I’m thrilled with the way it turned out though I’ll admit my first glimpse of the cover raised concerns. Megan, the girl you see, finds out early in the story that the father she thought was dead is very much alive, he’s a convicted terrorist, and he’s Middle Eastern. For my story purposes, Megan needs to look a little like him. Not a lot, but enough that one could argue for some similarities.
The first time I saw the cover I identified Megan as a beautiful girl with a strong Celtic look. Her hair was reddish rather than the dark hair I’d referenced in the story, her eyebrows were light, and her face was made even paler by direct sunshine. I asked the art director if she could darken Megan’s eyebrows as well as her hair, and possibly give her skin more of a golden tone. I did get darker eyebrows, but messing with skin tones is problematic, so instead the art director removed the direct sunlight which gave Megan’s skin a slightly golden look. The hair, which remained a lovely reddish hue, remained the same and that posed a bit of a problem for me.
Luckily Orca shared the proposed cover before my final page proofs were done so I was able to go into the manuscript and tweak. Where a couple of girls make racist comments and insult Megan because she looks just like her father, I have the girls referencing the fact that Megan must streak her hair to hide the fact that she has the same coloring as her terrorist father. I think it’s a stronger passage than what I originally wrote and it’s realistic too: most teenage girls mess with her hair color at least once or twice in their lives. I made a few other subtle modifications here and there, allowing for Megan to look the way she does on the cover.
I’m grateful to Orca Book Publishers for sharing the cover early enough in the process that I could make some changes to the manuscript. It’s wonderful to have a strong cover that matches your story. Watch for In Plain Sight in 2017.
Meanwhile, I’m just starting the cover design process for Million Dollar Blues, my next Laura Tobias title. It’s a novel about love, money and relationships. I’m excited to be working with Viola Estrella of Estrella Cover Art. www.estrellacoverart.com. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!