"The story is about four women with little in common who get together ostensibly to discuss a diversity agenda at their children's school, but wind up playing poker for each other's secrets instead. I was quietly terrified that the cover would be too literal, showing four women (torsos and shoulders, no faces, of course) sitting around a table with cards in their hands. I would have been happy with anything else.
"My editors at Ballantine and I talked a lot about how to visualize the theme of unlikely female friendships. The obvious solution is four objects that are the same, but different. Four pairs of shoes. Four coats hanging on hooks. Four purses. My editor suggested four different breeds of puppy. That dovetailed into the idea of putting four puppies inside of four purses. Since I'm a dedicated cat lover, I said, 'Screw the puppies. Four kittens inside of four teacups!' What image would better suit a novel for a rainy weekend? My editor said, 'I just realized, none of the characters have pets.' The horror! I almost insisted we stop the presses so could add a few cats.
"When I saw the teacups version for the first time, I knew we had the winner. The previous versions (coats, shoes, playing cards) were either too stark, static or literal. The stack of teacups on the cerulean blue background sets a tone of comfort, sophistication, slightly off balance to represent the humor.
"Not much. Once we settled on the teacups and the color palette, the art department played with fonts. When the blurb from Emily Giffin came in, it was a no brainer to put that on the front cover, and readjust the placement of the type slightly.
"It's an original still life photograph by Laura Klynstra, who also designed the cover. I would love to know where she got those beautiful teacups. I'd buy them in a heartbeat.
"At first glance, I was so taken by the colors, the flowers and the teacups that I didn't notice the deck of cards in the bottom left corner. The designer sneaked it in to connect the teacups and the book's title to poker. But the deck is slightly out of focus, not the central image or theme. Just like the card game in the novel, poker is really just the excuse for the characters to get together, talk, drink (not tea), and pour their hearts out."
Thanks, Valerie! This is one of those covers that I think I might flip back to as I read, thinking about whose cup is whose, matching the lovely image to the story inside.
What do you guys think?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy, Lovestruck Summer, Small Town Sinners and the upcoming Unbreak My Heart. She is co-creator of the popular teen newsletter I Heart Daily and the awkward-stage blog Before You Were Hot, as well as the blogger for readergirlz.com. Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.
You must be a registered user to add a comment here. If you've already registered, please log in. If you haven't registered yet, please register and log in.