Then, check out this interview with the awesome Joe Horne, who shot the cover photo! (That's the original, left). It hardly changed!
Melissa: What inspired the photo? Joe: My wife wanted to take a photography class at one of the schools around here. She wanted me to take it with her. I thought it would be something fun to do together. I'd been shooting pictures for over 30 years, but had never taken a class. So, we signed up. Our first homework assignment was to shoot fruit. I decided to shoot an apple that showed Eve being banished from the Garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit.
Melissa: What can you tell us about the shot? Joe: I talked to a beginning model, Taylor, about sitting for me. We went to a historic schoolhouse in Florence [South Carolina] that I was familiar with. I knew they had just clear cut some timber from behind the school. I wanted the background to appear ruined to show that she was no longer in paradise. It was kind of strange for Taylor. In previous shoots she had been the subject of the pictures. Now she was in the background with her face covered trying to look sad and remorseful. [Check out another photo from the same day's shoot, below left.]
Melissa: How did you find out that the photo was going to be used for the book cover? Joe: I have a profile for my photos on deviantART under GossamerDreams. I get messages from time to time. Some people like my work, some want to give me advice on how to make my pictures better, some just want to know if I have more pictures of a certain model. I got a message wanting to know if the picture could be used for a book cover. I didn't think the request was serious, so I ignored it. Later I got another request from the same person about the picture, so I emailed her and we talked. Of course I agreed. I'd never had a book cover before.
Melissa: What do you think of the final image on the Small Town Sinners cover? Joe: I am very pleased with the final cover. The only thing that was changed was the shape of the bite in the apple. Mine was just a bite, but they made it into a heart . I had adjusted the color and grain to make the apple stand out and give the rest of the photo a surreal effect.
Thank you, Joe! I'm so amazed we got in touch, and I adore this photo, which I think captures the feeling of Small Town Sinners so well! Be sure to look at Joe's portfolio--I have a feeling there are more book covers in his future. I love this one (right).
Stay tuned--tomorrow I'll talk to the cover designer for Small Town Sinners on bn.com!
Remember to try to win the book in the apple-bite challenge!