July 22nd, 2011


RIPPLE contest winners!

Thanks so much for your contest entries and buzz for RIPPLE!

The winner of BUT I LOVE HIM or RIPPLE (Winner's choice!) is:
(Please email your address and book choice to Mandy(AT)d4eo.com)

The winners of a first page critique OR query critique
cy c
Am777 (twitter handle-- comment was unsigned!)
Saba from www.sabaawesome.blogspot.com

Please email your first page or query as an attached document to: Mandy(AT)d4eo.com
If you are not a writer please just email me and we'll figure out an alternative/solution. :-) 


Evolution of the RIPPLE cover

One of my absolute FAVORITE parts of the writing/publishing process is seeing my cover for the first time. There's something about that moment that makes it real. I had a very strong vision for what I thought the PRADA & PREJUDICE cover would look like, but ever since, I've just sort of left it up to my publishers' amazing design teams.

When it came time for the cover on RIPPLE, I wasn't sure what to expect. The book was very different from my previous titles, both in tone and in content/hook. In fact, I'd hardly begun to even think about it when an email popped up from my editor with a cover attached to it.

This is the very first cover for RIPPLE:

I liked it-- I did. And I knew exactly what they were going for-- it captures that whimsical, fun sort of vibe they did SO well with on Prada & Prejudice and You Wish. RIPPLE would be my third title with them, and they were growing my brand. They wanted my readers to follow me with this new direction.

But I was also concerned it didn't capture the novel quite right. Part of it was that they designed the cover while I was still writing it, which meant even my editor didn't know exactly what the book would be like. Lexi, in the book, is lonely, and empty, and cursed, and the girl on this cover looks like she's dreaming about becoming a mermaid. And... I had already decided I was going to get rid of Lexi's tail (her skin changes a bit when she swims, but she no longer has a full mermaid tail like she did in the initial proposal.)

My agent and I discussed our concerns and talked to my publisher, and then all was quiet for a bit. Anyone familiar with publishing knows that authors have little to no control over their covers. I was worried, but I put it out of my mind.

Then, a few weeks later, I was in New York, having lunch with my editor and my agent. And that's when they pulled out a new cover comp. I think I gasped. They had completely scrapped the initial cover and went back to the drawing board...and come up with something that looked very similar to the final:

When i saw it in the office, her dress was red. In the book, Lexi specifically says she's drawn to greens and blues, anything that reminds her of the water-- so they quickly adjusted her dress to match, and then sent me the above jpeg. We chatted about some very minor tweaks (there appears to be some kind of garbage along the grass behind Cole's feet, and Lexi's hair is too dark...).

Very quickly thereafter, they sent me the final cover:

As you can see, they also enhanced the 'scales' on Lexi's legs, made the sky stormier, and brightened up the water.

I love it. I could not love it more. And I'm still amazed and grateful at how far Razorbill (and designer Emily Osborne!) went to get the cover just right. It could not be a better match for the moodiness, the tone, the intensity of the romance.

Not long ago, Saundra Mitchell (fellow 2009 deb and talented author!) sent me a stock image she stumbled across:

I was absolutely blown away when I saw the stock image. Emily certainly had a vision! I can't believe she was able to take that and create something so perfectly suited for RIPPLE. (also, is it just me or does it look like there's a castle in the background of the stock image?)

Many, MANY thanks to the team at Razorbill for taking my thoughts into consideration and then coming up with a cover I couldn't love more.

[RIPPLE hit stores everywhere yesterday! Learn more about it HERE.]