Calling Major Tom – birth of the cover

I thought it might be nice to talk about how the wonderful cover for Calling Major Tom came about. The book is out in paperback in May 2017 with a sneaky little ebook launch in January, and the cover was revealed this week.

CallingMajorTom-R2 1

There were a few cover designs – some are dotted around this page – before the final one was chosen.

They’re all great in their own way, but the one we’re going with got the most love from everyone at Trapeze books and it does perfectly sum up the tone of the novel.

It was definitely my first choice, and I’m delighted that everyone else at Orion went with it.

The designer and artist is the fabulous Helen Crawford-White, and you can see more of her work here.

Here’s what Helen has to say about the genesis of the cover:

It’s always such a pleasure to work on a cover for a book that has such vibrant characters and fantastic visual imagery.

CallingMajorTom-R1 2Just the thought of a cantankerous man in a rocket ship heading for outer space brings wonderful imagery to mind.

Before starting on this cover I collected some amazing inspiration including anything from old Russian space propaganda to fantastic 70s sci-fi novels, to vintage guides to the solar system. CallingMajorTom-R13

I think anything to do with space, planets, and rockets is a designer or illustrators dream (or maybe thats  just me – being the closet Star Trek The next generation fan that I am! ).

Add in the wonderful idea of this not quite so average family getting a call from outer space and its a dream brief!

CallingMajorTom-R1I explored painted winding telephone wires, and lots of planet surface textures and spacey colours!

Ultimately I wanted it to convey a sweet, quirky story and bring the protagonists and supporting cast alive.

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