Cover Stories: Nara Gazing and Shattering Gigi

MirrorMirror_CoverDiana Rodriguez Wallach was here to show off the cover for Reflecting Emmy, part one of her Mirror, Mirror trilogy (overall cover at left), and she's back today with the covers for parts two and three! Take it away, D: "I have two covers to share with you from my YA short-story trilogy, Mirror, Mirror. Part two in the series, Nara Gazing, is on sale now. And part three, Shattering Gigi, debuts in November 2013.

"The cover for Reflecting Emmythe first story in the trilogy that came out in September 2013, included a mirror and I really wanted to continue that theme. The entire series revolves around reflections. It’s a re-imagining of the myths of Narcissus and Nemesis, and as many people know, Narcissus famously died while gazing at his own reflection. So mirrors are a huge theme in my modern twist on this tale. Emmy is a paranormal secret agent who’s tasked with ridding the world of Narcissistic people by using a compact mirror to judge their reflections. So for Nara Gazing and Shattering GiGi, it was very important for me to continue the mirror theme.

"I know a lot of art departments don’t care about cover models looking exactly like the characters as they’re described within the book, but I feel otherwise. The character of Nara is being targeted by Emmy because she’s beautiful, vain and narcissistic. So Nara’s beauty is a key point in the story, and I felt strongly that it should be represented accurately. I pushed hard for a redheaded model. Nara is a strawberry blond goddess with pale skin and blue eyes and I’m glad we were able to find a cover image that reflected how I imagined her.

ShatteringGiGi_Cover"The first time I saw Shattering GiGi, I loved it! I had absolutely no changes. I loved that they gave the mirrored-image a 'shatter' effect, and I loved how the model reflected the overall look of both Emmy and her ageless grandmother, GiGi. I also loved the red dress. GiGi is a re-imagining the supreme Greek Goddess, Nyx, a powerful being believed to have been at the dawn of creation and to have given birth to many of the Gods (including Nemesis). Nyx is a bit mysterious and definitely dangerous, and I think the color red gives off that dangerous vibe.

"The first time I saw the cover options for Nara Gazing, however, I had a different reaction and thankfully my publisher took my opinions into account. Below are a couple photos that were initially suggested for the cover.

SpikyBlond WoodlandRedhead

"My publisher really liked the first image, featuring a model with the short spiky hair, but I had a number of concerns. While the photo itself is striking, as is the model’s expression, she looks nothing like any of the characters in my book. There isn’t a blond girl within this series, and there definitely isn’t anyone with a trendy pixy cut. Ultimately, I felt like the model looked too 'punk rock' for the characters in these stories, and thankfully, my publisher agreed to consider some more options.

"The second photo they sent was of a redhead, which for me was moving in the right direction, and it showed how generous the art department was being to accept my feedback. However, there was no mirror or mirrored-reflection in this image and that felt like too much of a departure from the other covers. I really wanted to the mirrored element to tie the series together. Additionally, I felt the flowers and butterflies in the model’s hair gave a woodland vibe that would have been more appropriate for a fairy character, and not really representative of my edgy Greek goddess tone.

NaraGazing"So we landed on the final cover, left. When they sent the image we ultimately chose for Nara Gazing, I loved it right away. She had red hair, she was gazing at her own reflection, she looked vain and popular, and it had a great high-school feel. It’s perfect.

"I’m thrilled with all of my covers, Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, Shattering GiGi and the trilogy as a whole, Mirror, Mirror, I think if you look at them lined up, you can see how they tie together and I think each is striking in its own right. I also think they really reflect what’s within the pages, which is the ultimate goal, right? Thanks so much for letting me share my cover stories!"

Thank you, Diana! See all three covers together, below: