It’s funny how you can spend weeks, months, years seeing things one way – until something changes your view. And it never ceases to amaze me how two people can see the same thing so differently.
Take, for instance, my lounge.
Some backstory. When we bought this house, almost two years ago, one of the things we liked most about it was that it didn’t need much work doing to it. Our previous house, when we moved in, needed serious redecorating in every room, and also had a doorway shaped like a coffin. We were DIYed out.
But, of course, the reason the new house didn’t need much doing was that everything painted magnolia. And after eighteen months of beige and brown, it started to get a little… dull.
So the husband and I discussed colours. I thought a nice pale duck egg blue would look nice with the chocolate brown sofas and brown and beige curtains and carpet. He agreed.
Then I went away for two weeks over Easter and when I returned he’d furnished the downstairs of our house with a variety of bright turquoise and dark teal accessories. Not quite what I had in mind…
Still, since he’d put in so much effort, I decided we’d go with it. And a week or two later, my boring beige and brown lounge looks like this:
We painted one wall, shifted some furniture around and put up a new shelf, and suddenly it feels like a completely different room. And because my sofa is now on the other side of the room, I suddenly have a whole new perspective on the entire downstairs of my house.
I love it. It’s not at all what I imagined that I wanted, but now I have it, I love it. His vision of the same room was different to mine, but perfectly wonderful, all the same.
The same thing happens with book covers, I find.
When I finish writing a book (or sometimes, if I’m running a little behind schedule, while I’m writing the book) I fill in an Art Fact Sheet (AFS). The AFS is my chance to tell the designers and everyone else involved what my book is about, what my characters look like, where it’s set. I get to describe a few of my favourite scenes, tell them what my characters are wearing, and where they are. I describe the mood of the book, the feel of the story.
And then they go away and design my cover, while I wait impatiently and bite my fingernails, desperate to see what they come up with.
The funny thing is, because I get a couple of different covers for each book – one for the UK and one for the US at the least – I get to see different interpretations of the same information, the same story, the same characters. And it amazes me, every time, how each version completely nails the book – even when they’re totally different!
A few examples:
Stranded with the Tycoon
A large and important part of this book takes place in a cosy Welsh cottage during a snow storm – and I have to say that the North American cover conveys that perfectly.
But the characters meet in a swanky hotel, drink champagne and go out to dinner together. So the UK cover hits that nicely too. Same story, different pictures.
Heiress on the Run
Here, the UK cover focusses entirely on Faith, the heroine. In lots of ways it is her story, and she’s the one in the title, so it makes sense. And I love the look on her face, the challenge in her eyes – that truly is Faith.
But some of the most important scenes in the book take place in St James’s Park (one of my very favourite places) and I love that the North American cover encompasses that. (On the other hand, I have no idea where the bike came from. After my latest covers, I’m starting to worry that inexplicable bikes may now be a theme in my book covers.)
A Groom Worth Waiting For
This is my upcoming release, due out in August, and my author copies have just arrived – and they’re beyond gorgeous. I think this book might have two of my favourite covers of all time. Just look:
The only thing these two covers seem to have in common is a woman with dark hair in a wedding dress. The North American cover has Thea’s car on it, which I love, while the UK one has another inexplicable bike, but the UK cover screams Tuscany in summer…
They’re both gorgeous, and they both feel like the book to me. I can’t wait for you all to read it!