NERVE: a cover conversation

Is that an intense cover, or what?

I sat down with Tony Sahara, the artist who designed the cover for NERVE to see if I could figure out how he captured the energy and dynamism of Jeanne Ryan’s debut in a single image.

MC: Hi Tony, and welcome to Emu’s Debuts! First, I have to say, the cover is stunning. Were there any key scenes in the book that helped you form this image?

TS: Thank you for your kind comment! The cover art is not based on specific scenes literally. The events in the story occur in cyber space, and urban settings; the characters use gadgets which contain computer chips, etc. Things in the art may look like these things, but I tried to transform them into abstract elements that related to the drama and the essence of the story.  

MC: I love all those overlapping lines–they make for a really dynamic image, full of tension and suspense and danger. What’s your favorite part?

TS: My favorite part is the wavy lines. They give it a disorienting feel. I’m happy with how the whole thing came out. this cover could have ended up looking too horror or too Sci-fi. We spent a lot of time tweaking the art to avoid having a misleading look.

MC: I definitely think this cover is going to stand out on the bookshelf. How did you decide on a monchromatic color scheme?

TS: We were basically going for an edgy and sophisticated look. In fact, the art was very monochromatic at one point. We thought about printing the art in black, using silver ink for the white areas. But we decided to use brighter colors for the sake of commercial appeal. We tried various tints such as red, yellow, green, and then agreed on blue.

MC: Very edgy, and very sophisticated, indeed! Can you tell us a little about how you got the model in the photograph to look so alive?

TS: There was no photo shoot, and the girl in the art is not from one photo. I created her using several stock photos. The background is also made of more than a dozen photos. Then I manipulated them and put them together to create the final cover art.

Thanks, Tony, and congratulations, Jeanne on a fantastic cover and a thrilling debut!



Filed under Book Promotion, cover art

6 responses to “NERVE: a cover conversation

  1. So that’s how it was done! I’m thrilled with how it turned out! Thanks, Tony and Melanie!


  2. The girl was “created” using several stock photos?! Suddenly I’m getting a real Henry Franks vibe on this one… 🙂

    Great interview, Melanie, and thanks for all the inside information, Tony! I agree that it’s pretty much a perfect fit for the book.


  3. Mike Jung

    I’m knocked out by this cover, and it’s fascinating to get a glimpse into the design process behind it!


  4. Fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this fabulous cover. Thanks, Tony and Melanie!


  5. L.B. Schulman

    Wow, he put a lot of thinking into that cover. It’s sophisticated but creepy. I think it fits the book perfectly!


  6. This is a facinating process. The cover is perfect for the book~Well done! COngrat’s, Jeanne on hitting the “cover lottery” 🙂


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