Friday, July 19, 2013

Cover Scoop (Reblogged)

Today I wrote a post for The Lucky 13s blog about my cover and part of the design process.  I wanted to share the insider's view with all my readers here too, so I hope you don't mind if I reblog it!

Of all the things a debut author can be nervous about during the path to publication, I have to say that my cover was one of the biggest for me.  I thought about it all the time.  Would I love it?  Would I hate it?  Would it make sense to my book?  I was so worried about it that when I finally got the e-mail from my editor with the cover, it took me almost two hours to open!

But luckily, I LOVED it.  Although, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. 

Here's my cover story...

About six months before I saw my cover, I received a document full of questions that would help the art department with the creation of my cover:

CHARACTERS: Please give a description (hair color, eye color, height, age, sex, and race) of your two main characters. If your characters are not human, please be as descriptive as possible. Feel free to attach images for reference.

NAME: Kate Franklin
SEX: Female
AGE: 15
HAIR COLOR:  Brown hair (long enough to pull into a ponytail)
RACE: White
ATTITUDE: She’s going through some tough times for a lot of the story…she misses her mom and feels alone during most of the story because her Dad can’t/won’t connect with her and her brother has enlisted into the Army (which scares her).  She wants to find a connection to people, but has a hard time doing that because she doesn’t want to compromise herself. 
SIMILAR TO: Ellen Page, Willa Holland, Molly Ephraim, Ashley Rickards
CLOTHING: Current with the trends, but not too trendy…jeans (maybe skinny jeans), ballet flats.  She also wears a navy blue uniform skirt with white blouse.
OUTSTANDING FEATURES: She’s pretty average looking; I don’t think she has a feature that stands out.  She’s pretty, but not beautiful.

NAME: Jack Blane
SEX: Male
AGE: 16
WEIGHT: Tall and thin
EYE COLOR: Blue/Green
RACE: White
ATTITUDE: A bit cocky because he’s a star athlete and feels he gets privileges, but he’s also a good guy…he respects Kate and her father (the coach)
SIMILAR TO: Chord Overstreet, Chad Michael Murray
CLOTHING: I picture him in typical preppy type clothes (Hollister, American Eagle), I reference him wearing jeans with Converse sneakers, hoodies.  At school he would wear navy blue or khaki dress pants, white dress shirt and tie as part of his uniform.  His basketball uniform is maroon and canary yellow.
OUTSTANDING FEATURES: His eyes…they are a greenish-blue…kind of like looking at earth from space

*Swimming pool at night (Kate swims laps in the dark, her mom also swam at night when she got sick)
*Basketball court (the main character does not play, her dad coaches and she watches her boyfriend play)
*Beacon Prep School (old brick school)

*Maroon and canary yellow (the basketball team’s colors)
*Kate wears a navy blue uniform skirt if at school

*The main character fights off a sex assault by a player on the basketball team and wants to speak up about it, but her dad silences her (he’s the coach of the time), she must decide whether to say something or not.
*The main character has lost her mom and feels like her dad has shut himself down and won’t talk to her and her brother.  She feels like she’s alone with no one to talk to.
*The main character is pulled into the world of privilege and perks given to the basketball players at her school.  The players are basically treated like gods and can do no wrong (they get away with everything).

*Swimming pool at night (Kate swims laps in the dark, her mom also swam at night when she got sick)
*Basketball court (the main character does not play, her dad coaches and she watches her boyfriend play)

When I envision the cover I see either a silhouette of Kate swimming in a swimming pool at night (perhaps from above, so the whole cover is the pool and her silhouette is on the bottom) or Kate floating on her back in a pool at night maybe with her hair spread out around her.  Again, I see the whole cover the pool and a small part the main character of Kate.  I think this would evoke the idea of solitude or feeling alone, especially at night.

The other image that comes to mind is an empty basketball court and either Kate sitting alone in her school uniform on the edge of a bleacher or lying on the floor of the court (again, the whole court is most of the cover).  This would also evoke that idea/mode of being alone or solitude.  She doesn’t play basketball, but she’s surrounded by it.

Something similar to the cover for Carrie Arcos' Out of Reach...

After submitting all of this information to my art department, this is the cover that they came up with:

Not exactly like the cover that I suggest, huh!?!

If you look at my cover compared to the information I gave my art department, you would probably think it’s way off from what I was suggesting.  But the thing is, I think they got it before I did.  Throughout my comments, I kept referencing words like “solitude,” “alone,” and “scared.”  That’s exactly what the cover expresses.  I also love how the colors are those of the school and that the canary is in a basketball court.  The background looks like a school lunch bag and the vivid blue of the tear suggests hope.  I couldn’t have asked for a better cover, and I love the way the artist translated the emotions from the book.  

What do you think?  Would you pick it up off the shelf?  Click here to read more about Canary on my website.


Pretty Knitty said...

I would! And I think you did a fabulous job of communicating to the art dept. the emotion of the book! I love that you gave us this insight into this particular part of the process...I learned something today!

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