When I saw the hair on Mary Hooper's penniless watercress seller protagonist in Fallen Grace, I had to find out more. Here's Mary with the Cover Story: "I really wanted a graveyard and headstones, with a mysterious figure seen in a mist in the background, but the design department had other ideas. When I saw the cover, I loved the image, but was still keen on having a few gravestones!
"Only the background colour changed. In the UK, it started off as a cream cover (below right), but one of the big bookshop chains didn't like this and wanted it more 'moody'; more like the Dark Romance (ie Vampire) books.I like this new, darker, version. Oh -- and in the end they did give me another tombstone or two on the back.
"I had to go back and slightly tweak the colour of my character's hair so that it became that lovely beech-leaf colour.
"In the end, I love the cover and think it especially appropriate of the title that she isn't showing her face. One thing I think is funny is that there is no way that Grace, a slum-dwelling, penniless, starving watercress-seller, would have such gorgeous shiny locks, but I guess it looks better on a cover than lank rats' tail hair.
"Best of all as far as I am concerned: on the UK version of the paperback there will be a strapline on the cover stating, "BEST NEW HISTORICAL NOVEL OF 2010 - The Times." The US and UK covers have the same background colour and image and I was hoping this strapline would be on the US version, but it wasn't. You can read it here now, though!"
Thanks, Mary! I love this cover. The cream version is fine, but the blue-gray background with the striking hair (and hairstyle, which makes me want long hair) is enchanting. What do you guys think?
Check out the trailer too: