Interview with Pete Garceau

Pete Garceau is the man responsible for the beautiful cover of my second novel, LOCKED DOORS. I recently had a chance to catch up with Pete and toss a few questions his way about his experience designing the cover for LOCKED DOORS.

Blake: Could you talk about what your job as a designer entails?

Pete: My job as a designer is to create an interesting cover that conveys the mood of the book. I don't always have the luxury of reading the book that I'm designing a cover for, due to time, but when I can it usually pays off. LOCKED DOORS did such a wonderful job painting the picture throughout the entire story, that it was difficult for me to focus on just one image. I felt the staircase image worked best because it was linked to an intense moment in the book and it was intriguing without giving away any crucial information from the story. I feel that it's important to let the reader form their own mental image of what people and places look like.

Blake: How much of the jacket is your responsibility?

Pete: Well, it depends. Sometimes the art director will have a particular cover in mind that they want you to create, sometimes it's the author, and oftentimes the direction of the book cover falls in the hands of editors, agents, or the promotions and sales department. This can be very frustrating, as it can feel like you have no control over your own idea, but when the cover finally gets approved, it somehow all feels worth it.

Blake: Do you design the flaps and the back of the jacket, too?

Pete: Sometimes I design the back and flaps of the book as well, however for LOCKED DOORS, I only designed the front cover.

Blake: How did you go about deciding what you wanted the cover of LOCKED DOORS to look like?

Pete: I usually sketch out or write down some of my ideas as I'm reading the book, and then bring those ideas to the computer and make some rough comps. Some of the first ideas I came up with focused on showing a man's face, with menacing looking features. Another idea I had was actually carving the title "Locked Doors" into wood paneling, as if someone had scraped it in with a knife. I probably had about ten different comps to choose from, and it was difficult to pick the one I favored most. I ultimately chose the cover with the upward view of a staircase and modified the carved type idea to form the sketchy looking type as the title.

Thanks, Pete! See his other designs below, and you can check out more of his work at