When I saw the email from my editor with the art for my book’s cover attached, the scary music started. My heart beat faster and I covered my eyes. Knowing that I was about to meet my book’s cover was like coming face-to-face with Bachelor Number 1, or waiting to see what prize I’d chosen behind Door Number 2. As in freshman roommates and first marriages, I could be in for serious misery that would not go away anytime soon.
I clicked on download.
Wow. Pink. A fuzzy manor house conveys an imaginaary world. Okay. The neck-down girl seems familiar. I like the scuffed black shoe and the old book. The cloth she’s sitting on reminds me of fabric my grandmother bought in Iran and made into curtains. Where did they ever find a coat with roses? What an odd piece of clothing. Roses, hmm.
It took me days to catch on.
It wasn’t until proofing the copyedited corrections that I ran smack dab into the roses and realized that someone besides my mother has read my book. I wrote those roses into existence. Here is the first mention of roses:
“I’d snuggled into my mother’s side, tracing the roses on the floral chintz loveseat, wondering how there could be so much purple and blue in the pink petals. When she read, my mother’s voice mixed the lush sofa roses with the soft reading light and the romance of storybook heroines. All for me.”
The cover designer read my book! And got that Lily associates the sofa roses with the world of her imagination–or living in a novel. When she wonders about so much purple and blue in pink roses, she’s really wondering about: the richness and complexity of a beautiful life, the pain and suffering in love. The roses make another appearance later in the novel, but you’ll have to read the book (like my mother and my cover designer) to see what happens.
(Those are roses, right?)
- I have cards (business size) with the cover printed on one side and the book’s information on the other. I will send you one (with extras for your reading friends) if you email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me where to send them.
- If you would like to read my perspective on the cover’s design process, (posted on Austen Authors), click here.
- If you would like to read my essay about being pregnant with a book, (posted on Girlfriends Book Club), click here.
- If you are growing weary of my precious book cover, come back next week. We have a puppy.