The Art of the Cover: the Brilliance of Artist Meka Newman Price

When a novelist or non-fiction author sets about writing a book, the cover art is so far from being a reality most of us don't even think about it until about five minutes before it's time to publish the manuscript. As a traditionally published non-fiction author, I didn't have to give my travel book cover a second thought. My publisher did all of the work and I was thrilled with the result.

When I wrote FLIGHT, it was an entirely different situation. After all, I had lived in the heads of three central characters and a dozen others for nearly four years. I had very specific ideas as to each character's appearance and since the book is about a travel writer, the mood of the landscape was important. I looked at hundreds of covers and none spoke to me like the image I had in mind but found hard to illustrate.

The challenge with this train of thought is getting the images from the brain to a workable cover design. A graphic designer is the logical place to start on your cover design journey, but I was fortunate to find an incredible artist to help me articulate my vision.

Enter fine art painter, portraiture artist and graphic designer Meka Newman Price. This model-esque, kind soul who captures images in painstaking detail, understood what I wanted right away, despite my challenges in sharing my thoughts. Meka instinctively knew the cover should be based not on my own esoteric desires, but on the characters and their experiences. She got that FLIGHT is Kate Carrington, Alec and Terrance's journey, all of the other characters and places they inhabit.

We went through several drafts and changes as I struggled to interpret Kate's wishes. Each time Meka kept raising the bar. She graciously allowed me to share the stages with my readers so they could be part of the creative process. Plus, because I shoot many of my own travel photos, I was keen on using one of my favorite creepy images. I took the ghostly woods photo on the bottom of the cover on my beloved Pilot Mountain, which mimics the ominous closing scene. The way Meka wove that image into the cover along with the plane, flight schedule and Kate herself, helps tell the story before the reader ever opens the book. I'll never forget the first time my longest and closet friend (who has had to hear plot changes a million times) saw Meka's cover design: she almost burst into tears seeing how well the cover illustrates the tale.

I would highly recommend Meka to fellow authors -- but the word 'recommend' pales in comparison to the skills she possesses, or how wonderful she is as a collaborator and artistic visionary in any literary partnership.

Meka's website is:

FLIGHT Cover Design by Meka Newman Price "Everything Meka Price creates is a work of art. Intuitive and thoughtful, she has a unique ability to interpret the author's concept and bring that vision to life brilliantly." -- Kelly Merritt

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