Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sam's Quest: The Royal Trident, Book 2 by Ben Furman


1) Did you design the cover?

2) Is there an interesting story behind the cover design?

I was out of the country when it was time for the cover design work to start, and I was too busy shot gunning bird-sized mosquitoes and getting lost on dirt trails that masqueraded as roads to worry about the fineries of cover art. I gave the artist who did the covers for Sam’s Quest for the Crimson Crystal and for The Devil’s Darning Needle a free hand to design Sam’s Quest: The Royal Trident.

When I returned I looked the concepts over, and though excellent, they weren’t what I wanted. They depicted different parts of the book that I didn’t think told the story. I knew the scene I wanted and started to sketch. Here’s the result. The skills of the cover artist brought it to life.

3) Who is the cover artist?

I did the initial pencil sketch and a friend of mine came out of retirement to do the coloration, etc. She’s a sucker for chocolate covered cherries. Three two-layered boxes got it done. Guess what she gets for Christmas?

4) Are you happy with the cover?

Yes. The book distributor says that it’s in the top five covers he’s handled for the genre. He’s been in business for 30+ years. He’s happy with it and so am I.

5) What is the best part of the cover?

It’s a perfect pictorial synopsis of the book. The scene shows Sam and Patch rowing into Skull Cove, a scary place for sure. Sam has to get through the Skull Rock’s guarded gate to reach shore where she believes the motley mutant thieves are holding her friend, King Kaylan, captive. Daunting, but she keeps her fear in check and points the boat directly toward the danger, not knowing how she will succeed, only that she must.

6) Is there anything else we need to know?

The world could use more Sam’s. She’s not a super hero, she doesn’t jump over tall buildings, but when needed she stands up, shaky at times with a lump in her throat, but stand up she does. I don’t want Sam to magically shed herself of her physical and mental frailties – that’s too easy and would lose one of the key lessons of the story. None of us is perfect. All have fears and insecurities. It’s how we handle life’s challenges that counts. Sam goes through the fire the best she can and comes out the other side a better, stronger person.

7) Website link....

8) Link to buy book:


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the interview, Nikki! I appreciate the opportunity to provide some insight regarding the cover art. My one regret: I didn't provide you with the colorized version, but the black and white does a good job of showing the bones of the design. Thanks again.

Ben Furman

Nikki Leigh - Author and Publicist said...

SOme times I really enjoy the added detail that we see in black and white - and this is one of those times. Its a great picture :)

Nikki Leigh

Elaine Cheung said...

This is an awesome cover. I know they say don't judge a book... but this one is absolutely gorgeous.