Cover Stories: You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby
I'm a big fan of Amanda Ashby's, and not just because her blog always has music playing (though that does help!). She's also an energetic and funny writer, and her debut novel, You Had Me At Halo, has an incredibly quirky premise (I love quirky!). Publisher's Weekly described the book thusly (btw, it is quirky to use the word thusly): "It's The Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones in this fluffy take on what happens after death...it's a fun, witty traipse through the afterlife."
When the afterlife is fun and witty, I want to be involved. And here is Amanda's Cover Story:
"I'm not a very visual person at the best of times so it's really not part of my writing process to try and picture a cover. Also, it wasn't until I signed with my agent that I got my fabulous title and I think that played a big part in helping guide the cover!"
"My editor sent me an email to say they were having a meeting about it the following week and asked for ideas. Here is the reply I sent her:
'I've been having a snoop around Amazon and the covers that have really drawn me all seem to have blue skies and clouds in them. One idea was to have the sky/cloud background with the title in big letters and the O of Halo looking like a real halo, which could have Holly hanging off it, as if she's going to fall. There could even be a city skyscape below or Vince standing by an office building or something?'
"The other idea was to have Holly in the right hand corner on a cloud, sort of speeding to earth while hanging onto her halo and at the bottom left have Vince perhaps leaning on a signpost with an arrow pointing back up to heaven. In the middle the title could be written out in a circle like a halo.
"I was so happy the first time I saw my cover because it was better than I EVER could've dreamed--thereby proving why I should stick to writing and not try and design covers since my ideas were all cluttered and messy and what they came up with was so sharp and clean! My favorite part is the shape of the cloud and the clothes that my heroine is wearing (she really would've picked them if she wasn't dead and stuck in a guy's body!!!!)
"I loved it so much (as did my agent) that we only had good things to say! I'd just like to add that I felt very lucky to get such a wonderful cover on my debut book. Over the years I've heard loads of horror stories about authors getting covers that don't have any resemblance to the story inside, but that definitely wasn't the case for me and I really think that my cover perfectly represents what the book is about (not to mention the tone!)"
I think Amanda's first suggestions were great, and had a definite impact on that sky-blue-with-clouds cover! Inspirations are always a little scattered, Amanda. You did well!
What do you guys think--do you like the cover? And what other blue-sky books can you think of? Alyson Noel's Cruel Summer comes to mind for me.
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