Born to be bad
Our authors are always saying that villains are the best characters to write, and Tommy Donbavand is no exception. He says that "villains are so much fun to invent - especially if they come with secret lairs, diabolical weapons and over-worked minions!"
The weapons in the Snow-Man series are certainly diabolical, and the baddies as eccentric as their 'puntacular' names. But exactly how do these characters go from a description on the page to a striking visual image? We asked Danny Pearson, our Senior Editor, to shed some light.
Us: How were the villains brought to life?
Danny: These were a lot of fun. Tommy and I swapped many emails on how a villain should look. Strangely enough a lot of 1970/80/90s villains from films came up as these were a great source for how a villain should act and what their costumes should look like. Again, as soon as we had settled on a look I'd send a brief over to Steve and in no time at all we would have a visual for a villain. I love how different they all are.
Us: How detailed does an artwork brief need to be, and what sort of things does it include?
Danny: This is tricky. Sometimes you can write a line or two and that will be more than enough for an artist to use but other times you need a scene to look so precise that you end up writing a paragraph or more detailing what you need to go in.
I am lucky that the artists working with me on these are happy to make suggestions on an image that we are having a problem with.
Us: How important is it to get visuals right on a series like this? Any do's and don'ts?
Danny: It is so important to get the visuals right for each series. The visuals sometimes tell a part of the story that words could never do. The images are advertising the words. Without the images some of our readers would not even pick these up.
The covers take the most time to work on as these need to be the 'shop front' for the book. If the covers do not capture the potential readers interest then the book will remain shut.
There are so many Do's and Don'ts but I'd say the most important ones to follow would be:
DO enjoy the title you are working on
DON'T use anything that you think 'Yeah, that will do.'
Dubbed 'The Shiverton Six', here are our Snow-Man villains in all their glory: Chuck Ingit-Down, Gail Force, Hayley Stone, Misty Morning, Ray Burn and Weathergirl.