral will feature a prickly guest star… a hedgehog! 🙂
When I first got the plot idea, I was worried that American readers might not be familiar with hedgehogs as I know they’re not native to the U.S. but my fans on Facebook assured me that hedgehogs were well-known and in fact, popular pets in the States (although it’s the the African pygmy variety, not the bigger European hedgehog found in Britain).
So the next question became: what should I name him? I had an idea but I wasn’t sure about it so – once again! – I asked my Facebook fans what they thought. It turned into a fun discussion with many great ideas for names. Lots of people liked my original idea, though, so I think I will stick with it. 🙂
(Here’s the post from my H. Y. Hanna Author Fan Page – for those who might have missed it and wanted to see the discussion!)
And – finally! – here is the video showing you how the magic happens…
I hope you enjoyed that!
The book will be going to my editor early next week and everything is hopefully on track for release in the last week of March.
Make sure you’re signed up to my Readers’ Club Newsletter so you’ll be notified when it’s available (as well as get updates about exclusive giveaways, special offers and other book news!) You can sign up here: http://www.hyhanna.com/newsletter
(… and then after that, I’ll be diving straight into the next book of the BEWITCHED BY CHOCOLATE Mysteries – Book 3, which will probably be releasing end April / early May)