Sarah Rees Brennan cracks me up. Read her Cover Story for the paperback version of The Demon’s Lexicon (which is out later this month) and you’ll love her too. (Oh, and here’s a review of the book by Kate of Read This Book!, in case you want to know what’s on the inside… and she used the UK cover so there’s one more visual to take in).
“You know, I didn’t have an idea for the cover! I’m really not visual at all. When people started suggesting ideas, I kept saying ‘Oh, that sounds lovely!’ in a dazzled way, like a kid in a really exciting museum. ‘Ooooh, yes, that! Ooooh, yes, that!’ ‘Sarah, you can’t have twenty different covers.’ ‘Oh.’
“My publisher just said ‘We’ve got James Porto to do your cover!’ and I said ‘Oh my gosh, THANK YOU’ and they said ‘Hang on till we show you something’ and then I waited… and waited… for seeeeveral months. On my fainting couch. When the cover came, I was so nervous I shoved my computer towards my housemate, and asked her if she’d look at it first!
“Well… the initial version was a little different from this current one, and I will say that I went ‘Oh please could we change some stuff please’ BUT… I asked for some things I thought would make all the difference to the cover: something more active, in which the guy really seemed like he was doing something interesting.
“The art department responded to my suggestions. Boy did they! As you can see, the guy is hella doing something now. And the tornado, which was always part of the cover, is interacting with him in a whole new way, which I never expected and was wowed by.
“The (gorgeous) colour palette is the same, and the storm and rocks that frame the picture, but they used a different shot of the model and added the urban buildings in the background to show the book’s set in London. And my friend Saundra Mitchell suggested that the title be cut by his sword, which I thought was so brilliant I feared even to hope that suggestion would be taken! But it was. I was so thrilled!
“I know the guy on the cover was a model. Sadly I do not know things I think it vital for me as an author to know, like ‘his name’, ‘his address’ or ‘his phone number…’ I like how he looks both angry and haunted, though. Angry and haunted about me not knowing his phone number.
“I’m thrilled it represents the book so well: that it looks like there is action, and danger (and dangerous actions!) and I love how, when you look at the storm closely, it could be a flock of sinister birds or buildings disintegrating in the wind. Which fits into the book pretty neatly…
“I don’t know if I’m allowed share the earlier version, but inspiration images, I can totally do! Here’s Ed Westwick, who will soon be playing Heathcliff (the role he was born to play!) and Toby Stephens in the latest version of Rochester. I think that the dangerous, more-edgy-than-knives heroes – currently often vampire, werecreature or other supernatural beautiful beast – which are so popular today owe a lot to these villainous heroes of literature.
“Since we always see these characters from other characters’ perspectives, I wanted to get into the head of a villainous hero, and so I thought back to the good old… morally ambiguous old days, and tried to take apart mad, bad and dangerous to know from the inside out. And now here he is coming out swinging!”
So much fun, Sarah! Thank you! I love the action of this cover, and I have to say I really liked the stillness (and, um, the cheekbones) of the hardcover version as well, left. So what do you guys think of these covers?
Oh, and here’s the cover of the sequel, out in May.
*Pre-posted! I’m in Spain!