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Business Info

Business Name

Roadrunner Holdings

What do you do?

Writer, novelist

How many pages of print design do you need?

Book cover

List the size requirement(s) for your print design

Trim size: 6" x 9",
Page count: 500 approx
Interior type: Black and White,
Page color: Cream,
Spine width: 1.25"

6"x9" book cover, back cover, and suitably sized spine. Exact spine size may change a little once final proofing/editing of book takes place. Creative must be available to make this small change.

Target Audience

What is your industry?

Publishing & media

Describe the target audience for your print design

YA to adult readers of paranormal, thriller and horror.

What 3 things would you like to communicate to your audience through your print design?

The paranormal nature of the story, ie: ghostly figure
The connection to Mayan end of the world 2012 prophecies

Style and Concept

What print design styles do you like?

I'm open to the design style offered

What colors do you want to see in your print design?

Colours are open and dependent on the particular design

What colors do you NOT want to see in your print design?

does not apply

What adjectives should best describe your print design?

scary, thrilling,

How will you use the print design?

as a book cover mainly, but also for book signing posters and on bookmarks.

What content must be included in the print design?

please read ALL the detailed info below.

The cover will have the following text ...
title: Hitmail dot com
author: Russell Turney
a small slogan:

Synopsis (Basic outline of the story)

A soul-sucking phantom invades nine-year-old Maddis sleep. She fights the entity off and forgets the incident. Thirty-years later Maddi teaches at a small-town high-school. In the evenings she does what she can for her two teenagers, and offers readings and healing. Her quiet routine is shattered when the principal asks her to counsel students, many of whom have been struck by a lingering malaise.
The worlds governments are at a loss to explain the illness, or the depression, rages and suicides that accompany it. Worried for her own children, Maddi agrees to help. Overnight, the school experiences several deaths. Maddi meets the mysterious Quinn Larson when she attends a brief interview with the sheriff regarding the fatalities.
Maddis unique psychic abilities serve her better than her Psychology Degree during counseling. She notices a strange symbol hidden on some of the students. A powerful negative entity begins to taunt Maddi, then runs her car off the icy road in an attempt to kill her. Maddi escapes with no recollection of everything she has learned so far.
Her memory returns in a rush when she sees the symbol again the next day. Whispered voices follow her, and her sleep is haunted by disturbing dreams of two people trapped in a dank cell. A confrontation with her own children alerts Maddi to the possibility her kids are also ill.
Maddi makes for her regular Saturday coffee with her two psychic friends, Cindy and Robin. Quinn interrupts the meeting and reveals himself to be an FBI agent. Maddi receives an private invite to dinner from the dashing agent and the nature of their relationship changes, until Maddi spots him walking arm in arm with another woman. Angry and depressed, she ignores his calls. Maddi covertly checks her kids internet activity, discovering a fun game called Hitmail-dot-com. Later, the entity returns and uses the game to torment her, then stages a psychic attack. Maddi chases the entity off and tends to a phantom snakebite on her hand.
Cindy decides to hold a sance to get to the bottom of the bizarre attacks. The being uses a dozen students to attack Maddi. The assault is thwarted when gunfire from Quinn breaks the control over the teenagers. Maddi discovers the woman with Quinn was his sister.
Quinn accompanies a frightened Maddi home, where she shows him the game. The entity strikes out yet again, but is held back by a crystal barrier Maddi has erected. Intrigued, Quinn joins the planned sance. A malevolent spectre named Llao tries to kill them all, but is driven off by a second being. The newcomer, Skell, informs Maddi she is the chosen one and must find and capture Llao before he reaches full power and fulfils all the 2012 end-of-world prophecies.
Internet research reveal Llao and Skell to be spirits from Klamath Indian legend. Quinn forwards Maddis laptop and the information gathered to FBI headquarters. The experts confirm Hitmail as the source of the illness but fail to understand Llaos role. A clandestine government agency enters the race to find and control Pandora.
The authorities search for the game servers and programmers. No one searches for Llao. Maddi is contacted by local used-book-shop owner, Bryan, who has an historical journal with tenuous ties to the unfolding events. Maddi senses the book is genuine, the taint of violent death infused within it pages. Inspection reveals how Llao escaped his otherworld prison.
When someone tries to steal the ancient diary, Maddi and Quinn decide to find the cave described in the books pages. They depart for Crater Lake with Cindy and Robin the next morning. Maddi corrects mistakes made in the original journal translation, enabling Quinn to discover the cave and its grisly contents. Maddi recovers the crystal that acted as Llaos jail. They make their way to Mt. Shasta where Llao mounts a brazen public attack. Maddi flees, but is overtaken by an avalanche. Trapped inside their vehicle, the intrepid team lose consciousness, awaking in the fabled land of Lemuria.
The Lemurians give Maddi a canister and instructions on how to use it to recapture Llao. She is befriended by Tigra, a talking cat. The travelers reawaken as avalanche rescue teams find their vehicle. She hopes the Lemurian encounter is a dream but finds the canister in her backpack.
Maddi senses the location of the Hitmail programmers and she and a heavily armed FBI team helicopter to a remote town, covertly pursed by several military Delta strike teams and a CNN crew. Llao arrives to destroy the building while Quinns FBI squad extract the programmers and exchange gunfire with the Delta teams. National Guard F15s intercede and close escort everyone to nearby Kingsley National Guard base.
The FBI locates and plans the disconnection of the Hitmail game server from its multi-millions of users. The deadline passes without incident and Maddi questions her involvement as Llao fails to react. Dawn brings a chilling change in situation. The Kingsley Field base is all but overrun by Llaos mind-controlled civilians. Maddi and an escort team escape, escorted by an Apache gunship.
They dash back to retrieve the canister she left unguarded at the first airport, only to find the area overrun by more of Llaos drones. They retrieve the canister and Tigra after a brief fight, then dash to where Llao is hiding. A rogue Delta team monitors their progress. With Skells assistance they fight their way past Llaos minions and enter his lair.
A cocky and overconfident Llao is captured in the canister. The depleted and weary team relocate the Crater Lake cave and enter the cavern one last time. Maddi goes to place the canister into the safety of its rock plinth, only to be stopped by the commander of the rogue Delta team.
Llao is released from the canister and obliterates the soldier. With Tigras help, Maddi traps Llaos warriors but her protective shield fails before she can recapture Llao. Gloating, Llao begins to torture her, only to be thrown down by spirits he thought under his control. Maddi entombs Llao and places the canister in its plinth.
Skell partially heals the horrible wound inflicted by Llao and resumes his timeless guardianship of Llaos prison. A US Army helicopter transports an unconscious Maddi to hospital. Furious at his failure, the most-wanted controller of the Delta teams tries to murder Maddi and Quinn, only to have a supernatural creature tear him limb-from-limb.
Tigra rejoins the two lovers and they depart the hospital for home.


Original cover design elements
This was MY original design. It is not necessary to follow this design or use all or any of the elements.

Mayan carving meant to depict the good and bad gods/demons
Blood dripping from top self explanatory, not an overly gory book
10011001 binary code Hitmail-dot-com is a computer game with subliminal programming that connects the user with the controlling demon.
Flames at bottom signifies what will happen to the world if the demon takes control
Helicopter and soldiers silhouetted in flames military forces play a role in the story. Delta forces, helicopters Iroquois, Lakota, Black Hawk, Apache, and two F15s.


Main characters of book

Maddi the heroine 510 slim, long blonde hair
Quinn 6 ish, trim, fit, FBI agent
I see no major benefit from using either of the main characters as a focus for the cover, unless with one of the darker elements of the story.
Llao the bad guy, demon from Klamath Indian legend has a phantom and human presence, we rarely see the human form in the book. Description below
Skell good demon. Same basic parameters as Llao although we see him in human form. Description below.
Warriors all phantoms Llaos are pretty hideous (description below) Skells are similar but good looking.
Tigra Lemurian cat, Calico/tortoiseshell coloring (pic available on request)
Hitmail-dot-com this may seem out of place here, but the game is pivotal to the story. If showing a computer screen the characters would be caricatures of real people, extracting revenge on others for past slights. Maybe a phantom hand reaching out the screen to touch the user. MAYBE.


Main settings

Inner cavern dry, almost round, plinth in centre to hold crystal. Number of scenes including Llaos denizens trying to attack Maddi, who is cowering behind an ethereal shield formed by a line on the floor.
Crater Lake cave is at the lake, could be used as a background or back cover image.
Mt Shasta Maddi attacked by Llaos denizens then an avalanche triggered. Mt Shasta is home to the Lemurian Skell and Tigra. There is a scene in mythical Lemuria.
Small Mayan type pyramid set in a dark, u-shaped gully. Llao and denizens stream out to attack Maddi and a small tight group of three FBI and three soldiers (her escort). (See the gully below Secret Spring Mountain, Siskiyou, CA, USA on Google Maps for the location I used.)
Other scenes include a sance in a wooden cabin where Llao and his denizens attack Maddi and her two psychic friends


Part of chapter describing Llao and Skell
Both feature in Klamath Indian Legend but appear in Mayan style dress in the book

First came four powerful looking men, warriors by their dress. Even in ethereal form they appeared dark skinned, with pronounced hook shaped noses and bald heads. That was, the parts still covered in gangrenous skin. Flaps of flesh hung from every part of their bodies, bony fingers wrapped around vicious shaped weapons of a type Maddi had never seen. They wore basic sandals and short skirts, with tarnished metal breast and shoulder plates. Blue stones pierced their ears and noses.
Maddi gagged at the stench of death and decay that accompanied them. Terror welled in her heart as the four fanned out in a semi-circle, their weapons held high, ready to strike out at the slightest provocation. Their jaundiced yellow eyes bore into her. Cruel grins spread over their faces, broken teeth outlined by white bone and masked by pieces of dripping flesh. Maddi thought she would never stop shaking for the rest of her life.
Maddi dragged her gaze to Cindys face. She sat there passive, her face as white as her eyes, which had rolled back in her head. Maddis tight throat strangled back the whimper that tried so hard to escape.
Two cadaverous looking figures scampered into the room next, and knelt on their hands and knees on the floor between the soldiers, their backs level with the surface. One stared bleakly at her, his face showing as much fear and dejection as she felt. Maddi became aware of a gold sedan chair outside the cabin door. Unable to fit through the gap, it stopped to let its passenger dismount. The huge figure strode to the door, back handing one of the carriers. The skeletal carrier exploded in a mass of bones, to a clattering that ripped through Maddis flesh, stabbed at her ears.
The gigantic figure stooped to fit under the door jamb, then unfurled to full height as he strode to the two kneeling figures, and stepped up on their backs. He had the same dark skin as the warriors but all likeness ended there. This entity stood near seven foot tall even without the aid of his ghostly pedestal, with a broad muscular chest covered in ornate gold breast and shoulder plates. His skin was complete, yet Maddi could see the skeleton beneath, like two holographic images superimposed on each other.
A golden crown circled his head, blue feathers splaying outward like a fan above. More gold hung from his ears and a plate sat over the hooked nose. His short skirt displayed gold embroidery, with more gold making up shin guards. Standing as he was on slaves, he looked down on Maddi from over eight foot off the ground. A cruel sneer twisted his lips. Eyes like red embers glowed hot and bright, burning a hole in her. A heavy staff tapped the floor, the top of it alive with the forms of winding, writhing serpents.
His head moved, taking in the scene before him. Contempt warped his face further.
Max tm Llao? The voice froze the marrow in Maddis bones.

. The burning eyes narrowed, the mouth contorting. Llao regarded Maddi for a moment, then the eyes flew wide. Maaaad-diiiii. The tip of the staff left the floor and pointed at Maddi. Sk ah waay! The lips drew back in a brutal sneer. Tup lah. Kub u ah waay pixan ti Llao. His arms waved to the warriors.
White sorceress! Extinguish them. Deliver the sorceress soul to Llao. Cindy remained frozen, only her lips moving.
Maddi shrieked as the four gruesome warriors leapt forward to obey their masters command. Four edged weapons sliced through the air, intent on separating the girls heads from their bodies. Robin leaned forward, squeezing Maddis hand painfully. The blades that should have removed their heads shattered to a thousand pieces as they struck the protective wall Cindy erected at the beginning of the sance.
The four warriors screeched and imploded as if sucked up by micro black holes, the pitch of their scream shattering two jars on Cindys workbench. Maddi sat up straight. A grim tightness set her lips as she stared down Llao. She felt further strengthened as one of the human pedestals managed a grim smile. Someone was standing up to his master.
Youre not so tough, asshole. Why are you bothering me?
Sk ah waay! U-yh-tal hoch tal. Savage laughter emitted from Llao. Lah kim. Ten kx lah pixan.
White sorceress. The ripening harvest comes. All die. All souls will be mine. .
... Llao turned back to face her, lips drawn back to reveal gold teeth. Kim, ah waay.
Die, sorceress.
The cabin seemed to lift off the ground, as if a giant had stamped his foot next to it. Dust loosened from the rafters and roof drifted down, stinging eyes and choking throats. Llaos head spun around, his concentration removed for a second from Quinn.
Quinn blinked his eyes and threw his gun across the room.
Llaos attention returned. He opened his mouth to say something. The words froze on his tongue.
Eyes watering with dust tried to comprehend the scene. A second man, dressed like Llao but with a shimmering gold aura stepped into the room. His staff banged on the ground.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
At the third, six ghostlike warriors whisked past either side of him and seized Llao, dragging his dissolving form from the room. The skeletal pedestal dissolved as Maddi watched, the smile of the one slave the last thing to go.
The new arrival (Skell) stood silent, his eyes shifting in turn to each of them. Like Llao, this man was tall and powerfully built. Yet his adornments appeared of finer craftsmanship, his features handsome where Llaos were bent. Everything about the seven foot giant was the opposite of Llao, a positive image to Llaos negative. Where Llaos eyes burned ember red, this mans were turquoise blue.


Authors note.

A lot to think about, a lot of possible images to work with.
An authors photo and bio go on the back cover, along with a blurb to be advised before end of project. Expect it to take up half the page. A logo [3] goes on the spine, at the bottom preferred.


BIO for back cover of book

Russell is a photographer and writer who discovered the love of writing late in life. A New Zealander by birth and nature, home for much of the year is a twenty-two foot motorhome as he travels the back roads of North America, stopping to write wherever he feels guided to do so. Set in the State of Jefferson, USA, Hitmail dot com is his third novel.

A back cover blurb will be follow when ready. Allow space for this, approx 1/2 the back page.



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