Curiosity Seekers / by Krista Dedrick Lai

I am excited to announce that a book I designed the cover for was recently published! When I began talking with Karen Kaplan about creating artwork for the cover of her book Curiosity Seekers I have to admit I was both excited and apprehensive to take on something so different from anything I have done in the past. But the Science Fiction genre of literature (one of my favorites) had me instantly intrigued.  Of course it also didn’t hurt that Karen, a Rabbi and Hospice Chaplain, is an interesting and pleasant person to interact with. And, of course, once I read the book the ideas started flowing… and once the ideas started coming I could not resist jumping in.

Cover design for Curiosity Seekers by Krista Dedrick Lai

Karen described her book to me as “gentle science fiction.” I have read my fair share of dystopian sci-fi, post-apocalyptic sci-fi and colossal space operas but this was a term I had not heard before. The protagonists of the story are Gomer and Muriel Ackerman, a quirky middle-aged couple whose professions of book repair (real physical books!) and creating one-recipient-only hand-made greeting cards set them a bit at odds with the futuristic society they live in. In Gomer and Muriel’s world Alzheimer’s disease is a thing of the past, generational space travel is possible and everyone uses something called “quantum mail.” For me, however, Curiosity Seekers is more about the daily intricacies of interpersonal communication and the rich, often agonizing, nuance that relationships bring to every day life. In the end, for all of our advancements, discoveries and technological breakthroughs, we are still just trying to figure each other out.

Cover design for Curiosity Seekers. Art by Krista Dedrick Lai. Text and Layout by Glen Charlow.

Cover design for Curiosity Seekers. Art by Krista Dedrick Lai. Text and Layout by Glen Charlow.

The cover design process started with me running my ideas by Karen to see what resonated with her. She had already expressed interest in my Space Exploration series and we both wanted a more hand-made, collaged appearance for the cover. I then did a series of sketches for her until we settled on a final layout.  I created a cut-paper piece that was larger than the required specifications so that we could get a nice large file and shrink it down as needed. We worked with a designer, Glen Charlow, when it came time to insert smaller text into the design and he also made sure we had everything at the correct dimensions.

The front cover of Curiosity Seekers by Karen b. Kaplan, cover design by Krista Dedrick Lai, Author name by Glen Charlow

Overall creating my first book cover design was a rewarding challenge that I learned a ton from. I have recently signed up for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photo Editing software but am also considering trialing InDesign, the program that allows you to insert text over a digital image, should more book covers come my way in the future!

The back cover of Curiosity Seekers by Karen B. Kaplan, cover art by Krista Dedrick Lai, text layout by Glen Charlow

Curiosity Seekers by Karen B. Kaplan is available now on Amazon- check it out!

UPDATE: I was delighted to get this photo of Karen with the physical cover design I had mailed to her. It is so rewarding when a client loves what I make for them!

Author Karen B. Kaplan with the cover design for her book Curiosity Seekers. Artwork by Krista Dedrick Lai

Author Karen B. Kaplan with the cover design for her book Curiosity Seekers. Artwork by Krista Dedrick Lai