Cover Stories: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist SOCIETY final.jpgAlly Carter and I shared a cover model once! The model on the cover of Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy also posed as Violet on all three of my Violet covers! (Read that story here.)This week her latest novel, Heist Society, is out, and it's got a fantastic cover, in my opinion. Here's Ally with the Cover Story: "I am not an artist -- not even a little bit. Plus, my wonderful publisher, Disney-Hyperion, has always blessed me with such fabulous covers before that I didn't spend a lot of time trying to come up with a specific concept. The only thing I felt certain of was that it should have a lush, rich feel and feature art in some way. "When researching art and famous art heists I, of course, heard the story of the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston which many consider to be the largest single art theft in history. 17kennedy.xlarge1.jpgTwelve paintings were taken in that heist, but Mrs. Gardner's will indicated that the collection was to never change -- no paintings could be sold or added -- so the museum left the empty frames on the museum's walls, waiting for the missing paintings to be returned. That image (above) was always very vivid in my mind, and I shared the story with my editor. When I saw my cover, my first thought was 'Wow!' My second was 'That's Kat.' The sunglasses and reflection were fabulous, but, to me, the best part is the little smile. That little smile says it all. "My editor is Jennifer Besser with Disney-Hyperion and she's absolutely amazing (she's the powerhouse editor behind series like Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan and Bluebloods by Melissa de la Cruz.) She is always open to talk and brainstorm and do whatever we can to make things even better. But I have to say all my suggestions were little things -- trying to make the model's eyes the shade of blue I'd always imagined Kat's to be, tweaking the cover copy -- little things like that. "This was a difficult cover to do because, in a way, Heist Society is my most complex book. It's (hopefully) a fun, funny book that takes place in a lot of glamorous, exciting locations, but it's also touches on some very serious issues. Those complexities were tough to summarize in one image, so my publisher tried many, many different treatments before finding the image that we all knew was just right. That final image changed very little from the first time I saw it. "At first, they worked a lot with stock photos, playing with different ideas, trying to capture the perfect concept and, believe me, they went through dozens of them! I knew they were getting close when my editor started saying things like 'I think we may have one.... I think this might be the one....' At that point they sent me a very rough mock-up using stock photos and I immediately agreed. "Next, they sent me shots of several potential models, and we all agreed on Olga, a Russian model living and working in New York. She simply was Kat. They did a photo shoot with Olga then, and the rest, as they say, is history." "I absolutely love this cover. It does what I didn't think was possible: capturing the total essence of the story. Every time I look at it I find something else I'm drawn to -- especially that little smile." Thanks, Ally! I love this cover, and I think the smile captures such mischievousness and the sunglass reflection works so well. What do you guys think?