Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sleep Before Evening

Did you design the cover? Actually it was my publisher who designed the cover, but they allowed me a lot of input and we had gone through quite a few designs, including hiring an artist to do some renditions, before we all agreed on this one. In the end I had my heart set on a pretty Kandinsky painting which seemed to have every element of the book in it, but the copyright costs were prohibitive. My publisher had already given me a few options to choose from, and I was the one who pointed to this one and asked for the tealy colour.

Did your publisher design the cover? Yes! See above.

Did you get to give any input about the cover design? Yes I did. BeWrite took a lot of time and trouble over it, going back and forth with designs and although I don't think they had to legally (and I don't believe large houses do), they let me have the final say about which cover I wanted.

Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details. We had an awful lot of trouble coming up with a workable cover design. We even hired an artist who did some gorgeous pictures, but they were too literal. My book is fairly rich in imagery, and when he tried to pick up one image (a pretty young girl playing chess for example), it make the book seem like something other than what it was. We had ocean scenes, pianos, chess boards, music stands, music books on pianos, music books over the ocean, a heroin needle, a needle mingling with a piano, and so on. You get the idea! We also went for some beautiful abstract art, but the really famous stuff like Kandinsky was just too expensive. The Tasmanian artist I found didn't get back to us. In the end, my publisher designed the cover herself, and created something very simple, quite abstract, but still evocative of the book.

Who is the cover artist? I believe it was designed by Cait Myers, my publisher.

Are you happy with the cover? Yes. I wasn't at first to be honest. I felt it was too blah -- too dark and blurry. But it has definitely grown on me.

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover. I like how it suggests a young girl, perhaps in that state of happy euphoria that children get when being swung on a swing or thrown around by a trusted parent. The cover seems to capture that paradoxical sense of abandon and absolute safety that drives my character into the situation she gets herself into. But I also like how it doesn't lead the reader too much -- it's allows itself, like all good covers to, to meld with the reader's own perception of the book. I think that's important, particularly in my novel, which seems to have the effect of being read quite differently by different readers (and I'm happy about that!).

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