Cover Stories: Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler

Carolyn Mackler is like my YA mentor. She was the first person I talked to when I dreamed of writing a book, and she was so encouraging! It meant the world. GUYAHOLIC_pbk.jpgNow she's here to share the cover story for the paperback edition of Guyaholic. Carolyn says, "I like to be involved in the cover process. It's sort of the icing on the cake after so many months/years of cake-less writing."

Here's her Cover Story:

"This is the paperback cover, but it was one of the original ideas for the hardcover jacket. When I saw it on the hardcover version, early on, I said, 'Naaaah.' I remember thinking that she doesn't look like V, that it wasn't her car, wasn't her nose, weren't her eyelashes. So my publisher went back to work and came up with the image for the hardcover. I call that the leggy cover.

guyaholic hardcover.jpg"For the hardcover, my publisher did a photo shoot - those legs actually belong to a young employee at Candlewick! I met her at an ALA event a few years ago and she confessed, 'I'm the legs on your book.' And she was. We're talking seriously enviable legs. The car belongs to another person at Candlewick - a real group effort. The hardcover looks so sunny and summery - and it is definitely a summer book. I mean, summer = roadtrips, right?

"But I think we all felt it wasn't right for paperback. Paperbacks, for me, are more casual-feeling reads. So I was delighted when Candlewick reintroduced this cover! This time around, with a few year's distance from writing the book, I wasn't so hung up on the color of the real upholstery in V's car, or whether her nose was stubby or long or ski-jumpy, and whether or not she'd be wearing mascara on this particular driving day. Now I just loved the overall FEEL of the cover. And that's what a cover is: the initial feel, how it grabs you, whether it reflects the essence of the story.

"I think this cover actually reflects the feel of the book more than the hardcover. The hardcover, while sexy and alluring, seems more static to me. But this book is about movement, speed, running away, driving cross-country to escape your demons - and maybe land in the arms of the boy of your dreams. And this paperback cover - with V's hair blowing in the wind and the scenery whizzing by the window - is just that. I believe the paperback is a stock photo, but I want to meet the person who has that car. Who doesn't want that cool pink car?

"When I was 22, I (like V) drove cross-country by myself. My ride was a seafoam green Toyota Tercel named Egg. While V's story isn't based on mine, I suppose I did have flickers of daydreams about Egg making a comeback on the Guyaholic cover. But soon after my roadtrip, I moved to New York City to become a writer. I sold Egg to a girl somewhere upstate and used the money to buy a computer. I heard through the grapevine that she wrecked Egg a few months later. She was fine, but Egg was doomed. So I guess maybe not such a great idea to have a trashed car on the cover of my book. Oh, well. Egg lives on in my dreams."

Thanks, Carolyn! I love this story. And I agree that the paperback has that fast-moving, driving-into-the-sun feel. Sigh.

What do you guys think? Which cover do you like, and if you've read the book (so good!), which fits for you?

UPDATE: Alea did a Harcover vs. Paperback post for this book, so there are tons of good insights over there!