The Cover for the Novel the Inconvenient Bride

My name is Laureen Keravec. I’m a photographer based in Brittany (France), specializing in family and Live Action Role-Playing games (LARP). Today, I’m taking over this blog to share my work creating the cover for the novel the Inconvenient Bride.

Laureen Keravec, professional photographer.
This is me in front of the lens

The cover created for the novel The Inconvenient Bride is the first one I shot on purpose. However, it was in fact not the first picture that used for Thierry’s books. The first one was indeed a picture I took of a woman holding a dagger in her back and that inspired the Devil’s Pit.

Paperback version of the historical novel "The Inconvenient Bride" by Thierry Bontoux - fiction, adventure

This time, towards the end of January 2021, Thierry contacted me with the intention to revamp all his books, and I had to start with creating a new cover for his novel The Inconvenient Bride. The problem was that those used at the time did not attract the readers’ attention. Hence, he was looking for more eye-catching visuals.

Conceiving the cover for the Inconvenient Bride

I’m a photographer often working with costumes, often during historical re-enactments or LARPs, and even sometimes on fantasy film stages; but I had never done pictures that had to be both artistic and commercial. It is indeed something hard to conceptualize: the picture has to catch the eye of potential readers; introduce the book and, perhaps most important, remain artistically creative.

After some hard thinking, I started to conceptualize a picture; a woman in medieval costume with bright colours to draw the eye, while recalling those of winter which is a central theme in the book. I searched through my stock, and got my hands on some pictures of my favorite models: Tiska. I was particularly attracted to her bright red hair that could so much draw the attention of potential readers.

Unfortunately, none of the photos were entirely suitable: either we could see too much of the face of the model; or the atmosphere was not dark enough; or the poses were too theatrical. Thierry also wanted the model to display more gravitas in contrast to the insouciance expressed in most of the pictures I had sent him.

Back to photo shots

I, thus, called Tiska to check if she would be available for a new session dedicated to The Inconvenient Bride. We took the opportunity of a snowy episode in Brittany to do some first shots. The wintery aspect was ideal, but something was still missing. The atmosphere was gloomy, but not as dark as in the book, and I was not satisfied with the rendering of the colours. So we met again for a second session.
The results were good and I felt that we were near to where we needed to be, even if everything was not perfect: the pose taken by Tiska was right, but the colours and the setting still didn’t convey the atmosphere of the book.

Achieving the perfect picture for the cover

Tiska then suggested another place that I had not thought of. We went there and used the pose that we had already tried and which I thought was appropriate. There, it became clear to us: the picture taken was the perfect one! The background was in harmony with Tiska’s hair, who expressed gravitas, while the cloak she wore gave mystery to her expression… everything we needed to tempt the potential readers into buying the book was there on the picture.

photo essay for the cover of the historical adventure novel the Inconvenient Bride and representing a young redheaded woman, covered with a medieval cloak and dressed in a green velvet dress, her head covered by her hood and holding in front of her a sword pointed at the ground in the middle of a field of dry and high grass
Image selected for the book cover

Looking back to this cover, what makes me particularly proud is to know that my work, my passion and the efforts I put for that picture have, indeed, had an effect on the sales of the novel: since that picture has been used as book cover, sales have been multiplied by ten fold.

To reach me:

photo of a baby in a bathrobe sitting in the grass next to a basin of water

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