Book Design: Hurricane

My cover design—and illustrations—for 2011 Silver Nautilus Award-winning novel by Maeve McMahon (Cover endorsement, Bishop Desmond Tutu)


riding out the hurricane book cover design and illustration

riding out the hurricane book cover illustration

riding out the hurricane book cover illustration  riding out the hurricane book cover illustration


book illustration sketches

Case Study

An excellent story about the disaster in Louisiana—and its terrible aftermath. The writer, Maeve, actually lived through the disaster herself and saw the school she helped to set up, and that she worked in—washed away.
Two previously submitted designs didn’t hit the mark so my services were called upon. It was a very enjoyable and satisfying piece to work on, and the conversations I had with author Maeve, and the many doodles and sketches I produced helped me to hit that mark. The book and its cover was being judged by Louisians. Despite my lack of knowledge of their state and culture, the design received the local stamp of approval.
The 2am eureka moment came as I read the book. I wondered what shape a corrugated cardboard box would make if opened out? This item was the first piece of comfort the protagonists experienced in days following the initial storm and flood. As it happened—it didn’t make a cross but with a little judicial tearing I was able to achieve an impression of it—subtly. Maeve’s an Irish nun and she says the book has a strong spiritual element. I managed to hint at this but without putting too much weight on it.

The Illustrations

The illustrations were executed in watercolours, inks and Polychromo pencils on paper.