Kari Luna's The Theory of Everything is quirky, sweet and tear-jerking. It's also funny and whimsical. So many adjectives I like! Here she is to share the story of her unique and apt cover: "Most authors don't have a say in what's on the cover. I knew that, but I'm a visual thinker. So visual, I had Will Bryant, a friend and amazing illustrator, do illustrations for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING website before we even sold the book. Once the book was sold I knew all bets were off but his style – 80's, whimsical and offbeat – was always on my mind for the cover.
"Then one day the cover appeared in my Inbox. I was surprised! I loved the colors, total 80s. And the handwritten font, my name in yellow, all of it was delicious. But the photo bugged me. Who was that girl? What was she wearing? And what was the deal with the pandas? It sounds strange when I say it now, because that photo totally captures the spirit of the book. It's happy. Bright. Like a little love bomb, which is exactly what I wanted. (Thanks, Natalie Sousa!) But at the time I was fixated on the fact that my main character, Sophie Sophia, would never wear that dress. It was too adorable. And she was, well, adorably funky.
"So we added tights. Pink ones. Then orange ones. Eventually striped ones. We added a colored belt and bracelets and necklaces. I think they even made her hair darker and messed it up, a bit. With those few changes she had more edge, and I was happy. Sophie Sophia, I thought, would approve. [See original cover, left, vs final, right, below]:
"And now? I love the cover. I've been looking at it for a year and can't imagine it as anything else. I adore the pandas, so much that I put one in the book trailer I made. And the shot was from Getty Creative, but the photographer, Ibai Iacevedo, did an entire series in Barcelona. So. Amazing. As for Will? He made posters and buttons in the same colors as they cover (see right), and I think they all look fabulous together. One big, happy panda family."
Curious? Check out this review from The Flyleaf Review and see if it sounds right for you!