Cover Stories: Pure and After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

pure-hardcover.jpgTerra Elan McVoy has some of the best covers I've seen, and I had to ask her to stop by and share some stories. Here goes: "Honestly, I had no idea about my covers. I am a writer, not a graphic designer or marketing specialist. So I decided to worry about what was going in between the covers, and to let the amazing geniuses at Simon Pulse do their magic. It seems to have worked out pretty well so far!

"When I saw the mock-up of the hardcover for Pure (left), the first thing I thought was,'Gah!' and then 'Gorgeous!' Really, I couldn't believe how smart and pretty and amazing it was, and I loved that Cara Petrus (the designer) put in the details of the five rings along the spine. Everything was just so deliciously perfect--almost TOO perfect. I laughed, too, because I lead a book group for middle school girls, and anytime they see a book with a pink cover, they're like 'Ooooh I want to read that,' no matter what it is. So, mainly, I just thought how incredibly lucky I was. It was the same for the cover of After the Kiss. I hadn't really thought about the cover at all, and then I saw it and I was like, 'Yes, absolutely. Beautiful.'

"I'm sure my editor would have taken suggestions, but basically all I could do was drool on myself in every case.

purepaperback.jpg"I will say that while I LOVED the hardcover version of Pure, when my editor told me they were going to change the cover for the paperback, I did offer up some input. I worked at a children's bookstore at the time, and also had friends who had middle school aged girls; I had heard here and there that some people thought the cherry on the cover was a little too mature, especially considering that the content of the book was more about friendship. So I brought that up to my editor, and then she and Cara came back with the yellow version with the daisy on the cover. And I love it so much, because, as Meg Ryan says in You've Got Mail, daisies are such friendly flowers, and this is just subtle and perfect and wonderful. So, now I am doubly blessed, because I have got this gorgeous, glammy pink hardcover (that got nominated as one of the best covers of the year in a New York Times contest), and this delicious, sunshine-y paperback cover, too.

"I know that the hardcover of Pure was done with a model. The paperback I'm not so certain about, and I don't know about After the Kiss, either, though I do like to picture a photo shoot involving hundreds of Sweethearts candies.

afterthekiss.jpg"It's fun, with After the Kiss, to try to read the messages on the hearts and see if there's a prominent one that has special meaning, but I haven't quite managed to find one yet, really. I keep thinking there may be a secret message in there. And for the hardcover of Pure, I just dig that there isn't anything hidden about the message at all. If you get it, you get it, and if you don't it's still pretty."

Thanks, Terra! Pretty is exactly the word I'd use to describe the coves of Terra's books -- all of them! What do you guys think?