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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cover Stories: Specials by Scott Westerfeld

C_1416947957.jpg In 2008 I published a brief Cover Story about Scott Westerfeld's Specials, and it seemed prime for revival this month!

This one involves me telling the story, because I just so happened to be at a friend's barbecue in Brooklyn that summer where I saw an acquaintance named Katerena Alkhimova, whom I knew was a model. We started talking about how she saw her photo on the cover of a YA book recently, and I was intrigued!

"Which one?" I asked.

"A science fiction one," she said.

"What was it called?!" I asked.

"It had a one-word title," she said. "And they put tattoos on my face."

I had just finished Uglies and Pretties, the first two books in the four-book Uglies "trilogy," so I knew it was Specials! Then I made her turn her head and I could just see the cover. It was so cool! Here's what Katerena, who's originally from Russia, says: "The shoot was very easy and fast. We only had to do that one picture which did not take even two hours to make. It was three years ago though, so it is hard to remember particular details." I got to tell her that her character is both painfully gorgeous and devastatingly evil. I think she liked that.

When I saw Scott Westerfeld later, I asked him if he'd mind my posting this story, and he graciously said that would be fine. I just wish I'd snapped a photo of bbq Katerena, but here are some other shots of her so you can see what she looks like in non-science-fiction situations (two modeling shots and one casual):

000000062658-katerena_alkhimova-fullsize.jpg 000000077879-katerena_alkhimova-fullsize.jpg NY070221_bodyshop_9707.jpg

So that's that!


Katy said...

Very interesting! It's neat to see the real person behind the pretty cover shot! :)

Ghostie said...

That is so interesting! I always wonder what the models on the covers of my favourite books look like in life... =D

Unknown said...

That's really kool.

Savannah said...

That so, so cool! I've always been wondering how they did the tatoo on the cover. I thought it might have been on the computer made - its interesting to know that it was an actual thing on her face!

Unknown said...

That's a cool story. I was contacted once by the model on Uglies, but we didn't keep in touch.

As far as the tattoo, I think the cover designer wound up using a shot without any tattoo, and then added it digitally. Oh, well.

alyssa said...

That's so interesting! It's an awesome cover, I must say.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Very cool! Thanks, Melissa!

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