Wellesley Wives, by Suzy Duffy, has an energetic colorful, cartoon cover. Here's the author to talk about how she influenced its design:
"I had a pretty clear image in mind for the cover because Popsy and Sandra are such strong characters. They also look quite different. One is pretty, small and blonde while the other has Italian blood and she’s curvy, with long dark hair. I knew I needed a red Ferrari because it symbolized a lot in Wellesley Wives (although, let’s be honest, it really symbolizes a lot in life in general!) The sign post was important too because it was a way of getting across that the story would involve a fair amount of globetrotting. So yes, I think the image evolved as I wrote the book.
"Um, I think I’m blowing my cover here when I tell you that I actually presented them with the book cover the same day I presented them with the story. That’s how strong I was on the image. I guess we could have negotiated if they wanted to, but they loved it as much as I did. Phew.
"If they were surprised that I had the book cover ‘good to go,’ they hid it well. It was a nerve-wracking moment when I told them that I’d done the cover design and wanted to show it to them. They got me to email it over while we were on that first conference call. It bounced from Boston to Kentucky and then onto Australia and YES, it was a massive relief when they said they loved it too. Phew #2.
"The first time I saw my cover, I got Goosebumps – really. I’d already seen it evolve as a black white sketch (right) but when it arrived by email in glorious multicolored Hi-res; Wow. I knew it was right, the same way you sometimes meet a man (or a white wine!) and you just know it’s right for you! "I’ve worked with quite a few publishers at this stage. In Germany, for example I never got to see the book cover until I was posted the full and final book in German and I’ve just agreed a book deal for Wellesley Wives in Norway! The first thing to change will be the name because clearly it’ll be in Norwegian so it’s very likely that the cover will change too. I’ve no idea what way they’ll want to go with it but I’d love if they used the cover we’re going with here in the States.
"Producing a book with The Writers Coffee Shop who are publishing the world-wide English version of Wellesley Wives has been a real joy. It’s very much a collaborative effort. We have simply never argued on anything because we all have the same goal – to spread the word about my wonderful Wellesley Wives and to get women around the world laughing.
"The cover changed from the original in that we had a suit case instead of the cat because the ladies travel a bit in the story but it looked odd in the middle of the street so we pulled it and stuck Tiger, Popsy’s cat there instead.That worked much better. The artist also gave the women wine glasses instead of champagne first off…. Big mistake. But it was an easy fix. Phew #3!
"I always knew that it was going to be animation because photographs just looked wrong. This book is different and needed a different look. Like the book, the animation is an original – custom made for Wellesley Wives.
"I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover. Here’s something funny, every woman I’ve shown the cover to relates to one or other of the women (Clearly I’m the brunette!) Which one would you be?? I love the fact that they’re still drinking from champagne glasses although by the end of the book, I’m sure it’s mega cheap fizzy wine, but who cares? They still have the attitude and they’re still best buddies and the sun is still shining. That’s what life is all about.
"I have a Pinterest board for Wellesley Wives. It’s a terrific way of conveying my image for the story and if you know Liam Neeson, please tell him we need to talk about the movie. (That’s more of a Phwa than a Phew!). Join me on Pinterest and on facebook."
Thanks, Suzy! I love the idea of a custom illustration, where the characters are translated straight from the words in the book to the cover image.
What do you guys think of this cover?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, the latest of which is Unbreak My Heart (pictured). Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.
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