readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cover Stories: Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Dust%20100%20Dogs.jpg The very cool A.S. King stopped by my blog earlier this spring to share the cover story for her debut novel, Dust of 100 Dogs, and I wanted to share it with readergirlz!

Here's A.S. King:

"I never thought about my cover art. Even though I am a very visual person, and I pay attention to cover art quite a bit, I don't think about book covers while I'm writing the books.

"My editor asked me for input, and he suggested I search through images online for anything that might grab me. I did that and made a document with all of the images I liked, explaining what I liked about them. I also explained what I liked, generally, in books covers -- that I like black or dark colors, high contrast graphics, and simplicity. I believe I said that if I was to make the cover for the book, I would have an all black cover with a tiny skull & crossbones in the center and no title. (I'm obscure like that.)

"When I saw my cover for the first time, it was April Fool's Day and I was having email problems. I wrote to my editor about something completely unrelated and he wrote back and asked me what I thought of the cover art. I said, 'Huh?' because I hadn't got the email he sent. (In my mind, the cover wasn't due for months, as they'd only had the meeting like a week or two before.) So, then he called me and while we were talking on the phone, he sent the cover art again. He said, 'Now sit down and open that file. I want to hear your reaction.' It was a bit--oh no... what if I hate it? Then I opened it and my eyeballs popped out of my head. I think I kept saying, 'Wow.' He was feeling the same way about it. From what I could gather, this cover came out of the blue and knocked us all over! I was just gobsmacked. I still am. It's an AMAZING cover and I feel very fortunate. More than its visual effect, it has an additional pull for readers of the book though the placement of the subjects (the skull, the girl and the boat) and how they relate to the story. It's just incredible. Maximum respect to Gavin Duffy.

"I believe the cover was made up of several pieces of stock artwork, compiled to make the final image.

"Considering the front cover is so awesome, we didn't have to revise it. We did talk later about back covers, though, which was a great conversation, because Flux does some really amazing back covers for paperback originals. I love how they think out of the box like that, but I'd hoped for a mix for D100D--something arty but also some copy, because as a reader, I rely heavily on back cover copy when I'm buying a book.

"Keep in mind I came into this as a hard-to-please art school grad with a decent eye and a love of beautiful book covers. This cover couldn't be more spot on. I mean, down to the boat and girl sitting in an eye socket of a skull. I can't imagine a better cover for the story inside the cover. You'll know what I mean when you read it!

"Also, I have had, since 25 years ago, a weakness for red boots. Especially seriously cool red boots. (Like the big chunky ones with buckles and zippers and big metal-y bits.) Thing is--no one knew this. (Of course. It's not the kind of thing that comes up when talking to your editor, you know?) And here came this cover with Saffron in a pair of killer red boots. It was one of the first things I noticed."

Very cool! Here's a photo of A.S.'s favorite red boots:


Alea the Pop Culture Junkie did a Lookalikes post about this cover last fall, and The Book Nymph has another version of the cover story with different details (and a shark attack tale), so check those out.

I just love this cover (I'm a sucker for the classic black-white-red color combo)! What do you guys think?


Steph Bowe said...

I love the cover (and the red boots)! I haven't read the book yet, but I will.


Sarah Stevenson said...

Excellent cover, great boots, and I adored the book, too.

Melissa Walker said...

I NEED to read this one! It's on my shelf calling to me.

Becker said...

This is one of my favorite recent covers! And I love reading the back copy aloud to folks--they ALWAYS want to read the book after that (but usually the cover pulls them in right away anyway!). Fun book!

holly cupala said...

Rockin' boots! I've always thought this cover was so striking.

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