a blind spot for boys

Cover Stories: A Blind Spot for Boys

Justina Chen has been on this blog a few times talking covers (for Return to Me and North of Beautiful), and I'm lucky to have her back to talk about the cover of her latest novel, A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS

"As soon as I finished writing, I knew that what the book needed was a bright, eye-catching cover. One that popped on the bookshelves. One that said: I am a fun read, people! I trust my publisher on the cover. They’ve done an outstanding job designing each of my novels. I think this was the first time Little, Brown didn’t ask for my input upfront. I’m glad. They designed and delivered a perfect cover.

"Actually, they more than delivered. Not only is my title a sunny yellow, but there are hot pink accents, including a secret heart on the inside cover. The cover photo features the cutest couple on the planet who you can tell have a great time together—and that is what I wish for all of my readers. For them to know and experience a really wonderful, soul-filling love. Then there’s a gorgeous photo of Machu Picchu on the back cover—a sacred site that rearranged me when I was there with my kids on a research trip. And to top it all off, my son took my author photo on the backflap. It’s his first photo credit. So all told, I couldn’t love my cover more!

"When I received the first cover concepts, I sat back in my office chair, mouth half-open, thinking to myself, They nailed it. Only one of the cover concepts drew a less than enthusiastic response from me. The guy’s hair was terrible! Luckily, my editor agreed.

"We evaluated another photograph with booksellers, but I think the feedback was that the original cover concept that we loved the most popped better on the bookshelves. The first time I saw it at a bookseller, I thought: the cover really does pop! The art department used two stock photos and collaged them together.

"I have to admit: every time I look at A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS, I smile. It’s my favorite book cover, which is apropos since it was the most fun I’ve ever had writing a novel. The couple on the cover share the warm ease with each other that I imagined Shana and Quattro having. As well, you can see that they’re totally flirting with each other, which is perfect since Shana is a man magnet who put herself on a Boy Moratorium. Well. That didn’t last long. And Quattro is the reason why."