In which Deb Kristina waxes lyrical over her book cover

coverI couldn’t imagine my book cover. My publisher asked for cover ideas and I could only blather about beaches and lighthouses, only don’t make it look TOO beachy. Helpful, no?

One’s name on a book cover is a treasured dream of any aspiring author and I was about to see it come true, only, I couldn’t come up with any meaningful image. My book is about family, facades we put up when reality is too much, siblings who fight but grudgingly love each other, too. Love, marriage, sickness, lies, secrets… But how do you create a picture to go with that? Damned if I know, which is why I’m thankful for cover designer Mumtaz Mustafa.

When my editor sent my cover as an attachment in an e-mail, she told me to sit with it overnight. Sometimes first impressions don’t last after a night’s sleep.

I held my breath before I clicked it open. I thought of other authors’ nightmare tales of horrid covers. Or would it be just boring? Would it have the back of someone’s head? Every other cover I see lately has the back of a woman’s head… I thought of covers I envied and hoped mine could live up to it and then I got up my nerve and opened the file.

I loved it instantly. It’s perfect, I kept saying. Just perfect. It was as if Mumtaz had peeked in my head to see the entryway of Mira’s house. I love the hint of a tree outside (when you read the book, you’ll understand why), and even the jacket hung casually on the banister. My favorite part though, far and away, was the suitcases. Real Life & Liars is about homecoming, leaving home again, and how nothing is the same because of what happens between. The suitcases – coming or going? Could be either way – capture that mood perfectly.

But here’s the final word on why I love it so much, and why that love was instant. It’s exactly the kind of cover that I would snatch up in a bookstore. See, in a way I wrote Liars for an audience of one: me. I just hoped that enough other people would embrace it, too, and so far, I’ve been happy on that score. So this cover feels right to me in the same way the whole book does. It’s exactly my kind of thing.

Deb Kristina

14 Replies to “In which Deb Kristina waxes lyrical over her book cover”

  1. It’s a great cover, Kris! I love the open door–hint of a departure or an arrival, and “open” to possibility. And it fits the book perfectly.

  2. My ARE from First Look has arrived and the bright, homey feel of the cover promises hope and that’s a great counterpoint to the title. I’ll be venturing into that house and meeting the family tonight…can’t wait!

  3. Larramie, I’m so glad you got it! Enjoy the Zielinski household.

    Thanks Maureen! By the way, your website is awesome. I adore that front page image (speaking of covers and images.)

    Katie, yes, thanks for reminding me about GOOD THINGS! Another amazing cover.

    Thank you, Becky!

    This is going to be a fun topic all week, I can tell.

  4. I also love the different ways you can see the suitcases (coming or going). It’s a great cover. I really enjoyed the chance to read your query on KN’s site. Interesting to get that behind the scenes peek. I can’t wait to read this one!

  5. Thanks Eileen! That WAS interesting regarding my query letter. Somewhat bizarre to see one’s premise dissected before the book is even out! Sparked some good discussion, which I hope bodes well for the novel itself.

  6. Kudos to Mustafa! Your artist captured an open door–an entrance into–what? And it is clearly an old house–wainscotting, wooden floor, bannister on the left. An old house has sad stories to tell, but no voice to tell them, and happy stories, and perhaps secrets from deeper within, down in a cobwebby basement perhaps? And the suitcases–clean clothes of anticipation–perchance wrinkled laundry, leaving with regret?

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