“The Saviors protect me and keep me from harm.”
The Saviors appeared in the sky on Judgment Day and created the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth – by force. Under the Saviors’ forbidding guidance, no one starves and no one dies of disease and angels keep the peace. But when 16-year old Yasmeen Robertson fishes a drowning boy out of the Chicago River, peace is the last thing she finds. Yaz and the boy have stumbled upon a yatsa drev, a piece of Savior-tech that makes them the subject of unwanted – and deadly - attention. Demons, whose hatred of the Saviors knows no bounds, are determined to have it for themselves. The Saviors, who have dispatched an archangel for the purpose, are determined to have it back. Neither are known for their mercy or understanding. If Yaz and the boy surrender to the archangel, they run the risk of being executed. If they throw their lot in with demons, there’s a good chance of being murdered. On the run, they struggle to unravel the yatsa drev’s mysteries. But Yaz has another problem: whether to trust the boy, whose uncle is the archangel pursuing them.
-Proposed back cover copy
Archangel is a YA dystopian novel set in Chicago and Detroit about 200 years in the future. It is a world of enormous technical and material inequality. The ruling are well educated and have electric-powered vehicles, the ruled have horses and carts and cannot read. With regard to the main characters, Yaz is tall for her age, slim rather than curvy, with dark auburn hair, usually, but not always, tied back in a ponytail. I envisage her as dressed in a punky/emo style with a lot of leather, and steel toe-capped boots. The boy, who is very upper class, has a more foppish dress sense (a Nehru jacket, maybe?) and luxuriant dark hair, but beyond that I have no strong views. The archangel is a stockily built, middle-aged man with close cropped, silver-grey hair. He wears a military or paramilitary uniform, predominantly grey. Think New Jersey State Troopers or Nazi-era SS officers. (No moral equivalency by the way, it’s just the uniforms!) No one knows what the saviors actually look like but they often appear as a pair of beautiful women, one a Caucasian ash-blonde, the other African in appearance.
Physically, the great human cities, like Chicago and Detroit, are largely ruins. Many of the tower blocks have no external walls or electricity but people live in them anyway. The towers are often linked by rope bridges in various stages of repair. The sky is dominated by “Heaven,” the Saviors’ spaceship, which appears to be a featureless silver disk, about the same size as the moon. Yaz and the boy usually move around on foot or horseback. The archangel has the benefit of a number of six-wheeled troop carriers.
While you should feel free to use as many or as few of the above elements as you wish, I would like the cover to be designed around a symbol, as in The Hunger Games, or Divergent, or Legend. The symbol I have in mind is a futuristic and/or “Nazified” version of the Chicago city flag, with red triskelions replacing the present-day flag’s four stars. A shield or similar would also work. If you want to incorporate a motto, please use “Ubi est mea.”
The design should wrap around the front and back covers of a 5.5’’ x 8.5” paperback with 368 pages. The spine of the book will be an inch thick, so allowing for bleed etc., the artwork itself should be 13” x 9”. The following publisher’s trademark should appear on the spine:
[see word version of brief]
In addition to the back-cover copy, the back cover should also contain the following publisher’s trademark information:
[see word version of brief]
In addition to the title and author (title should be more prominent than author), the following quote should appear on the front cover:
“An especially skilled author”
-Midwest Review of Books
If you feel a copy of the synopsis, or the MS or an excerpt would be helpful, just ask!
Finally, although this should go without saying, I have no rights to the web images linked to the word version of this brief. Feel free to use them for inspiration, but please, please, please, do not simply cut and paste them into your submissions.