Eric Orchard’s cover art for my nonfiction collection, Monstrous Creatures from Raw Dog/Guide Dog Books. The book will be about 75,000 words, culled from the last five years of nonfiction. Which means rooting around through over 250,000 words of material that might be worthy. I want this book to be airtight.
The idea behind the cover is not just to illustrate the title but to mirror my fiction collection, The Third Bear, coming out next year as well. Monstrous Creatures will include “The Third Bear” essay that in part inspired the short story included in the collection. The cover of The Third Bear will be another monstrous creature, but ferocious/realistic rather than somewhat sympathetic/stylized–just as Secret Life and Why Should I Cut Your Throat shared some characteristics, via the story notes in Secret Life. There, the secondary purpose of both was to lay bare the experiences of a writer from early in his career. Here, the point is to create two books that first off work as finely shaped, carefully compiled collections with no fat on them, from a writer in mid-career (or late, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow). And I’m not doing story notes for the collection and I’m not including convention reports in the nonfiction book.
Eric has posted his initial sketch for the cover here.