Win-It Wednesday + Cover Stories: Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham

Thumbnail image for stalkergirl final.jpgThe winner of last week's copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is... Ariel Wilson! Send me your address, A!Rosemary Graham's Stalker Girl intrigued me instantly. I wouldn't quite use the "s" word about myself, but it wasn't far off at certain low points in my life, relationships-wise. Anyway, this isn't about me. It's about that compelling cover (and how you can win a copy of the book!). Here's Rosemary: stalker girl 1.jpg"There were three versions of the cover prior to the final one. Or maybe I should call it the final final one because the very first cover I was presented with was deemed 'final' (right). I absolutely loved this first one from the moment I saw it even though it didn't actually make sense in terms the Stalker Girl plot. I loved how it suggested a New York skyline. I loved the knowing look in the girl's eye and a really loved her dress. "Two months after this cover was presented to me as final, my editor wrote to say that sales and marketing people were having second thoughts. They felt that the girl looking right into the camera was wrong for the story, that there needed to be a sense of people being watched without knowing it. cover two.jpgThey also felt strongly that there should be a couple in the camera lens because in the story the stalker is stalking her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. I completely understood and accepted the reasons for the change. However, I was not happy with the new image (left). "For one thing, I felt like the urban feel of the first was lost. That couple might have been walking along Fifth Avenue, in front of Central Park, but there was nothing to strongly indicate an urban setting. Also? As a friend of mine said, it was 'a bit hair swingy.' Also? The girl was wearing a bright pink shirt and since my second novel's hardback cover had been very, very pink, I was hoping to avoid pinkness and the whole chick lit question this time around. cover three.jpg"My editor and the art department were very receptive to my concerns but there was a limited budget, which ruled out a photo shoot. They'd have to work with stock images. The next version had the urban feel, but I felt strongly that the models were wrong for the book (right). "They looked too old and too groomed. While my editor was still supportive, it was clear that we were running out of time and options. They were going to give it one more try. Then my editor sent the last option. I clicked on the attachment with a bit of trepidation. I was thrilled and relieved to find the existing cover. Everything was there: the urban feel, the right-aged characters, a sense of voyeurism. stalkergirl final.jpg "I love the cover, and so appreciate the care that went into designing it." Thanks, Rosemary! I think the final cover has a real crispness to it that the other options lack, and I agree that the protagonists look the right age in the final, too. Glad everyone kept trying! What do you guys think of the cover, and the earlier versions? Each commenter will be entered to win a copy of the book. PS-There's a great trailer too! Rosemary says, "To create the trailer for Stalker Girl, I must have looked at hundreds of images of New York on Flickr. The images I used--all Creative Commons licensed--really capture the mood of stalker girl. I feel like any one of them could also be used to create an evocative a cover for Stalker Girl."