Cover Stories: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

ForgiveMyFins hc c.JPGTera Lynn Childs, who shared the scandalous Cover Story for her Oh. My. Gods. books, is back with an awesome, colorful cover and the story behind it. Take it away, Tera!"I had no cover in mind as I wrote Forgive My Fins. Which is weird, because I'm a very visual person and I usually make a mock cover for every book. But I was completely blank. "My editor asked if I had any great ideas (which, as I said above, I didn't). AquamarineMoviePoster.jpgI gathered together a collection of images that resonated with me, especially the movie poster for Aquamarine (right) and the Evian mermaid ad (below). I only knew that I wanted a realistic cover, with a real girl. A real Lily Sanderson. Mermaids are fictional enough already, I didn't want a cartoon to make my characters seem even more so. evian_mermaid.jpg ForgiveMyFins_FirstCover.jpg"When I first saw the original cover (right), I had mixed emotions. I thought the design was gorgeous, and I absolutely adored the girl and the colors and even the font. But in the first draft there was some sort of texture applied to Lily's skin that made it look, well, like it was flaking off. In the book her skin is very fair and freckled, so I really hoped that would change. (Note: the draft I've attached is a version before the one I saw, and you can see my name is spelled wrong! They fixed that quickly.) "After the semi-debacle of my Oh. My. Gods. cover (some bookstores didn't carry it because of the "naked dude" on the cover) I was hyperaware of every detail. I sent it immediately to my friends at Blue Willow Bookshop for their bookseller perspective and then sent on their suggestions with mine. The art department at Harper absolutely took those suggestions to heart. They were extremely committed to making the cover as perfect as possible and worked on every little detail. ForgiveMyFins hc c.JPG"The basic design stayed the same, but details changed. The weird flaky skin disappeared, leaving only beautiful fair, freckled skin on a girl who looks exactly like I picture Lily. They added more curlicues on the title font, tweaked the magic bubbles/sparkles flowing from Lily's lips, and adjusted the overall colors a bit. And, once we got the amazing quote from Alyson Noel, they nudged things around a bit to get a piece of it on the cover. As far as I know the cover was shot with a model, but it was contracted out to a photographer. (I may be making that up, but I think that's true.) "In the end, I. Ah. Dore. It. I think it captures the essence of the story, of Lily's character and the magic of the mer world. My favorite part is the dotted circle of waves in the bottom left of the cover. The mer folk in my world all have a mer mark, a special tattoo at the base of their neck, that identifies them as mer. I describe it as a circle of waves around a stylized kelp flower. I love that they put the circle of waves on the cover! It makes it all the more magical." Thanks, Tera! I die for this cover, as Rachel Zoe would say. From the minute I saw it, I've wanted blue lipstick. The book is out this week, so pick it up and let it face out on your bookshelf! What do you guys think?