Greg Taylor's The Girl Who Became a Beatle is a novel "about the good and the bad of Hollywood, fame and rock 'n roll." It has a photographic homage for a cover, and it's striking. I had to ask him how that came about.
"I had a cover in mind as I was writing the book. It became a kind of visual mantra through the many drafts and years it took for me to complete the novel. As for what it looked like, I think I'll keep that to myself.
"My publisher did not ask for my input on the cover design. Maybe it's different for the big, bestselling authors, but I believe that's common practice, publishers not involving an author in the artwork for their book. Can't say as I blame them.
"I did describe the cover I had in mind to my publisher, however. As it turned out, they went with another idea.
"When I saw the cover for The Girl Who Became a Beatle for the first time, I thought... perfect. I really did. How could I resist a visual take-off on one of the most iconic images in rock and roll history? (That's the iconic Robert Freeman photo that inspired the cover, right.)
"My publisher has let me make comments/suggestions on my Killer Pizza book covers, left. It would have been the same for The Girl Who Became a Beatle, but I had no suggestions. The cover was just great as it was.
"They considered using models for the cover photo, but as Jean Feiwel put it, they looked too model-y. So they wound up using Jean's daughter, the Feiwel and Friends marketing director's son and daughter and the art director's niece's boyfriend for the photo, which was taken by the editor-in-chief's husband! I think that's really cool, the way F&F kept it all in the family like that.
"I feel great about the final cover for a number of reasons. I love how it echoes the famous Robert Freeman photo of the group, at right, which is featured on the cover of Meet The Beatles! one of my all time favorite albums.
"It's an image I describe several times in the book, so there's that echo, as well.
"Finally, I like the connection the cover has to the early Beatles. That's the Beatles music Regina Bloomsbury, the girl who becomes a Beatle, mostly plays during her fairy-tale journey. The early Beatles songs, which were simpler, more innocent.
"I love all of the Beatles music, but I hold a special place in my heart for their early songs, which was the music of my youth."
Thanks, Greg! I love knowing that the people posing are in the publishing family -- very cool. I think the color scheme of this cover is particularly classic, too.
Anyone else have thoughts? Will the Young Adult audience recognize the original image?
Melissa Walker is the author of four Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy and Lovestruck Summer. 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.