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I know, I know, it’s what’s inside that really matters.  But after you’ve poured your soul into the best story you could possibly write, chewed all your nails down to the quick to find an agent and/or an editor who loves your work, and developed ulcers over  the hair-splitting process of revising the revisions, you have no idea how exciting it is to have a lovely piece of artwork bearing the title of your book and your name.

I’ve been impatiently bugging my agent and editors since November when they were able to tell me that Richard Tuschman had been hired to do my cover.  I was like a child waiting for Christmas morning and I wanted them to deliver the package NOW!  Traditionally the author and illustrator are never invited to communicate with one another, and that holds true for me as well.  But thanks to the Internet, I was able to look him up and instantly fall in love with his work.  If you do the same you will see that he has done the covers of twenty-nine books, including the 2011 Newbery Medal winner, Moon Over Manifest.  Yazoo!  What a luck of the draw for a first timer like me.  No, what an absolute blessing is more like it!

Now, about my cover.  I was thrilled when I first saw it.  I love the colors and the composition and the inclusion of the pelicans, also key in my story.  But my first very honest and human reaction was that the bridge was wrong.  Without giving away the spoiler, there is a bridge in the book that plays a major part, almost like another character.  I’ll just say the book cover bridge doesn’t look anything like the one in my head as I was writing the book, which was a real bridge that I had walked across many times in my childhood.

I was comforted by the fact that my agent, Julia Kenny,  had similar concerns, and she went back to the editor with those concerns on my behalf.  Needless to say I got to appreciate  once again the value of having a great agent do the hard work for me.  I didn’t have the first idea how to express what I was feeling without making a mess out of it.  Next, I got to appreciate the value of great editors at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, who came back to us with a very simple explanation that made all the sense in the world.  The bridge is intended to be conceptual, not literal.  It’s intended to heighten the emotion of the book.  The protagonist (Laura) is, indeed, standing on the edge of frightening and overwhelming circumstances. I hope this beautiful cover does what it’s intended to do, and that’s make you want to read the book and find out what those circumstances are.  (Note to those of you who have read early drafts or walked across that literal bridge with me, I will especially love to hear your thoughts without spilling all the beans, of course!)

As for me and my continuing education in this wonderful world of book publishing, I am in awe of the whole process.  I have to admit  that I have never really considered the integral part that the cover plays in the marketing of a book.  And from now on, I think I will be taking a second look at the cover after the reading to see if I can discern the clues that the artist had in mind.



Hey READERS, I would love to hear from you.

Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?


TA-DAH! THE COVER IS HERE….. — 28 Comments

  1. Beautiful, Linda! I knew when I first saw it that it was not the bridge in the book, but this bridge says so much more than just a place in time. Life is full of such bridges and I am so thankful that you made it safely across this one in your life. Otherwise we would not have this story to help others safely across. Congratulations!

  2. WOW!!!! So exciting to finally see the cover and know that your dream of having a book published has become a reality. Personally, I love the cover. Its simple beauty draws me to the book and makes me want to open it. And that seems like it would be the main goal of a cover, right?? Since I haven’t had the privilege to read the book yet, I don’t know how I’ll feel after I’ve read but the cover is attractive and it should make readers curious enough to pick it up. So, yeah, I think it’s all pretty awesome! CONGRATULATIONS!

  3. Congratulations, Linda! It’s like a gift for all the hard work and I’m so glad you’re happy with it. I also posted about it on Facebook and, as I said there, I think it’s hauntingly beautiful.

  4. Thanks for dropping in and leaving all your wonderful comments, friends. Each of you is truly making this day even more special than it already is! For not having had anything to do with the choice of illustrator or his work, I don’t think it could have worked out any better. I’m very humbled and thankful!

  5. Linda, the cover is wonderful. I can’t wait to see it on book store shelves. Congratulations on another milestone…one step closer.

  6. HI Linda,
    I am a friend of Carol’s and I just saw your website. Congratulations on your coming book. I love the cover and especially the pelican, the solitary girl and the name of the story. I will definitely want to read it.
    Sheri Levy

  7. Congratulations! And, yes, I can imagine the anticipation, the standing on tip toes excitement. I’m excited for you.

    I’ll be buying a copy when it’s ready to soar.


  8. How exciting to now have an “official” cover to your book! Is that a pelican on the cover? If so, how appropriate to the location of the book. Having had the privilege of reading part of your book, I look forward to reading it all!

    • Thanks for your comments, Carolyn. Yep, that’s our mascot, the pelican which figures significantly in the book. I’ll look forward to seeing you and my other KU buddies on the book tour in Octoberish.

  9. Linda, the cover is perfect. I do think it fits perfectly with the metaphorical bridge of life theme of the book vs. the real bridge. In fact, I have been at both the “metaphorical bridge in life a well as having crossed that actual bridge many years ago. You really lucked out with the illustrator. Great tidbit that the author and illustrator don’t talk. I need to re-think covers of books I have read where I thought they did not quite fit.

  10. I am so happy for you! The cover is beautiful and hopeful just like you and your words. I love the three arched porticos opening onto an expanding waterway flowing foward. What a wonderful insight into your theme!

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