Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sun Singer by Malcolm Campbell

Did you design the cover?
I suggested a man standing on a mountain top with his hands raised upward to the sun. The title of the book comes from the name of a famous statue at Allerton Park at Monticello, Illinois. The statue of Apollo there, called “The Sun Singer,” has his hands upraised as though saluting or singing to the sun. My cover idea was four-color; the publisher improved on this (and also saved money) by coming up with this duotone.

Did your publisher design the cover?
The publisher’s artist drew the actual cover and thought of the colour scheme.

Did you get to give any input about the cover design?
My input came in the form of a one-paragraph suggestion when I submitted the book. Once I saw a proof, all I needed to do was to ask for a few changes in the way the type was placed.

Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details.
I saw the statuary at Allerton Park when I was very young—in grade school, I think. It had a haunting impact on me partly because of its scope and setting and partly because of the violent thunder storm that occurred when the family was leaving the park. The statue of Apollo, while not frightening (like all the Fu Dogs), had the greatest impact, probably because as a child the concept of singing to the sun was at once very strange and very bold. I wanted the cover to capture, not Apollo, but the feeling a climber gets when he reaches the summit and stands there in the sunlight looking at the world below.

Who is the cover artist?
The publisher doesn’t disclose this information.

Are you happy with the cover?
Very happy.

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover.
The sun is almost blinding.

Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share.
The primary action of the book is set in Glacier National Park, Montana, though—since the book is a fantasy—I don’t mention many real place names in the story. While the cover art is a generic mountain, my intent was that the cover give one the feeling of being on top of the world. Glacier National Park is variously described as “the backbone of the world” and “the crown of the continent.” I wanted to celebrate that.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?


Anonymous said...

Thank you Malcolm for your comment on "Ladies of Class". I love your cover for Sun Singer and certainly will check out your book. It sounds interesting. Just of interest... are you of English decent? You spell labour the British way! Dee

Sun Singer said...

The "Ladies of Class" cover has the ambiance one might associate with the word "class," so it works in multiple ways.

Thanks for your kind words about "The Sun Singer" cover.

Of Scots descent, way back, but when I was in school, many spellings no longer around today were in vogue, and that included spelling "labour" with a "u" in it. The dictionary I had in those years is still around, and it lists "today" as "to-day" and "Halloween" as "Hallowe'en."

Times change faster than I do.


Sun Singer said...


In my spelling comment, I meant to day "spellings no longer around today in the States..."


Mike said...

the cover seems to fit so well with your mind's eye image, and fits so well with the story in between the cover as well. I like the duo tone and the blinding sun. great effect. thanks for sharing all the interesting info w/ us all...

Sun Singer said...

Thanks, Mike. One of the first comments I hear about the book is: "Gosh, I needed sunglasses while looking at the cover."