"I really wasn’t sure what my cover would look like. I had vague ideas of perhaps a pastoral English countryside, with maybe a castle in the background. Something pretty generic.
"They showed me different covers from books that were already published and I gave my blessing to everything. Honestly, I had a really tight deadline and I was having some health challenges at the time, so I couldn’t expend a whole lot of mental energy worrying about my cover. I know authors who have hated their covers, but I really trusted my editors to come up with something amazing.
"When I first saw the cover, I gasped. Literally. The design was so much more beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined. The girl looks much like the young woman who was highlighted in the book, and I loved the colors and the quality of the picture. It almost looks like a photograph.
"Changes: Someone misspelled Abbey and I pointed that out to them. I also wanted my name to be the same gold as the title, but they pointed out that the woman’s dress was gold and it would disappear against the gold of the dress, so I agreed they should leave it white. Originally, the cover had a tagline, but they decided they didn’t want to take away from the classic simplicity of the cover with extra words, so they removed it.
"I love my cover and the home featured, but the house is different from what I imagined Summerset Abbey to be… it reminds me more of Eddleson Hall, which is a manor house prominently featured in books two and three. I now have the cover for book two in the series (left, out in March) and honestly, I feel like I have somehow pleased the cover gods because they are both stunning."
Thanks, T.J.! There's a third cover in the series which I'm sure will evoke the same grandeur when it arrives. I think these are gorgeous starts to a new series.
What do you guys think?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, including the new paperback release, Small Town Sinners (pictured). Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.
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