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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cover Stories: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

The fabulous Tera Lynn Childs (whose book has been optioned by Ashley Tisdale's production company!) shared the tale behind the cover of Oh. My. Gods. on my blog last month, and I wanted to share it with readergirlz! Take it away, Tera:

1_OMG_mockup1.jpg "First of all, I am a very visual person. When I first start writing a book--after I have the initial premise/idea--I make up character collages so I get a picture of each character in my head. I put these collages in a binder and, because the binder needs a cover (right?), I also make a cover mockup. Here is the original cover mockup (left) for OH. MY. GODS. (originally titled Growing Up Godly) from my binder.

"When the titled changed (for the better, definitely!) I made a new mockup that I had up on my website until I got the o2_OMG_mockup2.jpgfficial cover (left).

"My editor contacted me to ask for initial input into the cover design, asking whether I prefered a graphic cover (like Meg Cabot's Avalon High) or a photo cover of my sneakers-wearing heroine, Phoebe, duking it out with a girl in a toga. I said, "Um, a graphic cover." Because: (a) I love Meg Cabot, and (b) I wasn't too keen on the girl in a toga.

"Anyway, color me excited when they sent me a mockup where the Lansdowne Herakles (warning, naked Greek statue) had pink sneakers hanging off his club with the title on a banner covering his parts. Pretty similar to my mockup idea, no?

"Unfortunately, we couldn't acquire the rights to use this statue, so my editor sent a new mockup with a statue we could use. Agias (warning, another naked Greek statue). I love-love-loved it! Except... notice how his arms are broken (and not at the joints, where it might look normal, but in the middle, where it looks like they got chopped off)? Yeah, that made me kinda nervous. And kinda nauseous.

3_OMG_finalHC.jpg "But apparently I (and my parents) were the only ones who saw this as a problem. My editor and agent and agent's assistant all thought it looked, "Authentic." So I let it go. You can just imagine how relieved I was when my editor sent the final version with PhotoShopped arms! Hooray!

"This is not, however, the end of the cover story. Apparently there are more than a few readers (and booksellers) out there who weren't keen on the naked dude cover. As a life-long lover of all things ancient (including statuary) this is just not something I ever thought would be an issue, but it was.

"So, the wonderful art department at Puffin (who will be releasing the paperback edition of OH. MY. GODS. in May) created a brand new cover. And (although this might be hard to believe) I love it even more 4_OMG_finalPB.jpgthan the original!

"Well, that's the cover story for OH. MY. GODS. Take a moment to weigh in on which cover you like best. Or what you think of my original mockups. Or whether you think the naked statue was 'authentic' or 'creepy.' Come on, I wanna hear it!"

Thanks, Tera! I for one LOVE the statue cover. I think it looks really original and I like the contrast of the historic and the contemporary on that cover. It has always stood out to me. The winged sneakers are cute too though!

What do you think, readergirlz?


Natalie Hatch said...

I like the final version, the naked statue with the dinky arms just doesn't feel right. Love the wings attached to the shoes very Achilles/Nike.

Diana Dang said...

I love the covers for Oh My Gods!

Little Willow said...

I know I said it at your blog already, Melissa, but it bears repeating: TLC's books ROCK!

Reyna Meinhardt said...

I do like the new cover better. I think it is prettier, with the sparkles and the girl tying the shoes. However, I don't really mind the first cover, but I would probably more likely to buy the book with the second one!

Thanks for the great cover story! I really like reading about them!

Shelly B said...

I like the winged sneakers, but I like the statue too. I think it combines the old (statue) and the new (sneakers).

Paradox said...

I love these cover stories! And I really love Oh. My. Gods.!

Confession: I make my own "covers" for many of my attempted novels, most of which I never finish (the novels.)

Smart Other Blogs said...

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Ancient Greece for Kids and Map of Ancient Greece

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