Monday, February 17, 2014

Behind the Cover of Faery Marked

Thank you so much to all who hosted me for the 'Oh, What an Knight!' blog tour the last three weeks. And thanks to all of you who stopped by and left comments, and of course entered the raffle to win copies of the series. 

And the lucky winner of Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, and Different Kind of Knight is: LINDA TOWNSEND.
Congrats, Linda! Just e-mail me at mewaibel(at)gmail(dot)com by Friday, 2/21 with what version you'd like to receive.

And now, for some more exciting things!

Today, I am thrilled to share with you the first of three posts with Anita B. Carroll of, the cover artist for my upcoming release, FAERY MARKED,  the first in a YA Paranormal trilogy releasing this summer from BookFish Books.

Today, we'll talk about what went into the making of this amazing cover, then over the next two days, Anita will talk to us about how she got involved in cover design, and share some of her work with us.

Here's the book blurb, to give you a bit of background:

When Callie Rycroft wakes to purple flames on the ceiling, she discovers that not only does the Faery realm exist, but she is the human who must save it. Chosen as Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is tasked with finding the Cordial, a magical elixir to strengthen the portal between the Human and Faery realms.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is assigned as her Guardian. Callie hopes by spending time together, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but another Champion and Guardian-a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk all, even Reece, to complete her task as Champion, or will she let the portal fall, destroying both realms?

Now, a warm welcome for Anita!

MW: Thanks for coming by today to visit.

AC: You are very welcome. I'm so excited to be here.

MW: And I'm excited for you to be here and share what went into the making of the cover for Faery Marked. When you started working on this cover, what was your thought process? What did you want the cover to show and how did you go about making that happen?

AC: Once I received the information from you and the rest of the publishing team with answers to my cover questionnaire, I felt that I had a good understanding of what your vision was. However, I still wanted to read the book so I also could get a good feeling about how the story is told and what it is about.

I find that reading the book really helps me capture essence of the message and visualize a concept that has the right focus. I almost feel as I am designing in the blind if I have not read the story. That’s perhaps where my experience as a brand and identity designer comes into play, I have to really understand the product that I am designing for.
Reading Faery Marked was a real treat. I enjoy reading stories told in first person, and since the main character Callie, a high school student, being a human unexpectedly gifted with the magic of faery powers, I knew I somehow wanted the cover to display both realms.

The book title is very fitting, and since being a faery marked proves not to be as magical as Callie initially thought, I also wanted to incorporate Callie’s vulnerability and hurt. Overall I used the next few days thinking about the story and began analyzing what feelings I was left with, and began going over my notes from you.

Prior to reading the story, we had discussed cover concept ideas and we were thinking of only featuring Callie’s tattooed silver wings. However, after reading it I felt it was important to place the focus on Callie. So I began searching for photography that would feature Callie, but in such a way that her features were still left up for imagination, as well as a way for me to incorporate the tattoo on her wrist.
Kelsey Keeton’s of K Keeton Designs photography ( —BEFORE  

Once I found her, I was excited to present my new concept and was
so thrilled that you and your team also liked the new direction. I
began designing once I got the approval from you to move forward
with the new concept.

Sometimes I am often left with specific color schemes in my mind
and navy blue, purple and silver were very prominent for this story,
so a starry night vibe felt very fitting.

I incorporated the purple swirls as a way to represent the purple
flames in Callie’s bedroom ceiling, the tear to display her emotional
journey, and since in the story winter solstice is an important date, I
knew I wanted to try and find a way to incorporate this as well,
which is why I used the snowflakes.

Usually, when I begin designing I have a pretty good idea of what I
want to create, but I never know for sure if it’s right, so it is not
uncommon to design several mock ups before I hack it. With Faery
Marked it felt right from the start, so I knew we had a good concept

AFTER – Cover Design by Anita B. Carroll of (

AFTER – Cover Design by Anita B. Carroll of (

MW: I think you did an awesome job. I love all the little details you
captured without being too busy. Thanks so much, Anita!

You can easily connect with Anita:
Twitter (@RacePointUS).

Anita enjoys connecting with self-published authors of any genre,

so please feel free to contact her directly at:
with any cover design questions and needs.

Learn more about Anita:
2013 YATR Literary Awards Nominee
for Best Cover Designer & Cover Design and Kobo Writing Life
Featured Cover Design Specialist

Anita B. Carroll is a visual design consultant
and owner of, supporting
self-published authors and publishing
houses with all their business brand identity
design needs, and offers a FRESH take on
book cover design.

Anita has over 17 years of experience within
the visual design field, starting out
managing creative initiatives for both online 
and print publications, for Fortune 500 
Businesses in Silicon Valley, California. Experience applying brand visual design and content
guidelines consistently across several products. 

Anita is specialized in Heuristic Evaluation, Web User Interface Design with focus on online
usabilitytesting, a valuable skill when designing book covers for the rapidly growing digital
market. Anita is also an avid reader. Discovering book cover design has provided the 
opportunity to combine her works in photography and graphic design skills.

Anita’s work has been featured in the KOBO Writing Life,, Anneli’s Place,
Monadnock Living Magazine, Amherst Citizen, The Milford Cabinet, and The Union Leader.

Over the past 17 years, Anita has gained experience in both the United States and Norway, and
is currently working out of her home studio in New England—US, where she works with clients
from around the world.

Anita is also an avid photographer and a Lampwork Glass Artist, and her works have been
displayed at various galleries in New England throughout the years.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling and exploring what Mother Nature has to offer with her
family. … You might spot her at one of the U. S. Cape beaches, biking the National Sea Shore
trails, photographing the gorgeous coastline, as well as capturing beautiful moments through
beach portrait photography.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to learn how
Anita got started designing book covers.


  1. Mary, that's a gorgeous cover, and I love hearing the story behind it. I find it fascinating to hear how book designers come up with their concepts, find a photo or image, and make it their own!

    1. Thanks so much, Dianne. I'm always fascinated by the way cover artists work, too. Like authors, they each have their own ways of achieving stunning results.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love the cover, Mary and Anita! I think it's perfect for the story. I'm so excited for this to come out. Seriously, I read it and it's awesome! :)

    1. Thanks so much, Katie!

      I think Anita made a perfect cover for the story. Glad you agree!

    2. Thank you Katie!!! ... and I 100% agree, FAERY MARKED is such a good read! It's been such an honor to work with you Mary, thank you for trusting me to design the cover for it.

    3. Thank you for designing such a gorgeous representation of my story.

      As we'll see in one of the next parts of your interview, a cover can make or break a book. And I totally think this makes it!

    4. The pleasure was ALL mine! :-) Yes, it is quite interesting to discover just what an impact a cover design can have on the book sales. As a designer, I know people would expect to hear this from me, but the numbers says it all. :-)

  3. This cover is SO beautiful! And I loved reading what went into it. Cover Art is so fascinating, and I love that Anita is invested in it to the point she even reads the book :)

    1. Thanks, Meradeth!

      I love how Anita's process is set up to read the book to get the feel of the story so the cover fits just right.

    2. Thank you so much Meradeth - I really appreciate you nice comment :-)

  4. I'm so impressed, Anita, that you take the time to read the stories. It really shows with how well connected this BEAUTIFUL cover is to the story. Congrats, Mary.

    1. Thank, Kai!

      I knew you'd see the connections from the cover to the story. I'm glad Anita works this was, as my original thought didn't fit anywhere near as well as this does!

    2. Aww thank you Kai! I don't think I could design a cover without reading the story first. I get inspired when I am emotionally invested in the story and it really helps guide me in the right direction. I love designing covers and would not have it any other way :-)

  5. This is absolutely stunning cover. I agree in that it is the tiny details that add so much. Great job...... cannot wait to read Faery Marked!


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