Rachel Vincent, author of My Soul to Take (August 2009), My Soul to Save (January 2010), My Soul to Keep (June 2010), and My Soul to Lose (free e-book prequel here) stopped by to chat about the Soul Screamers covers (and give you a chance to win some cool prizes). Read on!
"I think the coolest thing about the cover process for the Soul Screamers books is that all three of the covers were designed at the same time, so the continuity between the titles is flawless. In other words, they match each other perfectly. ;-)
"For each Harlequin title, the author is asked to fill out an online art fact sheet, which is a form full of questions about every possible aspect of the novel. Plot, characters, setting, clothing, themes, physical characteristics, title meanings, etc... But for the Soul Screamers books, among the very first of Harlequin's young adult covers, we went a bit beyond the art fact sheet.
"In addition to the forms I filled out, my editor asked me to send in pictures that best reflected Kaylee (my main character) physically, as well as other images that captured the tone of the novel. I sent in these images of Danielle Panabaker and Alexis Bledel, who both have that every-girl look I was going for:
"Pretty, but in an average-teenager kind of way. I also sent in about a dozen different creepy images to represent the eerie feel of the Netherworld (which we'll see a lot of in the second and third books).
"Personally, in the beginning, I pictured an ensemble cast shot (similar to what I later saw on the cover for Another Faust), with some creepy Netherworld imagery around them, but the art department decided pretty early on to focus on just Kaylee, which I think works, because she's the only viewpoint character.
"For a while, there was talk about a close-up of just her face, with some color swirls in her irises, but in the end, they decided to go with a full body shot. Once they'd chosen a design, my editor sent me images of all three cover concepts (mockups). Each showed 'Kaylee' in a different pose, wearing a different dress, on a different colored background. Red for My Soul To Take, blue-green for My Soul to Save, and purple for My Soul to Keep. For these mockups, they used stock images, and approximations of the final fonts.
"My favorite part of the concepts was the 'word ribbon' (see the final cover, top). On each mockup, the title was repeated over and over, winding around Kaylee's body in a continuous stream. I loved that! I'd never seen it done anywhere else.
"Once they'd scheduled the cover shoot, my editor sent me pictures of the two models they were considering for Kaylee, and they were both perfect for the part (see the chosen one, left). And since the art department already had concepts in place for all three titles, they were able to take pictures for all three covers during that one cover shoot. For me, that was a big relief, because with my adult series, we're on our third cover model, after having lost the previous two mid-series.
[Here are the three poses for My Soul to Take:]
[And here's the retouched image of the chosen cover image:]
"Unfortunately, doing the word ribbon on the actual cover proved more difficult than on the mockup, so the review copies went out with different, regular swirlies. But I was thrilled to see that the word ribbon made it onto the final cover of My Soul to Take, and that it's even more prominent on My Soul to Save (right). And soon, we should have the final cover for My Soul to Keep! I can't wait to see it!"
I love all this insider info and the shots! Thanks, Rachel! What do you guys think of the covers in the series so far?
Harlequin Teen says: We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about Rachel Vincent's covers and that you’ll love the books as much as we love our covers. We’d also like to hear what you—truly!—think about our covers, and YA covers in general. Which are your favorites, which are your least favorites, and why?Comment here, and you might win a copy of My Soul to Take, Intertwined, or a cool matching T-shirt. Thanks for being with us today at Readergirlz!