This month, I got to hear the lovely and curly haired Sarah Beth Durst read from her new release, ICE. It was a great peek into her reimagined fairy tale, and when she reads out loud, she sounds kind of like the queen from The Neverending Story, which is pretty darn cool. Here's Sarah with her lovely, easy Cover Story:
"I can quote for you word-for-word the entirety of my involvement in the design of the cover of ICE.
"EDITOR: Here is the cover art for ICE.
"EDITOR: Do I hear trumpets?
"EDITOR: Where did the parade come from? Hey, who let in the elephants?
"EDITOR: As I was saying, we're happy with it, and we hope... Really, Sarah, fireworks?
"Okay, it wasn't exactly like that. There was only one elephant, and the fireworks were tasteful. Seriously, though, I had zero involvement in the cover. I had hoped there would be a polar bear on it, but I didn't know what my publisher was planning until the jpg arrived in my Inbox. When it arrived, I did in fact shriek, jump up and down, and begin dancing around the room.
"The cover, I think, perfectly captures the book. The characters look exactly as I imagined them, as if the artist peeked into my brain to see Cassie (a 16-year-old Arctic research scientist) and Bear (basically, the Angel of Death for polar bears).
"I'm told that the image began as a photograph, and they did several photo shoots before they settled on the correct girl and the correct pose. I am reasonably certain that the reason it took several models was that they wanted just the right shot and not because the polar bear kept eating the models.
"After the girl was selected/digested, the artist then incorporated the photo in the final work of art using a technique known to laypeople (such as myself) as incomprehensible magic.
"The artist is Cliff Nielsen. He also did the art for THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series and the latest edition of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. When I found out that he'd be doing the cover for ICE, I spent at least an hour Googling examples of his work and daydreaming about what he'd design for my story. He exceeded all my expectations. I really hope I get a chance to meet him and thank him someday. Before the day that the image arrived in my Inbox, I hadn't known it was possible to fall in love with a jpeg."
That Cliff Nelson does some fantastical covers! I love the white contrasting with Cassie's red hair, and I think it has a great arctic fairy tale feel. What do you guys think?