Cover Crazy: BETRAYAL by Mayandree Michel/ Interview with Designer Samantha Oyola

Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."

I love the coloring of BETRAYAL, all the gold and bronze. I love the gorgeous dress Cordelia is wearing, especially because it goes alongside one of my favorite scenes in the book. The way lightning comes from her hands reminds you of how the novel starts off and hints at Delia's parentage. I love the inclusion of the Parthenon in the background, hinting that this book will be about Greek mythology. In person, the design continues around the spine and back cover; this book is LOVELY to look at!

And now, a special treat for my fellow cover design lovers!

Everyone who sees BETRAYAL, the first book in Mayandree Michel’s THE DESCENDANTS trilogy, agrees: The cover is gorgeous. Not only does it feature a pretty girl in a beautiful dress (debut model Giselle Elyse Lopez), it hints at the powerful magic and Greek mythology lying within the pages it’s protecting. Designer Samantha Oyola did a fantastic job and I’m pleased to share an interview with this talented woman today! More about Mayandree can be found on her personal blog or website featuring THE DESCENDANTS.

Today’s blog tour stop also features a guest post on world-building from BETRAYAL author Mayandree Michel, a review of BETRAYAL for Mythological Mondays, and a giveaway of an autographed copy of BETRAYAL!

BETRAYAL can be purchased as an e-book (for 99¢, what a steal!) or a paperback from sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

BETRAYAL looks absolutely gorgeous. The cover made me covet the book before I even knew what it was about, then the Greek focus cemented the deal. How did the cover for BETRAYAL come about?

The front cover was inspired by one of the earlier scenes that took place in the woods; it was what initially captivated me when reading the story. I felt it was very powerful and mysterious, that the scene needed to be brought to life. In addition, I wanted to include key representative elements such as the Parthenon, the iconic dress, and most importantly, the lightning, in order to draw readers and give them insight on what this novel is about.

Will you also be designing the covers for SACRIFICE and the third THE DESCENDANTS novel? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?
Yes, and yes :) I will be doing the covers for the next two books. I have a general sense of what I would like to create, however, finalizing my ideas will come into play when their release date nears.

Will you be making the covers look similar to one another?

I do plan on keeping the same style in order to establish an easily recognizable series. I’m taking the time in between books to gather references and inspiration in order to produce an
equally strong follow up cover.

Do you often get a chance to read books before designing the covers?

Yes, I think it's important to have an understanding of the story; it's where inspiration comes from and how you can effectively portray correct emotion, mood, and style.

For me, it would be almost impossible to create a personal piece of art without knowing what it was for. Almost like painting a portrait without having met the person- It loses the sincerity that an artist can capture in the subtle details such as knowing the exact angle of a smile, or capturing the slightest glimmer in the eyes.

How do you go about your creative process?

When designing anything, the first thing I do is gather references and inspiration. From there, I experiment with my own style and add a touch of personality.

What other books have you designed covers for?

This is actually one of my first book cover designs, however, I am currently in the process of creating a few personal designs, which I will share shortly.

Who has influenced you as a designer?

As a designer, I look to creative and unique minds, anyone from the great classic artists, to today’s entertainers and street artists can influence me by reiterating their courageousness on being different.

What made you want to go into art/design to begin with?

I've always had an artistic flare within, and it was very apparent when I undoubtedly "discovered" I was horrible in math!
I love painting, sewing, sketching, fashion and photography, hence, I made it a point to make sure that I was content in life as long as I had a creative career.

What's your favorite part of the design process?

My favorite part in design, whether it’s a t-shirt, business card, flyer or book cover, is the challenge of a particular goal that needs to be met. There is a great sense of fulfillment when it all comes together.

Do you have favorite types of covers that you gravitate towards over others? What are some of your favorite book cover designs?

I love children's book covers. I think there is a certain aspect that is endearing about the ability to create "outside the box" for the simplistic open mindedness of a young reader. One of my favorite covers is THE ROUGH-FACED GIRL, illustrated by David Shannon. I love how he was able to intensely portray the character’s humble personality in one frame. In addition, I also appreciate iconic book covers that hold lasting impressions such as the unforgettable TWILIGHT series and American classics such as THE GREAT GATSBY and GO ASK ALICE.


  1. This cover is beautiful, and I really want to read this book!

  2. This truly is a beautiful cover, the book is on my wish list, I hope to read it soon! Thanks for stopping by my Cover Crazy this week!

  3. What a great interview! I find it hard to believe it's one of your first designs, though. It's absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Hmm, I thought I posted about this cover, but my comment is not here. Weird....

    Anyways, I LOVE this cover. Its so awesome. The lightening coming out of her hands and the storm clouds and other details you pointed out in the background - all just way too cool.

    I also wanted to let you know you persuaded me to purchase a copy of this one. I can't wait to find the time to read it. :-)

  5. @Kayla: Isn't this cover gorgeous? It's what drew me to the book!

    @Lori: Thanks for stopping back! I'm glad you liked this cover, too!

    @Marissa: I know, isn't it shocking to see that it's one of Samantha's first designs? I was flabberghasted!

    @Gina: I think you posted about the cover in the entry form for the book review! I'm so glad I persuaded you into buying BETRAYAL & can't wait to hear what you think!

  6. I love this cover. It takes "girl in a pretty dress" and gives it substance by hinting at the story.


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