Lauren Mechling is a very fun girl who has enviably glossy hair (I've never told her that in person, but I really do think that). I have a signed copy of her latest book, Dream Girl, that will be on Win-It Wednesday one day, and I can't wait to read about Claire Voyante's adventures! In the meantime, here's Lauren's cover story:"First off, I should say I am not a very visual person. Not only do I lack the ability to come up with visual ideas, I'm also really bad at judging what works and what doesn't. Supposedly fun home magazines are as baffling to me as Ikea assembly instructions and I can only understand modern art when it reminds me of something ("look! that could be a snake kissing a cloud, right?") And I tend to like really straightforward book covers, like this: OR "See? I'm hopeless. When I was first shown the cover idea for The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social Climber, my first book, I cringed. I thought it recalled a poster for 21 Jump Street. I was dead wrong -- readers responded to that cover very positively. (Then again, I was right when I suspected the cover for its sequel, All Q, No A, called to mind an old Band Aid you might find on the beach. That beige-colored book did not fly off the shelves.) "No one asked me for cover input, thank goodness. My editor Krista Marino and book designer Angela Carlino (who happen to have designed the covers for King Dork and the Tina Ferraro books) are too hip for children's publishing. Had they asked I would have told them what I was envisioning, something like the cover of Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers, which would have been a huge disaster. "So, they let me continue to write while they collaborated on the cover of Dream Girl. They were playing around with a lot of ideas, and the version they ended up going with is beautiful. It reminds me of a package of Japanese candy. Granted, Claire describes herself as being a little chubby and the girl on the cover is all sinewy limbs and clavicles. But, then again, who's to say Claire isn't actually a sex goddess with a case of low self-esteem? I'll have to address that in the sequel..." I love this cover a lot--I think it's haunting and beautiful. I also noticed that the paperback cover will have red roses, which gives it a different feel, but is just as elegant, I think. Maybe a little darker somehow. When I asked Lauren about the red roses change yesterday, she said she's on vacation and hasn't seen it yet! She does say, "I had no hand in the amendment but I'm psyched--many people who read the book said they were surprised by the fact that the story was more noir-y than the candy pink cover might suggest." Which is exactly what I thought. Yay! What do you guys think of the covers?