Thursday, June 16, 2011

PR Special Edition (43): Leah Cypess Guest Post!

Poisoned Rationality Special  Edition

Welcome to another Poisoned Rationality Special Edition!   Today we have Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood and its recently released companion Nightspell! Leah is here discussing the cover of Nightspell as well as some of her favorite covers from recent YA releases!

Synopsis: Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

On the cover of Nightspell...

Tomorrow, at The Neverending Shelf, I’m going to talk about the “title” story for Nightspell – the process of choosing the title. Suffice it to say that at one point, I disagreed with the entire Greenwillow team about which title to choose, a process that is not easy for any new author.

So having used up all my “diva” points, I knew that even if I hated my cover, I wouldn’t say anything.  Fortunately, I have faith in the Greenwillow design team, so I wasn’t too worried. I did, of course, think a little bit about what the cover might look like. I knew it would have to be similar to the Mistwood cover, but also distinctive. Since my three main characters are from a tribe of horsemen, I had this idea that there would be a horse on the cover – maybe a silhouette of riders racing across the bottom, superimposed over a girl’s face near a horse’s neck, with the wind whipping her hair back…

Okay, I thought more than a little bit.

In any case, in September, I got this:

Do you see any horses? Nope. Are you thinking, “It’s a good thing authors don’t design their own covers?” Yeah, me too.

As far as my favorite covers...

I mentally divide covers into four types: scene, person, object, and abstract. So here are my favorites in each category:

Scene: Plain Kate by Erin Bow. I *love* that cover! It speaks straight to my fantasy-loving imagination. 

Person: One possibility is Entwined by Heather Dixon, though I'm not sure it fits the category; it does have a person in the center, but since you don't see her face, I think of that as more of a scene cover.  Wither by Lauren DeStefano is another favorite, though I may be influenced by the fact that I'm currently in middle of that book and loving it.

Object: Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves. How can you look at that cover and *not* be intrigued? Plus it so perfectly captures Dia's writing.

Abstract: This can obviously overlap with the "object" category, but when there's no central object that draws your eye, I think of a cover as more abstract. I really love the new cover for Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien, along with the cover for the second book in that trilogy, Prized.

Visual tricks: Not really a category, because there aren't so many of these, but I like them when I see them. Two recent-ish examples are the cover of Split by Swati Avasthi and Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.

How about everyone else?  How do you 'view' covers?  Is there a certain type Leah's mentions above that strikes your fancy more than the others?

Want to know more?  Check out Leah's webpage and follow her tour with Teen Book Scene!

// Barnes and Noble // Indiebound
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