Cover Story: A Year Without Killing. The Authors Collection.

AYearWithoutKilling- FINAL

CLAUDIA BARRY IS The Tourist Killer. She’s the star in and namesake of my first novel. She’s a baby boomer with more than thirty years of success as a professional assassin. Now, daily thoughts of retirement work their way to a top-of-mind awareness for which a marketing executive would die. In the end, she and her assigner agree on a twelve-month sabbatical.

My third book is the sequel, and chronicles the events of her life that make up A Year Without Killing.

The cover for The Tourist Killer is an award winner. This blog tells the story behind the artwork and design. I’m not a fan of stock photography on covers and wanted something unique. Every aspect of the cover for my third book is related to Claudia Barry in some way.


It seemed obvious that a calendar would be appropriate to mark the passing of a year. Claudia was an accomplished sniper with a variety of firearms years before she began shooting for a living. Why should she stop practicing now? What better way to watch a year go by than to use a calendar as a target? She told a friend, “No, I’m not anxious to get back to work, but this calendar is just the right size target.”

To assemble all the elements, we contracted Julie Medina who suggested the background image of a rose. Julie read a couple of blogs about Claudia and came up with this idea for the cover. The combination of the beauty of a rose along with the danger of thorns would be a great symbol for a female assassin. I liked it. Claudia required a font style that would evoke her femininity. Julie does great work and has earned my loyalty and unconditional recommendation.

Finally, the subject of how to arrange it on the page came up. The answer arrived in an airport, but not by airplane. My wife and I were returning from a photo shoot at Cape Cod and were enjoying lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s in the airport at Providence, RI. I looked across the walkway to a bookstore and noticed several displays of hardback books — mostly bestsellers. From a distance of almost twenty yards, the most visible print was the authors’ names across the top of each book. To heck with the titles, they were selling themselves.

It’s a bit early in my career to suggest that I’m a bestselling author like Grisham, Roberts, Patterson, or Child, but it isn’t too early to get my name out there.

There you have it. My name across the top in big bold letters and the title below it backed up by a bullet riddled calendar, all surrounding an orange rose.

Another year will be gone before you know it.

A Year Without Killing debuts as a twice-a-week serial on in December 2014.

Don’t miss a day.

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