Everyone's heard them, right? Those horror stories about covers that populate the internet. Covers where the models used to represent the characters look nothing like them, or where there's a total disconnect between the image on the book's cover and the story inside. I was pretty sure my cover wouldn't be a horror story, given that my publisher produces books with some of the most awesome covers around, but nonetheless, I had a niggling sense of anxiety which never quite left me. ACID's main character, Jenna Strong, is a take-no-prisoners kinda gal. What if she appeared on ACID's cover as a dreamy waif in a ballgown? How would I tell my publisher I didn't like it without making them think I was a gigantic pain in the bum?
Then I found out who my cover artist was going to be, and realised I had nothing to worry about. Larry Rostant is a photographic artist who started out in advertising, then moved into publishing. He's currently one of the most sought-after cover artists in the world, and when I found out who else he's done covers for, I started to get a little bit excited…
George R.R. Martin. Clive Cussler. Kristin Cashore. Stephen King. And many, many more.
Jenna was not only in good hands – she was in the best hands she could possibly be in. Now all I had to do was wait. Luckily, I had book 2 edits to keep me occupied…
A little while later, my editor sent me the first roughs for the cover. I was blown away. The model Larry had used for Jenna looked so much like the image I had of her in my head as I wrote ACID that it was spooky – as if she'd walked straight out of my imagination and onto the screen. There were no ballgowns. No waifs. Instead, here was a badass girl with bright red hair, ready to take on the world… which in one month's time, is exactly what she'll be doing!
Not much has changed between those first visuals and the final cover, probably because everyone was so thrilled with it. One thing that was added to the final version, though, was that tagline. Every time I read it, I get shivers. And the title, I've been told, will be foiled. I can't wait to see the final copies of the book.
A HUGE thank you to Larry Rostant and everyone at Random House Children's Publishing for giving ACID a cover that's beyond my wildest dreams!
Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre near London, went to art school in Cornwall and now lives in the North-East Midlands, UK, with her artist husband. For 3 wonderful years she was lucky enough to share her life with The Hound, too (that's him in the picture). She is represented by Carolyn Whitaker at London Independent Books and her YA dystopian thriller ACID is out from Corgi/Random House on 25th April 2013. You can find her blog here, view her website here and catch her procrastinating on Twitter here.