I was so happy the day that Lisa unveiled her new cover for LEAGUE OF STRAYS. I was one of those people who visited her ultra-cool website! It was so great to see—and I was so happy for her—because it has been a long wait all this time while the rest of us have unveiled our covers. But, her cover was totally worth the wait!
I sometimes joke that, as I lie on my death-bed 100 years from now, I will be particularly worried, as sometimes I wonder if I made a deal with the devil that I don’t remember. I have been so blessed in signing with Erin and EMLA and I really can’t imagine a better editor/publisher than Nancy Paulsen. She has been super-supportive.
One such way was in the design of the cover for One for the Murphys.
I experienced the same trepidation that Lisa did the day my Murphys cover landed in my in-box. I took a deep breath, held it, and then click. I should have loved it. I was colorful, had specific references to the book, but there was something not quite right. It was not a final cover—it was rough—and she had sent it to me to ask what I thought of its general direction.
So, I responded with thanks to the people who had worked on it and all the things I liked about it but that it seemed commercial to me. Perhaps it was more like an ad for a Disney show than my literary novel. It was bright, eye-catching, and would have made a wonderful cover—just not for Murphys.
Then, I sat leaning forward staring at my computer screen, waiting for her to respond. Good thing she answered so quickly, as I probably would have collected cobwebs by the time I’d given up. Her response was, “I see what you mean. We’ll go back to the drawing board.”
At that moment, I wanted to paint a mural of her (although, with my lack of skills in that area, it may have looked like a Picasso-knock off.) Or maybe hire a skywriter to spell, “Thanks, Nancy” over the Hudson River outside of her office.
A few days later, I received three more covers—all with girls lying in the grass. Any of them could have been the cover of Murphys, but the one that the design team and Nancy ultimately chose was my favorite. I was thrilled when it came through as the final cover, as it fits the tone of Carley Connors—not just the book but the girl as well.
The giraffe and the basketball that were shopped in are also important parts of the book. They made me feel like this was my cover and not just a picture I liked. I am grateful to Nancy Paulsen and her extensive, talented crew. They’re publishing my book which will officially be released in less than a month!!
And I really do love that cover, because now I have a picture of Carley Connors.