I’m about to mention Zachariah Wilhelm’s awesome new book, A Spark of Light, which is now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. Inside you’ll find a collection of short fiction and essays that center on the universal theme of light in a world of darkness. Also, if you want to keep up with his current projects, you can visit him on his website!
In college as a writing major, we get to the end of our education and have to compile a portfolio of all the best work we’ve done in our core writing classes. What’s even more daunting is this: we have to print it in a physical book form, complete with a cover.
Most writers are not graphic designers. We imagine all the cool book covers we’d like to see with our name on them, sure. And we might actually attempt to design a few, but for people at PCC, they typically syphon the project off to a graphic design friend to better focus on the content (since that’s the main part that will be graded).
My portfolio is next semester, but half my class is doing theirs this semester. Eager to practice and attempt a book cover myself while helping my fellow writing friends, I asked Zachariah Wilhelm, who sat next to me in Creative Nonfiction, if he had a cover designer yet. He said no, and the design was due in two weeks.
I volunteered. And boy was I ever excited.
This is what we came up with in the end. He wanted the spark to have severe contrast with the darkness around it, since that’s a strong theme he has throughout his stories: that spark of light in the darkness, that flicker of good in a world of evil. We also wanted to try to connect some of his pieces together with the cover, so we decided to rely on a dark forest and a tire swing, both of which are mentioned in the book.
Before deciding on the final, however, the cover went through some major drafts. These are the two original designs I sent him before we decided to combine both. He liked the forest from the one (but not the person) and the darkness of the second (but I wasn’t a fan of the composition) so we took the best of each and worked with that.
I found it interesting while I was designing them that one was distinctly feminine while the other was distinctly masculine. Part of the fun was trying to use both to come up with a cover that could easily appeal to both genders.
Again, if you want to check out Zachariah’s new book, visit Amazon to purchase your copy in print or as an ebook! And be sure to check him out on his website!