Below is the cover for A Thousand Suns – the latest Rulon Hurt thriller, due out in March 2013. I think ATS was a tough book to design a cover for, just as it is a tough book to describe in a few sentences. How do you capture Idaho, Zurich, Nazis, cowboys, Russians, germ warfare, asteroids, and the book’s ironic humor in a cover?
Still, thanks to James Bond, any picture of a European city on the cover of a book suggests INTERNATIONAL THRILLER with some serious action, heroic heroes, villainous villains, beautiful girls – well, actually only Yohaba in this one, but she is enough! – and an impending calamity. Forty percent of the book takes place in Idaho and sixty percent in the environs around Zurich. I suppose if you live in Zurich then to you Idaho is an international setting! As it is, though, I really like the cover. The picture of Zurich captures the international thriller side, and the tagline brings in Rulon Hurt, our easy-to-underestimate cowboy, and also gives a hint of the book’s offbeatness:
Don’t let your cowboys grow up to be spies
It was important to me that readers looking at the cover not be fooled about what was inside. Yes, it is a thriller and yes there is some humor. But the well-developed sense of irony and humor is woven into the dialogue of the characters. In the end, A Thousand Suns is a serious thriller.
Umhlanga, South Africa