Judge This Book By Its Cover
So you know how when you were growing up and people always used to say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well maybe they didn’t used to say that to you, but people used to tell me that all the time, and for the most part it’s been true. I’ve read amazing books with awful covers and horrible books with great covers.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to face having a horrible cover on any of my books. I’ve been really blessed to be happy with all of the work done by Sheri, the Bold Strokes cover artist, but to be honest, I’m not sure I would want my books judged on them. I mean the covers are stellar, and I like to think the books are pretty good too, but Sheri’s talents and my talents are particularly related, right? With all of my books she’s been able to really show the tone of the book, but specifics of the cover are rarely specific points of the book. I mean Raine never stood alone and watched the sunset over a corn field, Campbell never actually skied alone in the woods, Joey and Elaine never strolled through heavily falling snow. They are images that show a collective vibe that flows throughout the book, and they’ve done so beautifully, but generally.
Until Spanish Heart. Sheri and I didn’t change anything about our process from my previous novels. She read the synopsis of the book and then came up with a few mock-ups. Then I looked at them and picked which of the elements I liked best. Then she combined them into a collective representation of the story. Only this time she didn’t just find the tone of the story, she went a step further and showed me an actual picture of something I’d only ever seen in my head.
I literally gasped when I saw the cover, then immediately sent it to my editor, Lynda Sandoval, who was the only person to have read the final version at that point. She wrote back saying “<Gasp> LOVE! Freaking P-E-R-F-E-C-T.”
The backdrop of the cover is the Plaza Espana in Sevilla, Spain, a site visited by my main characters, Ren and Lina, as they begin to move toward a relationship. I don’t want to give too much away, but in a moment of unguarded connection, each woman snaps a picture of the other. When I first saw the cover, I felt like I was looking at that moment, and from that moment I could see so much of their back story unfold behind them, and so much hope for their future ahead of them. From this cover, you get a glimpse of the characters, a peek of the plot, and sense of story as a whole.
I’m in love with this cover, I’m in love with these characters, I’m in love with this story, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing more of it with you over the next eight weeks as we gear up for its release.