Kimberly Rae Miller is here to share the story behind her simple, beautiful cover for Coming Clean, a memoir about growing up with parents who were a compulsive shopper (mom) and an intense hoarder (her dad). Their house was so cluttered that a squatter lived undetected in their attic for years. Here's Kimberly to tell the story of her crisp, sparse cover: "Waiting for the cover was perhaps the petrifying part of the process for me. My memoir is about hoarding, and I know what people think of when they think of hoarding. But, at its heart, it’s also a story of unconditional love. I was so afraid that I’d end up with the book cover equivalent to an episode of Hoarders; I had imagined all sorts of dark, dirty, ugly covers with little girls covered in garbage.
"My editor asked me for input, and I was completely useless. The only suggestion I had was something similar to the cover of Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles (right), only instead of wood, the profile on the cover being comprised of random stuff. Ironically, I had the same cover artist, the amazing Lynn Buckley.
"When I first saw my cover, I started laughing, and then I started crying. Which is kind of embarrassing because I was at the gym at the time. It was just such a relief, I had been expecting the worst—dank, disorderly squalor. Pink paper hearts in various stages of unfurling—it was so perfect and so light and beautiful, but really encompassed everything I hoped to convey while writing the book. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect cover.
"The only thing that has changed from inception to printing was the shading of the hearts. The digital book has a slightly lighter pink hue than the hardcover.
"From what I’ve heard, secondhand so I can’t attest to the accuracy, the artist, Lynn Buckley, was totally stumped. She called my editor and was like, I only have one idea…I have these pink hearts. The rest is history.
"I absolutely adore my cover art. It so subtly sums up the entirety of my story; paper, love, opening up, acceptance. I won’t give away the plot…err, my life…but, it’s all there in these nine little hearts.
"Also, the digital version has a three-dimensional quality, which is kind of awesome."
Thanks, Kimberly! This cover drew me in from the first--and I think a clean cover is the way to go, but the crumpled hearts convey so much. See the full jacket below: