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"I love the cover of Torn, because by some amazing coincidence, the model looks like the friend on whom Stella, my narrator, is based (see the picture of 'Stella' and me in high school, below right). I also like the model because I can see both Latina and Eastern European characteristics in her face, and Stella is biracial Mexican and Croatian..."
has some great covers. (Remember the makeovers of her illustrated-cover books into photographic covers
? Love that!)
Her 2012 book, Such a Rush
, is no exception. Jennifer's here to share her Cover Story:
"When the publisher asked me for my input on the cover, I told them a big sky would be good, but we would also need to see the characters Leah and Grayson to make it evident to readers that the book is a romance. They came back with two possibilities. One looked like the back cover, showing the small-town airport with an airplane overhead, except that Leah and Grayson were also lying in the grass. The other looked like the front cover...."
Read Jennifer's full Cover Story on melissacwalker.com
Jason Odell Williams
is an Emmy-nominated producer, and his first novel was just optioned for a three-picture deal. Whee! Plus, Jason tells a good Cover Story. Here he is:
"I never had a cover in mind while writing Personal Statement
. I never really picture a cover or poster for any of my work (books, plays, films) until the writing is at least mostly finished. So with Personal Statement
, I never had a preconceived idea; I was so focused on just finishing the manuscript.
"So once I had a solid first draft, I sat around over dinner and drinks with my publishers Carey Albertine and Saira Rao
and we started brainstorming cover ideas. We thought about something hurricane-related, like a trashed backyard that could look like either the morning after a storm or a wild party. But that didn’t really say enough about the 'Personal Statement'-college application part of the book. Another idea we floated around was having a shot of the major players in some sort of pose like an album cover or action shot during the Hurricane prep, but again that felt too linear and only dealt with the volunteer aspect of the story.
"So we came up with the idea of crumpled up paper, all of these false starts when trying to write a personal statement and succinctly tell strangers at college 'who you are.' The one we had sort of settled on was the one with the can of Red Bull and the 'cover' page of a personal statement with a boot print and coffee stains on it (right). And we were pretty happy with it and were going to go with that. But Carey & Saira wanted to punch it up a little, so they asked Nick Guarracino
, who had recently been brought on to do the illustrations for another book they were doing, to take a look at the cover and make it pop more.
"He read some of the book, looked at our cover, and instead of punching up the old one, he came up with 6 completely different options. My publishers looked at them all and knew right away it was the hand thrusting up from the pile of pages. They texted me the image and I took one look and was blown away. The last I knew, our cover was going to b the page with the coffee stain on it, so to then suddenly see this amazing, bright, dynamic, bold arresting cover, I was so excited and thrilled. I immediately texted back and said 'YES that’s the one.' (I may have used some profanity in my excitement... as in 'Holy SH*TBALLS that's amazing! I love it! Yes!')
"And I actually never saw these other options (left) until this week. And while the girl’s face was a close contender, there is something sad and melancholy about it that’s not quite right for the book. Also, it’s hard to put a real face (even half of a face) on a book cover. And I never liked the idea of 'casting' a character before someone reads the book. (What if the Rani on the cover doesn’t match the Rani in your head?) So in the end, I know we made the right call with the hand thrusting up from the pile of balled up pages.
"Nick told me the photo was made by taking a picture of a friend’s hand and then using photo shop to add the balled up pages and the color in the background. Then he made the hand look more feminine and ethnically ambiguous. What I like about that is then the hand becomes like a mirror… you see what you want to see. When I first saw it, I thought it was a white guy’s hand. Others see a white girl or an Asian or Indian-American girl. And now when I look at it I can't decide if it's Emily Kim's hand or Rani's. So it’s cool that the hand has that 'every-person' quality to it.
"And now, the more I look at the cover, the more I see how right it is for this book. The hand at first seemed to be simply frustrated to me, but now I also see defiance and breaking free and standing out from the crowd. The hand is coming up for air after drowning in expectation for so long. Of course, I’m reading a lot into it and people looking at the cover for the first time might never see any of that, but I think what the cover does convey, even at first glance, is a sense of being bold and explosive and exciting. It would make me stop twice if I saw it on a shelf (even a 'digital' shelf!) And for all of those reasons, I love this cover couldn't be happier!"
Jessica Brody has shared two previous Cover Stories here (for My Life Undecided
and The Karma Club
). She's back to tell the tale behind the cover of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
"I’m terrible at envisioning covers. So no, I didn’t really have an idea in mind. But I knew I wanted it to show the contrast of my main character’s two worlds (spoiled heiress and working girl) which I think they ended up doing really well!
"Honestly, I was surprised when I saw the cover. It was SO different from the light, pastel, girly looks of my other YA book and my publisher had told me they were going to keep with the same look. So when I opened this, I almost thought that they sent me the wrong cover! It was all edgy and kind of punk rock-ish. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it..."
I'm a sucker for bridges. And running. And flowing hair. So the cover of Eve
? Kind of up my alley. Here's Anna Carey
to talk about the cover of the first book in the Eve
"I had a vague sense of what the book might look like. The name--Eve--conjures so much. We all know Adam and Eve, and there's so much imagery associated with their story. Originally I saw the cover as having a lot of lush greenery. I sometimes saw a pale girl lost in the forest. It's funny, the book trailer captures a lot of those original images and ideas that were left behind as the cover evolved.
"The designer asked for a list of images or words that appear in the book. I can't seem to locate that list, though I'm 99% sure the designer came up with the bridge idea, which I love. It's hard to go back through your book and decide which imagery is meaningful and/or metaphorical--so much of that is folded into the manuscript unconsciously. I'm pretty certain all my suggestions were fairly basic. Thankfully she didn't put a wall or a cluster of trees on there. I don't think it would've had the same effect..."
Diana Peterfreund tends to have great covers, and when I saw For Darkness Shows the Stars
(a post-Apocalyptic take on Jane Austen's Persuasion
, hello!), I fell in love with the starry sky. So I asked her about it, and here she is:
"I always have an idea in mind for my covers, but since I’m not an artist it’s probably best that my publishers ignore me. They did ask me to send inspiration pictures, though. I sent in a lot of pictures of harsh seascapes and rocky cliffs and beaches beneath a sunset/sunrise and a starry sky. Sometimes there were forlorn women standing on these beaches. I think Harper and I were totally on the same page about the direction we wanted to go in, which mostly makes me feel like I’m finally getting a hang of this imagery thing.
"I asked for something very lush and romantic, to fit the feel of the book. Also, because this book has such a distinctive title that bucks the trend of the one-word YA book titles, I asked for a fun font treatment that really highlighted the title..."
The fantastic Elizabeth Eulberg
is here to share the story of her latest cover. Take a Bow
is told in four points of view (so hard!) and I've heard only raves about how awesome this book is (MTV's Crush gave it a standing ovation
). YES! Also, the cover is blindingly eye-catching, no? Here's Elizabeth:
"I usually don't start thinking about the cover until I'm almost done with the book. I didn't really have a clear idea of the cover until I had the title (the book was untitled for awhile). Then once we settled on Take a Bow as the title, I automatically envisioned a cover very similar to the final cover. It's really freaky how in sync the book designer (the fabulous Elizabeth Parisi), my editor (David Levithan), and I are. We've been on the same page for all of my books. Just the other day, I told David my thoughts on the cover for my next book and they were already mocking up covers with the exact same concept - scary! The only difference between my idea for Take a Bow
and Scholastic's was that I was picturing four people 'taking a bow' to reflect a key scene in the book, but I think the one person is more dramatic and personal.
"I really don't like having faces on covers of books, it's just a personal preference I've always had..."
Read the rest of Elizabeth's Cover Story on melissacwalker.com
And read about her newly redesigned paperback cover
Congrats to Elizabeth on her new release, Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality
! Read her amazing twitter #GreatPersonality roundup
shared a fun Cover Story here a while ago, for Reality Chick
, and she's back, yay! The first book in the Belles
series is, well, Belles
. Here's Jen to talk about the cover:
"Designer Tracy Shaw has worked on all my Secrets of My Hollywood Life
covers and did Sleepaway Girls
as well so to be honest, I wasn't really worried about the design--I knew she'd come up with something beautiful.
"The team is always nice enough to tell me what they're thinking, and I figure they know best so go with it! The only concern I had when they were doing this cover was who the cover model was going to be. I had hoped she'd resemble one of the two protagonists--Mira or Izzie. This cover definitely feels like Mira to me--a true Southern belle. There will be four books in the Belles series and each cover will feature a different girl from the series. Hopefully Izzie will get her turn at some point! The Winter White cover (Belles 2, out this October) features a girl who looks like Savannah, Mira's best friend (well, best friend when we start out in book one!).
"The girl on the cover is a real model! I know that because she actually friended me on Facebook and told me this was her first photo shoot..."
Read the rest of Jen's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
Susane was here last year to talk about the original hardcover
(pictured below) and now she's back to discuss the brand spanking new paperback version (left):
"Can I just say how much I adore the shiny new paperback cover of So Much Closer
"This is the first time one of my book covers changed from the hardcover to paperback edition. I loved that the photo shoot for the So Much Closer
hardcover was done on the High Line. The High Line is my favorite place here in New York. It plays a big role in the book and has a really unique energy. But my publisher received feedback that the original cover (right) was too street..."
Read the rest of Susane's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
Jo Knowles is here to talk about her latest novel, See You at Harry's
. (Read a rave review on Stacked
, and note that it got a star from Kirkus
"I think I imagined [the cover as] an image of the restaurant described in the book [as I was writing]. Or the family posing for their annual Christmas card. But… nothing really concrete. I was just hoping whatever it was, I would love it.
"My publisher didn't ask for input. But I gave a few suggestions when I was arguing to keep the title, which is another whole story.
"When I first saw the cover, I felt... Relief! I thought the image was perfect. I liked that the background was blue, not pink. I liked that it wasn’t an image of a sad or lonely girl. I loved that the empty dish had two spoons, not one. I felt that the image captured the mood of the book just right, without giving too much away..."
Read the rest of Jo's Cover Story, and see the cover that a big book chain didn't love, at melissacwalker.com
I had the chance to hang out with Jessi Kirby
in Houston last year, and I can confirm that she is fantastic and fun and smart and all the things she seems to be. Also, her book, In Honor
, contains a Tim Riggins type. SOLD. (Read a review from A Book and a Latte
Here's Jessi to talk about the cover:
"My publisher asked for input before they got to work on the cover, and I said 'It’d be really great if you could somehow include the car, (which is a 67 Chevy Impala), and Honor in her dress and red cowboy boots.'
"When I saw the cover, I absolutely LOVED it. Truly, madly, deeply loved it. From the font, to the car, to the boots, it was EXACTLY what I was hoping for..."
But of course there were a couple of changes! Read Jessi's full story on melissacwalker.com
Rgz SALON member Lyn Miller-Lachmann has been the Editor-in-Chief of MultiCultural Review; the author of the award-winning multicultural bibliography Our Family, Our Friends, Our World; the editor of Once Upon a Cuento, a collection of short stories by Latino authors; and the author of Gringolandia, a young adult novel about a refugee family living with the aftermath of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Her most recent novel, Rogue--has a very cool Cover Story, and she's here to share it:
"My YA novel, Gringolandia, had an unusual and powerful cover closely connected to the story, and I was heavily involved in the design process. A small press published the novel, and in general, small presses do give authors far greater input than large corporate publishers. Thus, when I signed the contract for Rogue, I knew I’d get a chance to see the cover beforehand but I’d have little or no role in the ultimate decision-making.
"That said, the result exceeded my wildest expectations. My wonderful editor, Nancy Paulsen at Penguin, commissioned Marikka Tamura, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and other prestigious venues. We all agreed that the cover of Rogue needed a bicycle, because bicycles of all kinds play an important role in the story. Once we decided on the title of 'Rogue,' after the X-Men superhero with whom my main character, Kiara, is obsessed, we all knew the cover needed a comic-book superhero motif.
"When I first saw the cover design, the only thing that concerned me was the thought bubble that contained the novel’s first line: 'It usually took the new kids two weeks to dump me, three weeks at the most.' The reason is that when I was in school, I used to descend on the new kids, to make them my friends before the more popular kids stole them away. It never worked, and my own friendships never lasted more than a few weeks. So I was nervous about advertising unpopularity—Kiara’s and mine—on the cover.
"My editor did not agree with me. The one change that the publisher made from the galley to the finished copy was to change the thought bubble from pink to blue (see galley cover on the right). And here’s where we did have outside input—not mine, but my seventh grade student’s recommendation.
"When I told my seventh graders that my novel had been accepted, under the title KIARA RULES, and read them the first chapter, a student named Dan said, 'This is the kind of book I’d read, but not if it has a girl’s name in the title and pink on the cover.' So KIARA RULES became ROGUE, but the graffiti 'Kiara Rulz' on the cover recognizes the earlier title and Kiara’s generally fruitless efforts to be 'cool' and in control. And, of course, the pink thought bubble became a blue thought bubble. That was a good move because it turns out that boys do enjoy reading Rogue. It’s rare to have boys pick up a novel with a girl protagonist—The Hunger Games is a notable exception—so I’m thrilled that Rogue is in that company. At the same time, Kiara, like Katniss, doesn’t take on traditional gender roles, and every other character is a boy. Like many girls with Asperger’s syndrome, myself included, Kiara’s first real friends turn out to be boys rather than girls.
"The gender-neutral cover captures perfectly my main character, her tendency to get in trouble even though she wants to be good, her sense of being an outsider, and her superhero obsession as she struggles to find her own special power. It’s also an lively cover that hints at the outdoors setting and the action and suspense that should keep the pages turning."
Thanks, Lyn! I love the idea that seventh graders weighed in here and got a voice at the table! Can't wait to read it!
Terra Elan McVoy
has been here before to share her adorable covers for Pure
and After the Kiss
(read those Cover Stories
), and now she's here to talk about Being Friends With Boys
. How great is that title? Here's more about the cover, from Terra:
"I never have any idea about my covers; I’m so lucky to have been assigned to such smart, clever, amazing people at Simon Pulse to work on them. This team does such an incredible job, and I figure it’s best to leave that work in their capable hands!
"Admittedly, my very first thought when I saw the cover was, 'But there aren’t any coffeehouses in the book! They never drink coffee!' Very quickly though, I realized that was a pretty lame and limiting response.
"My editor was incredibly patient with me and let me just sit on my first reaction until I came to my senses and realized this was perfect.
"The cover did change, in one important way..."Read Terra's full Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
Diana Rodriguez Wallach
has a fast-releasing trilogy of stories coming out this fall, and each has a different cover. Here's the story of #1, and the full-series cover:
"I told my publisher that I really wanted a mirror in all of my covers. I wanted that to be the element that tied the series together visually.
"My release is a little different from your average book. Reflecting Emmy
is the first short story in my Mirror, Mirror
trilogy. Each of my short stories—Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, and Shattering GiGi
—will be released individually as ebooks in September, October, and November, respectively. Then they will be compiled together to create the Mirror, Mirror
trilogy, with an additional short story prequel and bonus material, to be released in December.
"So if you add it all together, that’s a whopping FOUR different covers for this series..."
Eileen Cook has been here before, sharing Cover Stories for What Would Emma Do?
, The Education of Hailey Kendrick
and Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
(all awesome tales, btw). Her new release is Unraveling Isobel
, and there's a rainbow Cover Story to tell:
"When I finished this book I was certain I knew what should be on the cover. I pictured a creepy gothic house perched on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. I’d been imagining the house in the book for so long I could imagine it perfectly. I’d even drawn floor plans of the house when writing the book. Of course the problem with having this type of clear vision, it’s really hard to find something in the real world that matches.
"I’m incredibly lucky to work with the team at Simon Pulse. They always invite me to participate in the cover design process. They talk to me not only about what I imagine the cover looking at, but also the feeling I want the cover to impart. My cover designer, Cara Petrus, wanted to make sure that the cover had some of the creepy gothic feel, but also wasn’t too dark as the book has humor too. Cara picked up on Isobel’s interest in art and also her feeling of being trapped..."
Read the rest of Eileen's Cover Story, and see the other color scheme possibilities, at melissacwalker.com
Diva Holly Cupala was here to talk about the cover of her debut novel, Tell Me a Secret
. Now, her second novel, Don't Breathe a Word
, is out this month, and it has a cover that manages to convey both darkness and sparkle! Here's Holly with the Cover Story:
"After the gorgeous cover HarperTeen put together for Tell Me a Secret
, I knew to expect something fantastic for my second, Don't Breathe a Word
… though it came about in a completely different (and for me, much more nail-biting) way…
"The original working title was Street Creed
, which is what the design team initially had to work with. The first cover concept was… steamy (below). It featured two gorgeous creatures, probably Italian models, who met as if by chance after a swirling, beaded-dress-bedecked night for an almost-kiss. Sigh.
"But it didn’t feel like my book.
"Don’t Breathe a Word
is the story of Joy, who runs away from home to escape an abusive relationship to the streets of Seattle. She finds allies who have secrets of their own, including Creed—a homeless boy who dreams of making it in the music industry.
"There is a steamy relationship (and Creed is swoonworthy!), but there are no beaded dresses. In fact, the only scene where that dress could have appeared was at a fundraiser party where Joy meets her boyfriend Asher—the dark reason she has to leave. Also, I was worried with the final title, it would look like 'Don’t Breathe a Word about that naughty thing we did after the prom.' No. Oh no..."
Read the rest of Holly's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com,
and read about her amazing launch contest
You guys, I'm reading Miranda Kenneally
's Catching Jordan
right now, and it's filling my Friday Night Lights
void! Yay! Here's Miranda with her Cover Story:
"I imagined my main character, Jordan, lying head-to-toe in a patch of grass with her best friend, Sam Henry. She’d be holding a football and he would be playing with some white clover.
"[My publisher] didn’t ask for input, but I couldn’t have been happier with the first options I saw.
"There were three options, and I didn’t have any comments other than, 'I love them!'
Read the rest of Miranda's Cover Story, and see previous cover tries for the book, at melissacwalker.com
I've got a new copy of Melissa Kantor's The Darlings in Love
, and she's here to share the Cover Story! Here's Melissa:
"I had a fantasy
of the cover, which might be different from an idea. When I was a kid, there was this book Forever
, by Judy Blume. On the cover was a locket with a picture of a girl's face, and when you opened the cover, you saw more of that picture--the girl's whole body, the boy she was standing with, etc. It was this amazing reveal. Well, since pearl pendants play a big role in the story of the Darlings, I wanted the cover to picture a chain with a pearl on it, and when you opened the cover, you saw that the pearl was actually on a girl's neck and that girl was standing with her two best friends. There's a name for that (a cutaway? something like that). But my editor said that covers like that tend to snag and rip and that's a real problem. As happens with so many things in life, reality intruded on fantasy.
"Once the pearl necklace idea was nixed, I think we discussed there being three of something, to symbolize the thee Darlings. The only thing I didn't
want was three cupcakes. There are a lot of cupcake covers out there."
"When I first saw my cover, I hated
it. I am not exaggerating. I remember calling my editor and making it clear that I was furious
. I was like, This is the worst
cover! What were you thinking? I hate
this cover, etc. She's a very calm, rational person, and she tried to get me to be specific, so I more or less listed everything about the cover (from the font to the color to the cookies) and said why I hated it..."
Read the rest of Melissa's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
has written a ton of YA novels, the latest of which are the Blood Coven series [read those Cover Stories
]. Her very first Young Adult book, though, was Sk8er Boy
. Now it's out of print and she's got the e-rights, so she was able to create her own updated cover. Cool, right? Here's Mari with the story:
"You never forget your first. And for me, that was Sk8er Boy
. My first true love and the title of my first young adult romance, published in 2005. Perhaps the most autobiographical book I've ever written, it's a sort of Romeo and Juliet with text messaging.
"I originally sold the book to Dorchester, a romance publisher who had just introduced a new line of young adult books called Smooch. I had done one other romance for them, but this was my first teen book. So you can imagine how excited I was to see the cover.
"It looks pretty silly now (right), but you have to remember, at the time, those iPod commercials (see below) were really big and so I guess the artist felt it would appeal to a teen crowd. Still, though I knew it was trendy, I never felt as if it captured the feel of my actual book. It's not romantic, for one thing. It's not sweet. You don't get a good feel for the plot or characters. Oh and I hate the girl's purse! At the time, everyone had hobo bags and large purses--hers looks like something out of the late eighties. As does her outfit...
Read the rest of Mari's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
named Jenny Hubbard
's debut a Flying Start
last spring, and summarized the novel thusly:
"Set in the early 1980s, Paper Covers Rock
is structured as the journal of 16-year-old Alex No Middle Name Stromm, who is holding onto some secrets about the recent drowning death of one of his classmates."
The title and cover caught my attention, and here's Jenny to explain that gazing boy from Paper Covers Rock
"I didn’t envision a cover while I was writing, but after I found out it was going to be published, I envisioned a black-and-white photograph of three boys in silhouette on a rock, their backs to the viewer.
"All I said [to my publisher] was, 'Please don’t put a face on my narrator.'
"The cover that is currently on the book is not the first one that was designed for the book. The first one caused me to burst into tears--truly. It was entirely wrong, both in mood and character depiction. What the reader would have seen was a free-spirited, smiling, skater-dude boy in mid-jump over water..."
Read the rest of Jenny's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
The lovely Laura Resau
has a new book out! The Jade Notebook is the third in her beautiful series about Zeeta (read her Cover Story for The Indigo Notebook
). Kirkus Reviews
says, "In this third in a series of novels focusing on Zeeta and her wanderlust-stricken mother, readers are immersed in the details of a lovingly described coastal town in Mexico and an action-filled mystery surrounding the poaching of ancient sea turtles that make their home there... a graceful conclusion to Zeeta’s story."
Here's Laura to tell the tale of the cover:
"I'm happy and honored to be back on your blog, Melissa--I could spend all day reading these fascinating cover stories
"The Jade Notebook
is the third and final book in the travel-adventure-themed Notebooks series, each of which is set in a different country. The series went through a few different cover looks over the past few years. If you're curious, you can read the story behind the hardcover look of the first in the series, The Indigo Notebook
. For that cover, my publisher, Delacorte, did a photo shoot of an open, vintage-style suitcase containing items that evoked each different setting..."
Read the rest of Laura's Cover Story on melissacwalker.com
's debut novel sounds like something I need on top of my pile. ("Sylvia Plath and an old typewriter usher an angsty virgin through the worst summer of her freaking life.") Also, the cover spoke to me. So I spoke to Arlaina about it. Here she is: "I had this fantasy that the cover of And Then Things Fall Apart
was going to be a newer, updated version of a classic The Bell Jar
cover, like the one with the creepy letters and the rose, or the Victoria Lucas (Sylvia’s pen name) with the dark purple letters, or even the cool one with the spirals. Like one of those, but 'updated, for the youth of today!'
"I mentioned my 'Updated, for the youth of today!' idea to my editor… and we never spoke of it again.
"At first first first, I thought the cover was a little too cute. But too cute or not I fell in love, immediately, with the typewriter. The BLUE TYPEWRITER. And my huge ego loved that my name was right there in the middle. I was also happy there were no bodies on it, no anonymous 'teens' acting 'quirky' in stripped tights and pink hair..."
Read the rest of Arlaina's Cover Story on melissacwalker.com
Linda Joy Singleton has been here to share her Cover Story for Dead Girl Walking
, and she's back to talk about her latest novel, Buried: A Goth Girl Mystery
"For this cover, I actually thought they would show more of a Goth girl. I wanted something with a girl in dark flowy clothes, netting, piercings combined with a mysterious setting. "Flux usually asks me for suggestions and I did a search on Goth girls and sent some of my favorites in as examples. I wanted something beautiful, edgy and mysterious.
"When I first saw the cover, it was a surprise, not what I visualized but dramatic and mysterious...."
Read the rest of Linda Joy's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com.
Today, Shirley Marr is here to share her cover for Preloved
. It's such a sweet title, right? And the concepts are as emotional as the final cover. Here's Shirley:
"I'm a very visual and 'big picture' person, so with every new novel I start, after I come up with the storyline and title (which I make happen at the same time), I look around for an image which I think best sums up what I am trying to write. Preloved
is a vintage-flavoured romantic ghost story with themes of second chances and second hand things. I found a particular image with the theme, motifs (whimsical vintage bike!) and 'feel' I was going for.
"So yes, I make myself an 'unofficial' cover. I don't go as far as putting my own name on it, but the image itself is as influential to me as any notes and research I collect, I will often glance at it for inspiration.
"I didn't have any input into the covers that were created..."
Read the rest of Shirley's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com
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is here to talk about the cover of his latest (and incredibly great) novel:
"The idea I pitched for the cover of Boy21
was a shot of Finley and Russ from the neck down. Finley would have been in his team uniform and holding a basketball. Russ would have been in his space costume and holding his makeshift astronaut helmet. I still think that would have been a good cover, but I have to admit that what the designer came up with was much much better. Maybe this is why I am a fiction writer and not a jacket designer!
"When I saw the design, I yelled, 'YES!' Alicia [his wife] came running into my office to see why I was yelling, looked at the image on my computer screen, and said, 'That's so much better than what you pitched them. That cover is amazing! Amazing!' It was a happy day.
"At one point they changed the photo of Russ, who is depicted on the cover. The photo they swapped in featured an older-looking teen who appeared harder and maybe even menacing. It didn't look like Russ at all. I immediately wrote an e-mail explaining why the original photo captured Russ perfectly. The teen on the cover now has an intensity--especially if you look into his eyes--but he also looks a little vulnerable and as if he would be a complex person. Russ is a very complex character, who is troubled, but is also wise and compassionate and intuitive. I believe there was a meeting regarding which photo to use and, happily, everyone at Little, Brown agreed..."
Read the rest of Matthew's Cover Story on melissacwalker.com