Happy Fourth of July! I spent my weekend curled up with Dana Reinhardt‘s The Summer I Learned to Fly (finished last night) and it’s just an enchanting summer story. Here’s Publisher’s Weekly‘s starred review. Read, read, read!
And isn’t that cover just all twilight and fireflies and wildflowers and good things? Here’s Dana to talk about it:
“I never have any idea of what my covers should look like. I fully recognize that it’s not what I do—I’m not a designer, I’m a writer. I do have strong opinions, though. I know what I like and I know what I don’t and I’m usually pretty good at articulating why.
“They typically ask me if I have any ideas and I typically say no. Then I hold my breath and wait to see what they come up with and hope that I think it’s on the right track. If it’s not, they’ve been great about listening to my reaction.
“With this cover, I fell in love. Immediately. This hasn’t always been the case, but it was absolutely the case with this particular cover. It’s just perfect. And it obviously doesn’t hurt to have Markus Zusak’s name on the cover. In fact, it might even be better if they just took mine off…
“As a reader I always want to understand the cover and how it represents the story inside. Sometimes it’s obvious out the gate, but sometimes it takes awhile before I can make that connection, and sometimes the connection is subtle, tenuous, and occasionally non-existent. In this case, the cover is, in my opinion, a perfect representation of what this book is about at its heart. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give too much away, but there will be an aha moment when this cover makes perfect sense, and I love that about it.”
Yes! I had my aha moment with this cover as I read the book, and you will too. Amazing. And I love that they’re redesigning Dana’s other covers. Here’s this one, one more time, in the context of our rented Fourth of July house porch:
Dana again: “I’m pretty sure this one is stock photos photoshopped together to create the right effect. Random House is currently redesigning all of my titles and re-releasing them in the Fall of 2011. The idea is for them to have a cohesive look—not a box set or anything—but a look that tells you that these books are by the same author. The Summer I Learned to Fly is the first cover with this new look. Part of it is the typeface and my name appearing almost as a signature, but also the new overall effect is going to be more photographic like it is here. I haven’t seen all of the final covers yet, but the ideas they’re working with are really great. Some have required photo shoots and some will use stock footage.
[Note: Dana gave me this Cover Story a while ago, so I've found the redesigned covers! Take a look at the original books (top row) and the redesigned covers (bottom row)]:
What do you guys think?
The winner of last week’s contest for Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick is… Mary Ellen! Send me your address, ME.
This week, I’m giving away Dana Reinhardt‘s The Things a Brother Knows. This book knocked me out and made a sob bubble up in my throat near the end. I wrote an email to Dana right after I finished reading it and said, “SUCH an amazing book! An incredible journey. Entertaining and real characters and a non-message message on a really tough subject.” So, you know, there’s my vague review. Here’s Gayle Forman’s more eloquent one, which was on NPR (the other books she mentions are awesome too, of course).
Anyway, here’s your chance to win the hardcover of this incredible book. Just tell me what your favorite holiday gift was, if you celebrated… I’m nosy and curious, and I hope it was a book (but I won’t hold my breath). I think mine was the leopard-print Snuggie my brother got me. Um, I’m serious. And no, I won’t be showing a photo. But I will say it’s great for reading in the winter–my old apartment gets drafty and it keeps me warm and hands-free!
I’ll pick a winner next week. Good luck!