Tahereh Mafi is the 23-year-old debut author of Shatter Me, the first in a trilogy about a girl named Juliette who can kill people with a single touch. So you know her cover had to be powerful. Here's Tahereh with the story:
"I tried not to think about the cover at all. I always knew that the cover process was something authors didn't often have much say in; I didn't want to become emotionally invested in something that might never happen.
"They asked me for colors or themes that I thought were most important in the book; they also asked me if there were any particular scenes that I thought were most critical. I put together a collage of sorts — different colors to represent different characters, items or symbols I thought represented the story well. It was a place from where we began brainstorming.
"The cover was actually a special photo-shoot with a model in-studio. The light effects that you see on the cover aren't photoshopped — our photographer, Aurora Crowley, is just an amazingly talented artist. He uses a special light-painting technique to create that shattering light effect. I was — and continue to be — completely blown away by his creativity.
"I love the cover. I think it's strong and striking and bold; you can't see her hands (because her touch is lethal), she's wearing a fancy dress (which is relevant to the story) and the black and white work well to represent the decision my main character has to face: Will she be a weapon? Or will she be a warrior? I actually love the fact that she's looking fierce while wearing a fancy dress; the dresses she's forced to wear in the book are meant to confine her in many ways, and here, as in the story, she's trying to breaking past those restrictions."
Thanks, Tahereh! I love it when an author has such direct input, and it's so satisfying that the colors, the dress and the pose all have meaning within the book. As a reader, I always look back at the cover as I go, and this one is definitely worth multiple glances.
What do you guys think?
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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.
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