"Designer Tracy Shaw has worked on all my Secrets of My Hollywood Life covers and did Sleepaway Girls as well so to be honest, I wasn't really worried about the design--I knew she'd come up with something beautiful.
"The team is always nice enough to tell me what they're thinking, and I figure they know best so go with it! The only concern I had when they were doing this cover was who the cover model was going to be. I had hoped she'd resemble one of the two protagonists--Mira or Izzie. This cover definitely feels like Mira to me--a true Southern belle. There will be four books in the Belles series and each cover will feature a different girl from the series. Hopefully Izzie will get her turn at some point! The Winter White cover (Belles 2, out this October) features a girl who looks like Savannah, Mira's best friend (well, best friend when we start out in book one!).
"The girl on the cover is a real model! I know that because she actually friended me on Facebook and told me this was her first photo shoot. I actually have to drop her a line because I want to make sure she got a copy of the finalized book. She is the perfect image of Mira so I couldn't be happier with her or the cover.
"When I first saw it, I thought it was the prettiest cover I had ever seen. Just so girly and soft and I loved the font they used for the title. I feel so honored that it's my book. Really! I will tell you a funny story though--at the NYC Teen Author Festival Book of Wonder event a few weeks ago I was seated next to Barry Lyga whose new book is I Hunt Killers (right). His cover is covered with blood stains. Next to Belles it looked hysterical. He actually took a picture of the covers next to each other it was so funny.
"I love the soft pastel colors and the design of the wrap-around cover--it reminds me a little bit of the Secrets covers--and I love that they photographed a real girl. I think the coolest thing about this cover is the air of mystery to it--you can only see part of the girl's face, but when you take the wrap off the cover you see her full appearance and those beautiful flowers. The ARC that went out looks just like the finalized version. I just feel bad for any reviewer who received the ARC because the final version is so much prettier with the actual wrap around. Plus, they can see the full-length photo under the wrap, which you couldn't do with the ARC. I almost wished the ARCs had disclaimers on it that said: FINAL VERSION IS EVEN PRETTIER THAN THIS ONE! YOU GET TO SEE THE WHOLE GIRL! (left)
"I love knowing that all four covers in the series will relate to this first cover. Both Mira and Izzie will have a chance to be 'cover girls' and other important characters, like Savannah, will get their day too. The Winter White cover is just as pretty as this one. It has a lovely lilac hue to it. What I try to do in each book is write in the flower used on the cover. It's sort of my little nod to the Secrets series because with that one I always wrote in a handbag for Kaitlin to carry that looked like the cover. In this series, the flower the girl holds on the cover will be written into a party scene. For 'Winter White' the flower is a hydrangea and that flower figures promptly at cotillion (hint, hint--plot for book two!)."
Thanks, Jen! I love that you write details from the covers into your books -- I do that too, mainly because I'm a little obsessive about the details and the image on the front. This series sounds right up my alley! I miss North Carolina and my belles!
What do you guys think?