Book trends change over time obviously. We are going through an explosion of all things paranormal right now. Not only do trends change over time but covers change also. Another of my favourite authors - Marcus Segdwick - is having his whole backlist updated with more commercial covers. He is published by Orion.
So what was in vogue ten years ago is pretty outdated now. Thus, I thought I should run a contest for you guys to design a new cover for Song Quest. I have of course checked that this is ok with Katherine and she thought it was a great idea and even agreed to choose the winning design. Hopefully, this will give potential publishers ideas for a fresh new look for the series and encourage them to reprint them with a whole new audience in mind (i.e. my students).
Now I know that there will be very few entrants who will have read the book so I will add the blurb and Katherine's background to the series below to give you a flavour for the cover. You can also read my review which might generate some ideas. If you want any more details added, you can leave me a comment and I will do my best.
When a ship is wrecked on the Isle of Echoes, novice Singer Rialle hears the cries of the fish-tailed merlee, who are being hunted by the mainlanders. She is sent with a Singer delegation across the sea to the Karch, where she discovers her rival, the runaway Kherron, has been tricked by the Khizpriest into helping the enemy. Only by working together can the two young Singers rescue the merlee and return to the Echorium to break the power of the dark crystal.
The Echorium SequenceGood luck everyone and please just shout if you need anything else to inspire your design!
Long ago, before human history began, the world was inhabited by beautiful creatures - half human, half animal - who knew the secret of using the ancient power of Song to control their environment. These Half Creatures lived in harmony with their human neighbours.
But the humans, impatient for progress, began to turn their back on the old ways. they made tools and built great towns and cities, ships to sail the seas, and wheels to travel the land. They made war on one another, destroying the very things they ahd built. The Half Creatures fled to the remote regions of the world - deep into forests, to the bottom of lakes, and far beneath the waves - taking their secrets with them.
Not all humans forgot the old Songs. Those who saw how destructive their way of life had become set out across the sea to find a haven. On an island of enchanted blue-stone, they built a school and taught their children the five ancient Songs of Power: Challa for healing, Kashe for laughter, Shi for sadness, Aushan for discipline, and Yehn for death.
News of the enchanted isle where people were healed by the power of Song quickly spead to the furthest corners of the world. The island became known as the Isle of Echoes, the school become the Echorium, and the people who lived there became the Singers.
The Singers made it their mission to restore harmony to the world. They dyed their hair blue to enchance the power of their Songs and added diplomatic skills to their lessons. Any youngster who voice could not manage the Songs was trained in self defence so they could help protect the Echorium. Singers negotitated treaties with the world's leaders and ensured these treaties were kept. When necessary, they sailed to the mainland to stop wars and put an end to cruelty. Their children were able to speak with the Half Creatures and became friends with them. But as the fame and influence of the Singers grew, so did their human enemies.
Welcome to the world of the Singers!
© Katherine Roberts 1999
P.S. Please link this contest everywhere you can possibly think of! Tweets, links, posts: all very much appreciated.