Pam Jenoff's The Things We Cherished, which Publisher's Weekly called "a timeless love story," has a cover that might be an iconic poster of the World War II era. Here she is to tell us how it came to be:
"One of my favorite moments as an author is seeing a cover concept for the first time. It is so gratifying to have someone read my book and come up with a vision for the cover – kind of like having someone reach into my head and pull out an idea. And I am always amazed by the ability of the artists and others at the publisher to find a cover that totally captures my vision of the book. These are some of the first indications with a new manuscript that people are 'getting' what I am trying to say, and I love seeing the book come to life.
"For The Things We Cherished, I’d originally envisioned the anniversary clock which was the inspiration for the book and which we see throughout the book as a possible cover concept. But as I wrote, the tale of Roger and Magda during the Second World War really became the dominant story. So when I saw the cover concept, I thought it was perfect!
"I actually prefer not to give input – I find it so much more authentic to have the designers read the book and come up with their own impression, without my influence. The people who make these decisions are among the best in the business and I have great trust and confidence in their judgment and skills. I do my job (writing the best books I possibly can) and I let them do theirs.
"There have certainly been covers in the past where I offered feedback and it was generally taken to heart and incorporated. Then I give input mostly on minor changes, like font or color, unless I feel really strongly about something bigger. But with this cover, I loved it and didn’t have much to offer.
"I’ve come to love the cover even more over time. There’s so much to it – the intensity and desperation of the embrace, the background that is so evocative of the war. But there is some mystery to it as well. I don’t want to say too much and ruin the story, but in some sense I wonder if this is the kiss that Roger and Magda never got to have.
"I also love this cover because it is reminiscent of some of my earlier works, such as The Kommandant's Girl, and I’m so excited to be returning to writing about this era."
Thanks, Pam! I do think the cover firmly places the reader in the era they'll be stepping into with the book, and that's key. There's also the promise of a bittersweet love story in this cover, which threatens to divide the two characters shown.
What do you guys think?
Want to keep up with my Cover Stories, and all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more? Please follow us on Twitter: @BNBuzz!
Melissa Walker is the author of five Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy, Lovestruck Summer and the just-published Small Town Sinners. 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.