Bonus Cover Stories: Perfect Shot by Debbie Rigaud

Debbie Rigaud is part of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, and she's also the proud author of a new Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy, Perfect Shot. It's about a volleyball star who enters an online modeling competition to get closer to her crush. Soon, this tomboy finds herself off the volleyball court and the middle of the fashion world... and she wants to win. I like this plot (surprise)--lots of models actually did play volleyball at some point because it's a tall girl's game! Here's Debbie:

perfectshotcover.jpg "The Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies series are all awesomely illustrated by Amy Saidens, so I had a general idea of what the cover would look like. But since PERFECT SHOT is the first in the series to feature an African-American protagonist, I was extra curious to see Amy's rendering of the characters.

"I was asked to give a short description of the main characters, including their personal style. I described love interest Brent as a clean-cut version of a teenaged Lenny Kravitz. Swoon!

"When I first saw my cover, I was excited! I own a number of Simon Pulse Ro-Com books, plus over the years I've spotted them at libraries and bookstores, so contributing my own characters to this popular series is a thrill.

"My editor Michael del Rosario was the coolest. He invited me to make comments/suggestions and took my feedback to the art department. PERFECT SHOT is my first solo book, so getting a glimpse into the cover process in this way was an education for me.

"I was happy to see that the art department made the minor adjustments I'd suggested. Everything seemed to go smoothly, so that put my mind to ease. As you can imagine, with this being the first cover featuring Black characters, the art is especially significant to me.

PerfectShotOriginal.jpg"Based on the suggestions I made, the characters look more distinctly ethnic in the African-American sense. The most obvious change is that London (the main character) got a haircut. In the original her hair flowed down her back (right), but they obliged my request for a shoulder-length coif.

"Amy and the art department hooked me up. They did a fabulous job. From the general look of the characters to the smallest detail (like volleyball insignia on London's jersey), I couldn't be happier with it!"

I love that Debbie got to make some changes--looks like London's skin got a shade darker--and I agree that her haircut is way cuter short. What do you guys think?

PS-Leave a Mark is auctioning off a marked-up copy of Lovestruck Summer today (where I wrote all through the margins about the back story of writing the book, character names, inspirations, etc). It's all for charity! Please go bid if you can.