When I decided to put Praetorian Carina Mitela’s adventures together in a box set, I thought about the publicity materials to go with it. There are over 1,000 pages combined in INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO and the stories span fifteen years. So I needed an image to sum up the spirit of all three books, a quotation from Carina and a strapline.
I sat down and wrote down words that I associated with each book – action, adventure, Praetorians, fitness, thriller, romance, feminism, toughness, soldier, hunter, kidnap, courage, betrayal, children, Romans, virtue, eagle, purple, history, etc. etc. But nothing emerged that day from my brainstorming session.
But I wasn’t too worried. And sure enough, inspiration struck in the shower the next morning! I learnt in my previous business career that once I’d thought hard enough an idea or a problem, my brain would work during my quiet time overnight and deliver the goods. Well, usually… 😉
Roma Nova has a lot of hills and mountains and in SUCCESSIO, Carina goes running with Flavius, her comrade-in-arms, and they reach the top of a hill. She looks out over the landscape and says,
“My ancestors fought to hold this land I’m not letting some throwback destroy it.”
She shows her love for Roma Nova, her sense of history, her determination and her objective. It could apply just as much to the action in INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS. So that was decided!
Next, I wanted a three-word strapline to represent the main theme of each book. INCEPTIO is about empowerment, so I shortened that to ‘power‘. PERFIDITAS centres firmly on ‘betrayal’ – easy! In SUCCESSIO, the idea of chickens coming home to roost in a very bad way was paramount, so ‘nemesis ‘ seemed a good choice.
But Carina and Conrad’s story is a great love story – one that has to endure great challenges – so I wanted to include that as a core theme.
The final element I needed was a strong image of a young woman standing on a mountain looking over the landscape. I sweated buckets and nearly wore my retinas out scouring iStockphoto to find the right one. But Carina was standing over my shoulder urging me on.
Once I had assembled everything and sketched out a ludicrously awful mock-up, I sent everything off to the talented Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics who whipped it all into shape for a postcard and web banner.
So we’re all ready to go for Tuesday launch day and beyond!
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