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Coming Soon: PsyCop 7
Victor Bayne has been avoiding the exorcism he owes the FPMP.
Now it’s time to pay up.
It’s finally here: the day I can announce that PsyCop 7—Spook Squad—will be released August 30. You’ll be able to purchase the ebook at JCP Books, Amazon and B&N in time for the US holiday weekend. If the paperback’s not on the shelf by then, it will follow within a week or two.
I’m especially tickled to unveil the cover art. Over the backdrop of North Loop Chicago skyscrapers on the river, Vic is flanked by Jacob on the right, and FPMP Agent Jack Bly on the left. The ebook’s cover typography features the new lettering that will pull the series together, while the paperback typography will have its own distinctive look.
I’m no fan of m/m cover art, which seems to feature a lot of naked headless bodybuilder torsos, or their disembodied heads floating over skylines. Looking at mainstream thrillers for cover art inspiration is not particularly inspiring, either. Most thrillers feature the name of the title and author in very tall lettering, set over a wisp of a scene that could be basically anything.
Since working on the Turbulence series I’ve grown more interested in having my book covers look like movie posters. As PsyCop 7 evolved and changed titles, I had several “looks” sketched out for it. For instance, during the month I had the working title White Noise, I was going to use a 007 Skyfall poster as my inspiration. Then I realized the theme of white noise wasn’t the main theme, and it was back to the drawing board.
The final Spook Squad cover isn’t inspired by a particular set of posters, but I did borrow the convention of a “chevron formation” of minor characters behind the protagonist (which I also did on the Turbulence Collection cover).
For building realistic depth of field, I looked to Sherlock Holmes posters. According to the rule of atmospheric perspective, the farther an object is from the foreground, the lighter in color it appears. Studying the posters, I realized that making the background colors more monochromatic and less contrasty was a great way to convey the feel of distance, too.
Now that my biggest project of the year is wrapping up, maybe I can take time to go see some actual movies!
Vic and Jacob's loft was inspired by a Modernist sculptor's studio I visited around 1989 or so. The artist was a very cool lady and the sense of space stuck with me viscerally. I was just thinking about her studio and I remembered the way she said, "It used to be a pickle factory!" And then her name popped into my head. (Seriously, I haven't been able to remember her name for 25 years...it's so funny how the brain works.)
Because my brain offered up Ruth Duckworth, I'm able to share links to her work! She passed away a few years ago at the age of 90. I feel privileged to have met her, and that experience continues to inspire me and shape my perceptions of what it means to make art and be an artist.
I found this site that explores Duckworth's gorgeous studio when she put it up for sale in 2009 and speculates on whether it would be (gasp) divided into condos. Yikes. I hope a Jacob type bought it and left it as-is. The video is stunning. Jacob and Vic's cannery wouldn't be this light and airy, it's more industrial.