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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cover Stories: Ash by Malinda Lo

The Possibilities of Sainthood author Donna Freitas asked me to dig up the Cover Story behind Malinda Lo's Ash (a lesbian retelling of Cinderella), and I was happy to oblige (um, because look at that cover)!

Here's Malinda:

"I had no idea of what the cover would look like -- absolutely none. I clearly do not think like an artist!

"My publisher didn't ask for my input, and I didn't offer any. I only knew that a cover designer had been assigned and that she was working on it. My editor told me she thought the designer really 'got it.'

"It's a stock photo that the book designer, Alison Impey, had found before she worked on Ash and had saved on her computer. When Ash came to her desk, she did search for other images, but ultimately chose that image she had found earlier.

"When I first saw the cover, I was totally floored. I think I probably gasped out loud. I thought it was stunning. I would never have come up with that cover idea -- I'm a writer, not a designer! And yet it fit the mood of the book perfectly. I felt so lucky to have this as the cover of my debut novel.

"My editor did ask for comments, and my only comments were about the font. The first version of the cover that I saw had my name in a script font like the one used for the title, but I thought that made my name a bit hard to read. I have a very short last name that looked a little confusing in the script font, and my first name has an unusual spelling, so I wanted to make sure it was readable (and easily alphabetizable).

"They changed the font of my name so that it's very clear to read, and they even tweaked the letter "S" in the title so that it was clear it was an "S" and not an "A" (which it had sort of looked like in the earlier version).

"In the end, I love love love it. Every time I show it to someone, they love it, too! I think it's so striking and unique. It's just wonderful. Alison Impey is a genius!"

I agree, and I love this cover! It's stunning. Malinda interviewed her designer Alison Impey, who has also designed the covers of Sara Zarr's Sweethearts, Wendy Maas' Every Soul a Star, Simon Holt's The Devouring, Suzanne Phillips' Burn, and Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (all right), so check out that interview here for more on Alison's take.

Thanks to Donna for pointing me Malinda's way. If you guys have covers you want to hear about, let me know. Meanwhile, what do you think of Ash?

PS-Just found the UK cover for Ash (left). While it's also very pretty, I prefer the starker US version. Thoughts?


emily said...

Wow, beautiful cover.

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I have this book and bought it because I love old stories that are rewritten and the cover is beautiful!

The American cover is so much better! What a difference a cover makes.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the US cover is stunning. Not knowing anything about the book, though, I would be more likely to pick up the UK one. So I'm glad I ran across this article, because knowing more about the book makes me very excited to go read it!

MissA said...

I LOVE the cover of Ash. One of my fav books and covers. It's dark and lovely and has an old-world feel to it.I'm not a big fan of the UK cover.

holly cupala said...

I think that's a gorgeous cover. I love the washed-out starkness.

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