Vow Of Vengeance was a real happy accident of timing. The book is about a modern-day pirate who is descended from Blackbeard, who goes on a rampage that takes him to all of Blackbeard's old haunts. When I was approached about the project late in 2002, I was only a couple of weeks away from a vacation to Ocracoke Island, one of North Carolina's Outer Banks and a major setting in the novel.
The author wanted the cover to depict the major scene at the end of the book, where the pirate attacks a hotel near Hampton Virginia- a hotel that really exists. Again, suitable photos of the hotel were not available, certainly none that were taken from the water at night, but this time a trip to do location photos wasn't in the budget. I used a local resort as a stand-in, digitally doubling it in size so it wouldn't be so recognizable. The speedboat (which in reality was only a pleasure boat about half the length I show it to be) and the water were photographed on my vacation. The underwater flag of Blackbeard was entirely computer-generated. This is the first book cover I did where none of the elements used in the design are real, unmanipulated photos.
Once more I went for the cinematic look with the typography, and for this one I went back to the technique of custom-modifying and distorting the font that I had used for the Soundscape CD song titles- which you'll see soon.
Next: On My Father's Grave