Recently, I came across the rainy, blue cover for Geliebter Mörder, an upcoming translation, from Blanvalet Paperbacks, a German imprint of Random House. I'm always intrigued by overseas artwork, the various depictions used to sell a work in foreign markets. I liked this one, but I couldn't say to which of my books this cover belonged. The title, which translates to "Beloved Murderer" didn't help me a whole lot either.
Still curious days later, I tried Google and came up with the answer. This cover is for The Deadliest Denial (the red covered U.S. version). Also posted are the white Estonian version and the deep blue, babydoll and handgun (hmmm...) Polish concept. All visions from the same story, each of them surprising in its own way.
In the same way, a dozen or a hundred or a thousand authors could each tackle the same plotline (in the case of The Deadliest Denial, it's the story of a police officer's wife awakened by a knock at the door, not the news the her beloved husband has been killed, as she fears and half-expects, but the shocking revelation that's he's been arrested for conspiring to kill her). No two versions would ever be the same.
So when you're working on a fabulous, original (or so you think!) idea and hear of another, similar book or movie, don't fret too much about it. Your version will be as different, or more different, than these cover visions are from one another. Your unique voice, your world view, can't be "stolen." It's as individual as the DNA encoded in your genes.
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Peace, love, and statutory compliance ~