Cover Stories: Scorched by Mari Mancusi

9781402284588-PR Mari Mancusi has shared Cover Stories here before, including one of the most popular Cover Stories ever for Gamer Girl! She's back with a new cover, revealing this week for the first time, and a great story. Here's Mari: "With seventeen books under my belt, the Scorched cover consultation wasn’t exactly my first rodeo. But for some reason I was more nervous than ever about what they’d decide for the cover. I just felt a book like this really needed the right cover. But what would that right cover entail? For once I didn’t have a clear picture in mind.

"I knew I wanted a strong looking heroine. It was important to me that Trinity didn’t look like a damsel in distress in a pretty gown. I also knew I wanted the cover to appeal to both genders—as the book has points of view from both Trinity and the two boys—Connor and Caleb—sent from the future to stop the dragon apocalypse. And I liked the idea of an orange and red color palette—to really pop on bookstore shelves. I wanted it to be vivid. To be violent. To be on fire.

"And, you know, it couldn’t hurt to have an actual dragon on the cover…

"I was delighted when I found out they were hiring an artist to create the cover. Which, in hindsight, makes sense. I mean, casting call for dragons on Craigslist, anyone? I was even more delighted when I found out they chose Tony Sahara who did the beautiful Eon and Eona covers. This was an artist who knew his dragons.

"You can see some of the rough cover comps he sent as we tried to settle on an overall concept (below). The one with the dragon rampaging over the city feels very Godzilla-like to me. Which is kind of awesome, but perhaps not exactly right for this particular book. I also really liked the covers that showed the close-ups of Trinity and the dragon—with the title in the middle. They look a little softer—almost romancey.

scorched_011713a - Early Comp Cover 2 scorched_120612d - Early Comp Cover 1 scorched_010813c - Early Comp Cover 3

"But nothing could come close to the design that was finally chosen. A cover literally on fire. A girl standing with her dragon—eyes defiant, challenging—as if to say, 'You really want to mess with this?' And the dragon—though fierce and awesome—looks down at her with affection in its eyes. You look at this cover and wonder—what is their connection? Why is she so protective of this monster? Is there something about this dragon that we don’t know about? Something worth saving?

"I love this cover with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Now that I’ve seen it, I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect for the book. And I cannot wait to see it on bookstore shelves in September."

Thanks, Mari! Love this story. The cover screams DRAGON, and readers will know just what they're in for!

What do you guys think?