Saturday, October 21, 2006

cover story

Last May, my friend Justina Chen Headley told me the back story of her cover art for Nothing But the Truth and a few White Lies. The book is about a “hapa”, a half white and half Asian girl, and the publisher was having problems finding an image of a girl that looked hapa-enough for Justina’s taste. Finally, they offered to let her find her own model and help art direct the cover. She found the perfect girl at a coffee shop, set up a photo shoot and voila! One of the most lovely covers I’ve seen.

And I have to admit I was a little envious. The cover of my book was my idea, but suddenly choosing a model and having a photo shoot just seemed so much more glamorous. And fun! I could have a call for entries, maybe a contest…my mind raced with the possibilities.

“Gee,” I said to my editor (who is also Justina’s editor), “I wish I could’ve chosen a model and done a cover like Justina’s.”
“I don’t think that would’ve worked,” she said, “How many girls would want to be on a cover of a book called, “The Year of the Dog?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I said, “Maybe the next book.”
“But,” she said, “Your next book is called, The Year of the Rat!”

Ah, good point. Sigh.


alvina said...


And just to give credit where credit is due, our brilliant creative director, Gail Doobinin, is responsible for the gorgeous cover design of NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (AND A FEW WHITE LIES) (although Justina did give feedback)--and those of you who have the ARCs for that book will see the stock photo that we used originally for the girl (I think she was full Asian, although her face was somewhat obscured). I'll see if I can scan in a copy of that cover so you guys can see what it looked like.

karmabeatrice said...

They shoul have used a picture of Lily.

R said...

I bet you would have a ton of little girls clamoring for the cover shot of YOTD! :)

Linda S. Wingerter said...

I am a proud rat. It even says so in my blogger profile. I would have done it. :D