Taylor Morris writes books for tweens and her covers are colorful, energetic and poppy. She's here to talk about three of her novels and what she thought of those first-sight moments with her covers:
Class Favorite: "This was my first novel and I was in a sort of stunned state of excitement leading up to its publication. I had zero ideas for the cover and was not asked for any input. This is true of all my covers. Unless I have something in mind that I feel strongly about, I’ve been happy to stay out of it. So far, anyway.
"When the first cover proof for Class Favorite came through my inbox, I was on my honeymoon in Costa Rica. Silas (husband man) and I sat in the hotel lobby on a shared computer as we patiently waited for the image to emerge. I was nervous and excited and simply didn’t know what to expect. When the image emerged, we both sat silent for a moment.
“'Oh,' I said.
“'Huh,' he said. I didn’t know if I liked it or not. It was just so surreal seeing the book I’d worked so hard on presented in one image. Also, there were an awful lot of flowers in the background.
"Once I got home I talked to my agent about it and I did have one comment—those roses looked a bit grandma-ish to me. I didn’t like them. Roses play a big role in the novel but I didn’t want the cover to look dowdy. He talked to my editor and although the roses stayed they toned them down a bit, which I was fine with."
Blowout (Hello, Gorgeous! Series #1): "Getting this series started was tough. My poor editor. The first draft of the first book was a bit of a disaster and I had to rewrite about 85% of it in three weeks. I’m still trying to laugh about it.
"Writing a series is quick work. Write a draft, turn it into your editor and immediately start sketching out the next book. Soon she gives you back her edits and you give her your sketched out ideas.You each work, then you swap again. It’s constant, and after the rough start I was feeling exhausted.
"Well into book two (Foiled (Hello, Gorgeous! Series #2), my editor sent me this cover, which had gone through lots of revisions and different mockups to get it just right. I wasn’t a part of any of this. Aside from knowing nothing about cover design, I didn’t have a moment to even think about giving input, so I was fine at not being a part of it.
"When I saw the cover I almost collapsed with joy to finally see that my hard work was becoming a real book. I thought Mickey, the main character, was beautiful and looked so much more confident than I felt at the time. Seeing it rejuvenated me, giving me that boost I needed to finish writing book two."
BFF Breakup: "I loved this cover the moment I saw it. I had nothing to add. I think the cover is as sweet and cute as can be. I love the defiance and hurt in each girl’s expression, and the girls themselves look and dress just as I imagined them. And I’m still in love with the M!X imprints’ colorful horizontal stripes on the covers and spine. It gives our covers a great pop of color, especially on the bookshelves!"
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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.