• Interview with Shahed Salehian, Cover Artist for Cobalt City Rookies

    by  • December 14, 2012 • Interviews

    Cobalt City Rookies is a young adult trilogy that features three novels with superhero, teenage protagonists. They all take place in Cobalt City, where superheroes have always run rampant. However, in recent years there’s been a decided lack of heroes, and teens are stepping into the gap to make the City safe.

    This interview is with Shahed Salehian, who took the original photograph that was modified to become the cover of Cobalt City Rookies. That image struck the Timid Pirate staff with its bold, stark strength and the hopefulness inherent in the sky above, even though there are clouds. We asked Shahed some questions about his photography to understand how he captured such an arresting image.

    Cover for the young adult trilogy, a parkour image with clouds

    Original Photo By Shahed Salehian, Modified by Timid Pirate

    TPP: What inspires you to take photographs?

    Shahed Salehian: The interaction between people or, rather, the interaction between me and the model, as I’m mostly a portrait photographer. To capture these moments and to capture people’s faces and see the beauty in them really means a lot to me. Every person has a unique beauty to them. So in my eyes, there are no “unphotogenic” people… just bad photographers.

    TPP: How has it changed you as a person?

    Shahed Salehian: It made me see the world through different eyes. I “capture” the world with my eyes. I always look for light and enjoyable moments. It definitely helped me to find a certain positive perspective on life.

    Enjoy every moment and have the courage to do stuff you never thought you could!

    TPP: Did you envision this photo as a superhero type image?

    Shahed Salehian:  To be honest with you – No. I never looked at it as a “superhero” image. It basically was an image that described the relationship between two of my buddies. They love parkour and partly define themselves through it and I think that captures it really well.

    TPP: Do you read young adult fiction?

    Shahed Salehian: Nope. I rarely read books or comics only if have to because of school! It’s a bad habit, I know. I spend so much time on photography (and all of the things around it) and music (which is another passion of mine) that I can’t find the time to read books/comics.

    TPP: What message would you like to convey to young artists everywhere?

    Shahed Salehian: I’d like to encourage everyone to DO STUFF. It’s so easy to think about art or to think “ah, i could have made that!” Don’t think, JUST DO IT! It’s yet an obstacle I have to overcome myself but every time I think about it, it gets easier for me.

    And be different! Don’t copy others.

    All three Young Adult books can be found in the Cobalt City Rookies e-book. The trilogy is available for the Kindle, the Nook, or DRM-free in both formats plus a bonus PDF. It’s $4.99 and free to librarians (just email [email protected]!). Listen to a free audio excerpt from Wrecker of Engines right here, and an audio excerpt from Kensei right here.

    Shahed Salehian. I’m a Germany-based photographer. My parents are Iranian but I was born in Germany so I see myself as more German than anything else. I’m in my last year of school and will hopefully start university by the end of 2013. Photography wasn’t my first interest in life. I started off with baseball, which I got into through my brother. Meanwhile played the guitar for about 4-5 years. DJ-ing for another 2 years and now I started with photography in March 2012. My passion for art started way back in 2006, where I just got into Photoshop. Since then I’ve wanted to manipulate pictures, change everything or even create abstract images. But to find good stock photos was really difficult so I decided to capture them myself! Started out with a simple digital camera, and then this year made the jump to DSLR-photography through a friend of mine. And now I find myself taking portraits of the people around me. My personal website is www.shahedsalehian.de and my Facebook-page is www.facebook.com/shahed.photog

    Tags: art, black and white, book, book cover, books, Cobalt City Rookies, cover art, novel, parkour, photography, superheroes, young adult


    I got my first red pen at the age of nine, editing for a neighbor's grant publications. Little did she know she'd created a professional nitpicker, someone who would later mark up paperbacks and mail them to the publisher with tsk-tsk notes. Making stories better makes me happy.