Behind the Cover of Little River

You can’t judge a book by its cover?  Yeah, maybe.  I admit when I browse the aisles in a bookstore, or scroll through the e-book offerings in Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, I look for something more than a flashy, photoshopped image.  I think I’m like most readers when I expect something more – something that hints at the story hidden inside and something that is unique to that book.

So, when it came time to think about a cover for my own novel, Little River, it wasn’t a decision that I took lightly.  The plot line in Little River involves human trafficking on a Caribbean island and a small dark river, actually named Little River, plays a pivotal role in the story.

During the research for the story, I snapped a few photographs of the Jamaican countryside and found the river I needed in my story.

A dark costal river on the Northern Jamaican coast

A dark costal river on the Northern Jamaican coast

It was either that or the green and white road sign on the main highway. The sign was so generic that it could have been anywhere and didn’t have the “fear factor” I needed for a thriller book cover.


My Publisher, SALT Media Productions, gave me the ability to come up with a cover design. I leaned heavily toward the photo of the river, but the flowing river was too pretty for the kind of dark human trafficking novel I’d written.

Now artists can be a strange bunch. My daughter-in-law was an art major and one of the first pieces of hers I remember was a human corpse sculpture made from newspaper obituaries. She really is a talented artist and when I described the mood, character and feel I wanted in the cover, she set to work. She painted a river scene with the right mixture of mystery, darkness and fear.

Little River Cover

Little River Cover

The cover has a little secret, a hint at the plot line of the book, hidden in the design. Can you see it?

I haven’t mentioned this little nugget anywhere else. There is a small boat in among the mangrove trees. Bad things happen in this river and a barely visible a human arm hangs out of the boat. No spoilers here, you’ll have to find out what happens on your own.

I liked it, my publisher liked it and the original oil artwork became the cover art for Little River. I think it sets the right mood for the story, dark and a bit foreboding.

I encourage you to checkout on her blog, at or at @ArtbyLarina on Twitter for some unique, interesting pieces.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by…

One comment

  1. […] I kept with the original cover art for the book, designed by @ArtByLarina, which was the subject of an earlier blog post. […]

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