As an unpublished author working for years on different manuscripts, I have to admit that I sometimes spent time daydreaming about what the actual book might look like sitting on a shelf. I imagined what it would be like to walk into a bookstore and see it there. And I definitely wondered what the cover could possibly be.
When I first started taking children's writing classes back in 2007, one of the first things I learned was that the author has very little say in the artwork. Honestly, that's been fine by me. I love art, but I love it enough to know that there are people out there who are very, very good at it and I am not one of them. Knowing that, I didn't have an exact picture in my head of what I wanted the cover to look like at all.
So when I opened an email from my editor in January and scrolled down to the attachments I saw, I basically...grinned. A lot. From ear to ear actually.
These are the initial sketches I saw.
The tree itself is a little different from the previous version. I actually really liked the rose emblem on the tree, too.
More swirls near the top and back to the original rose, without the map.
I know I said my children's writing classes told me not to expect to have any say on the artwork, but I do want to point out that I was shown all of these versions along the way and encouraged to share my thoughts. Not that I had much to say because, well, the design team at Walker nailed it.
Speaking of which, tomorrow I will have another interview on the blog, where you will find out the answer to the burning question: what does a (very talented) senior designer at a publishing house do?