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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cover Stories: An Off Year by Claire Zulkey

So you guys know that I loved Claire Zulkey's An Off Year. Totally. And her Cover Story pretty much kicks butt too.

Here goes:

"I had no cover ideas, but I did hope that it was a little off the beaten path in some way but I didn't know how.
My favorite YA book of all time, Celine, has an illustration of the narrator on the cover created the author but I don't think that was the path for my book (also I can't draw anything but boxes and horses).

During one conversation I told my editor, 'This idea might suck but how about the dri-erase board that you see in the very first scene of the book?' and she said 'Hold on a second' and sent me an email she had already drafted proposing the exact same thing, so I felt bad suggesting that that idea might suck somehow.
But then a little while later I received the following email from her about the early version that you see here with the lizard feet:

"'Here are the things that will strike you instantly:

* this is not the idea we talked about
* there is no description in the manuscript matching this image

"'BUT -- it feels perfect to me, I have to say. The 'slippers' you're seeing here are a found image/placeholder and the goal would be to get the same legs/vantage point and the same color contrast but something instantly recognizable as funny bedroom slippers, not like a costume. And I think it would be simple enough to mention the slippers. Same goes for the pink shag . . . which is unexpected but it very visually striking and has the right feel to me. I think it hits the audience you're looking for -- comfortably 20-something crossover.'

"She really sold it and it definitely was off the beaten path, as I had hoped for! My editor wasn't sold on the dragon feet (which I kind of loved--the contrast between these lizard slippers and the pink carpet) so I went searching online for funny slippers. It was a pretty fun task..."

Read the rest of Claire's Cover Story (and see sooo many hilarious slipper options) at melissacwalker.com.

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