Too Cold to Bleed by D.M. Murray – COVER REVEAL
When I recently released the new cover for my first book, Red Season Rising, I wrote that it had been killing me not to release the cover for the ‘few weeks’ I’d been sitting on it. Whatever nagging frustration and urgency I felt for the cover reveal of Red Season Rising pales compared to the length of time I’ve been holding off the release of the sequel, Too Cold to Bleed. I’ve had the final cover art for Too Cold to Bleed for around 7 months now!
I’d actually commissioned ‘the dream team’ of John Anthony Di Giovanni (JAD Illustrated) and Shawn King (STK Kreations) to do the artwork for book 2 before the revised cover of book 1, Red Season Rising. Getting the cover art and design in early was a means to push me across the line with Too Cold to Bleed. I’d written about two thirds of the book when I ordered the cover work, and was pretty confident that staring at a final cover would motivate me to write through the fatigue-heavy hours that follow a long day/week at work.
Having a passion for the exploration of the Arctic and Antarctica, I had always intended on a large proportion of book two taking place in an equivalent environment. The title, Too Cold to Bleed, came to me when I was ski touring in the Arctic in 2015 (partly research, largely pleasure – because ‘pleasure’ is falling over hundreds of times as you learn how to ski tour). There were a few days when the icy wind and stinging spindrift had me grumbling incoherently about it being ‘too fucking cold to bleed out here’, and so the title was born. I wanted the cover to reflect the intensity of the environmental conditions.
The process for creating the cover of Too Cold to Bleed was as straightforward as it comes. I’ve mentioned before that John and Shawn are both super professional guys, and very, very easy to work with. I gave John a rough outline of what I was looking for:
“…a fairly dark cover that ideally conveys as sense of the exhaustion of the main character. The setting is a mountainous, wintery landscape, and the lead character is struggling in pursuit of the enemy army.”
I didn’t give him an awful lot more to work with, and he came up with the following sketches:
I did a bit of a straw poll amongst some friends and family, and generally found that people were drawn to F, showing the savage landscape, and A or C, depicting the characters struggling amidst a storm. In the end, I decided to go with a combination of the two: the mountains from F, and the characters from C. Fast forward a few weeks, and after a bit of spit and polish, this came screeching into my inbox:
Now that John’s artwork was complete, I passed it across to the second half of the ‘dream team’, Shawn King. Without much of a brief at all, Shawn worked his magic, and created an awesome, icy-cold, sharp design to frame John’s art:
I cannot speak highly enough of both John and Shawn. These two are true professionals, hugely gifted, and damn fine guys. I would urge anyone looking for art and design to seek their services. Just make sure to leave me a slot for book three!
Now that the cover is finally out in the wild, I think it only fair to place a firm commitment on the release date for Too Cold to Bleed. With that in mind, I will be aiming to release the book on the 1st June 2018.
To celebrate finally revealing the cover, I’m running a week-long 99c/99p promo of book one in the series, Red Season Rising.