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  • Writer's pictureSteve Brown

Upcoming Book series...Rough cover concepts

Well i have been super busy with various book projects, one of which i am super excited about and am loving illustrating.

It is a series of 4 books written by Tom Easton and published by Hachette.

The first book, Hotel of the Gods : Beware the Hellhound is published on February 2nd 2023, shortly followed by book 2 : Vikings on Vacation which is due to be published on July 6th 2023.

Check in to Hotel of the Gods - where the gods and goddesses of world mythology go on holiday! A hilarious new series perfect for fans of Pamela Butchart and David Solomons.

Synopsis When Atlas's parents get new jobs running a luxurious hotel he can't believe his luck. It sounds almost too good to be true . . . It is. The hotel has very unusual residents - ancient gods and goddesses, forgotten by humans who now worship TikTok celebrities. There's a Chinese water dragon living in the swimming pool, a Viking god throwing his magical hammer in the garden, and an Aztec god who thinks Atlas is a human sacrifice! When Atlas ventures into the basement, where the Greek god Hades lives, he accidentally unleashes a closet-full of mythical monsters - including a three-headed Hellhound! Can he get the monsters back into the basement before his parents lose their jobs?

It is such a fun and funny book, and i get to redesign Huge amounts of mythical creatures and gods, like Thor, Loki, Maui and sooooo many more.

i thought io would share some of the rough Cover design ideas we came up with, before finally reaching something that worked and can be used as a series cover that's recognisable.

The cover of a book and especially a series is very important to get just right.

In my opinion it needs to be not too simple but not too detailed and busy, also something that is recognisable at quick glance.

I did lots of quick sketches first, some of which are here, i worked a few of them up to be a bit more than a scribble, some i didn't.

This first image is what i submitted to Hachette as a sample piece. They asked me to do a sample image and gave me a small passage from the book and asked me to create a half page illustration from that.

Once i was Given the job, i got the cover brief (which changed a few times) it just wasn't working and we started from scratch in the end and finally created the cover that we have now.

This was my first scribbly cover idea..

This idea followed on from the passage of the story i did my sample from..

We then simplified it more and tried the entrance to the hotel, so you were entering the hotel and book... (this was not my fav idea)

I then tried another from inside Hades basement...

Obviously leaving lots of space for titles and text etc..

Then we went back to trying the Hotel entrance again, i wasn't keen on this approach, but you need to work on it to see if it works... i just couldn't get it to work enough i don't think, it just didn't "POP" and have that impact i felt it needed.

we tried a couple of variations with the Hellhound bursting through the doors, both are below...

... after this we scrapped this idea thankfully and started from scratch... and i feel this was the best choice. we wanted something that can be used and identified as a series cover, but that can be altered and changed to suit the various titles and themes of the upcoming books.. i have started roughing out the cover for Book 2 and i think this way it will work well.

This is the cover we finished with.

I'm pleased with it.. shame my name isn't on the cover as the illustrator, its a shame that some books, especially fiction chapter books don't put the illustrators name on the cover.

I know Illustrators aunt particularly happy with this as we all work extremely hard on these books and i hope in the future this changes to give us the recognition we deserve for our hard work. Picture books are a little different and Illustrators tend to have their names on the cover and get equal praise and recognition as the author which is lovely.

I can't share the inside images as yet, but here is a few character designs for one of the characters, Hades, even though in the final book he is still looking quite different to all of these images.

Thanks for reading, you can pre order the book at all good book sites and will see it in all good bookshops from February, go and buy it and? borrow from the library its a GREAT story and series, not just because I've illustrated it.

Also check out Tom Eastons Website for his other books.

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