Everything Books
Writing and reading and books, books, books (and anything that might relate)

December 12, 2013

A book by its cover

Filed under: writing — Tags: , , , , , — jennifer @ 9:53 am

One of the most nerve-inducing moments of the writing life is when your editor tells you the book cover for the book you’ve been utterly consumed by for months, if not years, has been created, and not only that, the folks at the publishing house are all, each and every one of them, very, very, very excited about it and they hope you will be too.  (Translation:  We really hope you’re not going to cause a fuss and ask us to alter the design in any way.)


My latest novel, American Blonde, is due out July 29, 2014.  It’s the fourth volume of the Velva Jean series, but can also stand on its own.  This week, the book cover was released, and everyone at Penguin/Plume is very excited about it and they love it and hope I will too.

And I do.  Oh, how I do!  This is my seventh book cover, and it may well be my favorite.

A little description of the story:

A fearless and spirited pilot conquers Hollywood. Now can she survive movie stardom?

In 1945, Velva Jean Hart is a bona fide war heroine. After a newsreel films her triumphant return to America, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer promises to make her a star. As the renamed “Kit Rogers,” she navigates the movie sets, recording sessions, parties, staged romances, and occasional backstabbing that accompany her newfound fame. But when one of her best friends dies mysteriously and the most powerful studio in the world launches a cover-up, Velva Jean goes in search of the truth— risking her own life, as well as her heart, in the process.

Set during Hollywood’s Golden Age and peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters, American Blonde will mesmerize readers of The Chaperone as well as fans of the Velva Jean series.

(Pre-order your copy now!)

July 2, 2012

Titles and Book Covers

Filed under: writing — Tags: , , , , , — jennifer @ 9:07 am

Titles change and so do book covers. For a long time, I’d been calling Velva Jean’s third adventure Velva Jean Learns to Spy. But that book (to be released September 25) is now Becoming Clementine. These decisions aren’t always left up to the author, though we do weigh in. There are many, many, many people (editor, publicists, marketing department, sales department) involved in choosing the title, just as there are many, many, many people (art department, editor, publicists, marketing department, sales department, book sellers) involved in creating and weighing in on the cover.

Speaking of covers, here’s the final cover for the new book, with just a few small changes (can you spot them?). It’s funny how many versions of a cover you can go through. Velva Jean Learns to Drive went through five completely different covers before we found The One.

People always ask me which, of my covers and books, is my favorite book cover and my favorite book. But that’s like asking a person to choose his favorite child or cat. I love them all equally but in different ways, and I have my own distinctive relationships with each one. (But I have to say I’m pretty wild about the cover for Becoming Clementine!)

(You can pre-order your copy of Becoming Clementine here!)

January 10, 2012

Behind the Book — Author Photos That Might Have Been

Filed under: writing — Tags: , , — jennifer @ 7:52 pm

For every author photo that appears on a book, there are hundreds of possibilities of photos that could have been used but weren’t. In keeping with the fact that I’m in the midst of choosing a new author photo for Velva Jean #3, here is a little gallery of author photos that might have been perfect for all my previous books.

For The Ice Master, my rugged nonfiction tale of a tragic Arctic expedition:

For Ada Blackjack, the true account of a woman’s harrowing survival alone in the polar wilderness:

For The Aqua Net Diaries, my boy-crazy high school-age memoir:

For Velva Jean Learns to Drive, the story of a young girl coming of age in the South:

For Velva Jean Learns to Fly, the tale of a young girl who, after coming of age in the South, goes out into the great big world (happily, excitedly) to chase her dreams: