Of all the covers on the Psychic Eye Mystery series, I think the cover for A Panicked Premonition is my absolute favorite. I’m so in love with the scene that it captures; from Abby’s alarmed posture, to that glorious bloody handprint which evokes such wonderful tension, to the Architectural Digest –worthy house in the background.
Typically, an author gets very little say in what imagery goes on our covers, but we are often allowed to make suggestions, and for this cover I’m very proud that what I envisioned and suggested to the awesome art department at Penguin was not only listened to and put to use, but also taken to such an aesthetically interesting level. (And yes, I had to FIGHT for that bloody handprint!) J
The fabulous thing here is that the cover also highlights a theme that really, until this book, I’m not sure I was completely consciously aware of, and that is the integral role architecture plays in my novels. It’s probably a natural condition of being in love with an architect—my S.O.—who’s also the inspiration for Dutch, by the way. Brian—my hunka gorgeous man—is such an interesting character in his own right and his love of architecture and art is such an interesting and wonderful thing to be exposed to. Early on in our relationship I started to see how architecture is really so much more than an expression of something abstract; it’s actually an expression of our personas –who we are is distinctly reflected in where we live and even where we work.
And I think it’s this concept that crept into my creative psyche and began to majorly influence the scenes in the stories that I write. Giving a description of the locations and homes that Abby and her gang visit or spend time in became an interaction every bit as revealing as her interviews with suspects and witnesses. And in A Panicked Premonition I definitely turned up the volume on this theme.
The house in the background on the cover is the setting for a violent crime, (duh, hello bloody handprint!) and Abby’s intuition suggests the structure itself has actually absorbed a lot of the energy of that violence, which plays counter to what we’re visually seeing in the image of the house in my description—and the cover. When I was writing the novel I liked that juxtaposition so much that I used it in several more places throughout the story, and if you’re very clever and looking carefully you’ll be able to find the clues hidden in the homes and buildings that Abby and Candice visit as they work their way through the mystery.
I think of this novel as a bit of a treasure hunt that way, and it’s added a no small measure of extra excitement for the release of A Panicked Premonition. Giving my fans and readers something extra to think about as they follow along is something that gives me a squidgy little thrill. In any event, I so hope you enjoy this one. I loooooved writing it, like, I actually had a blast parceling out the somewhat complicated plot, putting in a lot of twists, turns, and crazy characters just to keep you all guessing! I’m thrilled that it’ll be released this 4th of July too—just in time to take a nice break from the rat race and dive into something fun and intriguing. May your holiday week be glorious, and may you all enjoy my latest and greatest!