I got my UK book jacket art for THE HARROWING this week and had to share:
I LOVE this! I really think UK covers are so much grittier and visceral than American covers. I love the door, I love the edgy isolation of the kids, I love the formless (and not so formless) energies around the door. I even love the way the O's of my name line up the way they do at the top of the door - it looks somehow mystical in a way that really works with the story.
Getting cover art is one of the most nerve-wracking and most exciting stages of the whole novel thing. No matter what you've been thinking your cover will look like, it will be different and totally unexpected. This is my fifth set of cover art on THE HARROWING and I thought I would post all the covers so that I can look at them all at once sometimes, and so can anyone else who cares to can, too.
This was the first, original St. Martin's cover.
I loved this cover and got huge positive reaction to it. I think it's spooky and arty and poignant, all at once. And the girl looks just like I always thought the main character, Robin looked. But that art never made it onto the final book although a set of ARCs was printed with it, which will obviously be worth a fortune in the not-too-distant future.. ;)
But Barnes & Noble didn't like it, and so it was changed. Bet a lot of you didn't know that could happen, did you? Yes, it does.
So this was the official hardcover jacket:
Now that girl - was startling for me to see the first time, because she is a dead ringer for the character Lisa in the book. Yes, and a young Angelina Jolie, too.
I like some of this cover better - I think that shot of the school and the kids and the sense that something invisible is swooping up behind them is pretty great (and I love what my webmistress did with the cover images in the little flash trailer on my website. I think the school looks more like an American college than the first one, above, which is wonderfully Gothic. Men seem to like this cover better than the first one, too, in my unscientific gender-based polling on the subject. They say the girl looks like she needs rescuing.
I've also heard - from men - that the girl looks like me. That I don't see. (Does that mean I look like I need rescuing?)
This is the German version. Talk about Gothic! Very European.
And this is the French cover. If you're thinking it looks a lot younger than the others, you're right: LE CERCLE MEURTRIER is sold in France as a YA.
And then of course this is the U.S. paperback cover, which I think is a great haunted house look.
There's something wonderfully REAL about cover art. So much of a book is such an abstract process - and then suddenly you get rewarded with a concrete image that pulls everything together. It gives you a thrill that lasts for weeks.
I just got cover art for THE UNSEEN, too, and I'll post that one as soon as I get the word that it's final. It was NOTHING like I thought it was going to be, but I love it - I think it's as good as the one SMP's Adam Auerbach did for THE PRICE, which I think is perfect. I know I'm lucky - left to their own devices, St. Martin's really does fabulous covers.