Melissa Walker

Saturday, April 19th, 2014 Melissa Walker

Elizabeth Chandler‘s bestselling Kissed by an Angel trilogy has been re-released with the cover you see at left, and her latest book, Evercrossed, matches that new style. I had to ask her how this cover evolution came about (it’s a long way from the look of the first trilogy covers, below). Here’s Elizabeth:

“For me, covers as well as titles are the last step in creating a book. I use working titles—very obvious and unimaginative ones—then usually beg for help from my editors. I just don’t have those marketing genes!  (I was also bad at titling school projects and research papers.)

“I am as clueless when it comes to imagining covers. My mind is full of images when writing a book, and I cut out and tape up all around my desk pictures of people, places, and things that somehow connect with my novel—these help me to live in the world of my story—but I don’t think about an image for a cover. To me, that feels as if I’m summarizing or crystallizing the story before I truly know it.  I need to let the story spin out through its words before I mentally pull it together enough to know what is right for a title or cover image.

Kissed by an Angel has had three very different American covers. I didn’t have input on any of them, and as you now know, that was probably a good thing. When the trilogy was first published as three separate books, it had covers that appear to me to be photos of characters combined and reworked by an artist. I didn’t like the covers then, and I still don’t like them now. But they were right for that time period. When the trilogy first came out, all the publishers used photos, and the truth is, the publisher could have found the perfect models and I would not have liked them. I’ve never liked photographs or realistically drawn covers on novels—whether I write or read them.  I find them disappointing, perhaps because characters created by words are so real to me as to be almost larger than life, and those pictures make them look like little dolls.

“The second cover for the trilogy, when the three books were published as one ‘Collector’s Edition’ was incredibly romantic, the picture dominated by silhouette views of the hero and heroine’s faces, looking as if they were about to kiss (right). To me, they looked older than teens and the gauzy pink overlay made the book look like an adult romance. I liked it better than the first covers, but it looked like somebody else’s book, not the story I wrote.

“The current cover is my favorite—I love it!  Black, with the image of a single rose that has a bit of a supernatural feel because of its coloring and transparency, it is striking and romantic. It connects with the story: Tristan gives Ivy roses the night he dies, and identical roses come back as a sign to her in the sequel, Evercrossed. The newest book, Evercrossed has a similar cover, black with a single rose (left). They used the same font for both of these new covers, and I really like it. The lettering is elegant in a simple way, and that is what my heroine Ivy is like. She dislikes fluff and flounce, and if asked, would have chosen this font for her story.”

Thanks, Elizabeth! I love how the original series covers reflect the time of their releases, and I think the current cover is luscious. Also: How cool is it to consider your character’s taste in fonts?

What do you guys think?

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