"There’s a pivotal scene that takes place on a rooftop that overlooks Manhattan’s skyline. I initially thought that would make a great cover. Looking back, I’m glad that we didn’t do that since it’s at nighttime. I like the bright, daylight scene that ended up being the cover because I think it better reflects the tone of A Long Way from You.
"I mentioned that I’d like the rooftop cover, but I knew that most likely that wouldn’t happen. Fortunately, I realize that I’m a writer, not a designer, so I figured that if they passed on my idea, there was a good reason for it.
"After I heard that Alison Klapthor, who designed Where I Belong's cover, would also be designing A Long Way from You’s cover, all my worries disappeared. Alison did amazing job on my debut novel’s cover, so I felt very confident in her abilities to capture A Long Way from You, which is the companion novel to Where I Belong. Alison’s not only good at covers, she’s also good at back covers. Both Where I Belong and A Long Way from You’s covers continue on the backside. They’re beautiful from every angle!
"The photo shoot for the cover occurred in October, but the final cover image wasn’t chosen until February. There was a lot of vacillating between images, but I can say without a doubt that the best image was chosen!
"My editor asked me questions throughout the process. She also got to be part of the casting group, which was awesome. My editor knew the characters and story just as well as I did, so I felt incredibly comfortable because she was there to make sure the models picked reflected the aesthetics (and spirit) of the characters. She also sent me the final three models and let me give my opinion on who to choose. Ultimately, everyone agreed on the two models who are on the cover, so that made it easy.
"I always felt that people were listening to me. For a brief moment, we wee moving away from using the photo shoot images, and I felt super disappointed. When I expressed that, everyone listened and we ended up going back to those images instead of a stock image.
"Some of the images from Central Park photo shoot didn’t scream New York as much as the final image. The building in the background, an art deco residential building named The Eldorado, is a historical and iconic Manhattan building. Many famous people have lived there including Bono and Michael J. Fox. I also love how the cover shows how incredible Central Park is: you can be in the middle on a concrete jungle in a rowboat. Pretty amazing.
"HarperTeen designed, cast and shot this cover specifically for A Long Way from You. I know that’s often not the case, so I feel very fortunate. New York City is a major character in the book, and I’m so happy that the cover reflects that.
"I love my cover. I think I love it even more than my first cover. The cover illustrates an important scene in the book, and I loved seeing that scene translated into images. A huge part of A Long Way from You is about stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people, and I think the cover definitely reflects that!"
Thanks, Gwendolyn! I love that this shoot happened specifically for this story--such a rare thing in book covers. I think it's the perfect summery image and I love the country-in-the-city vibe.
What do you guys think of this cover?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, the latest of which is Unbreak My Heart (pictured). Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.
Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!
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