As part of the blog tour through Teen Book Scene, I'm thrilled to welcome author Lisa Papademetriou to the blog to answer a few questions about the cover for her young adult novel Siren's Storm which releases today (yay!). This interview deals strictly with the cover and its design elements, something that makes me very happy since graphic design is such a major part of my life. Hope you all enjoy!
The use of a monochromatic green has a beautiful but eerie and otherworldly visual effect on this cover. What do you think it is about green in particular that lends itself so well to representations of the supernatural?
This is a really interesting question. There are a lot of things in the natural world that glow green in darkness. I remember, once, kicking a pile of sand on a beach in Guatemala, and watching green phosphorescent sparks fly. Since humans rely so much on vision, darkness makes us uneasy, and things that glow seem magical. That’s my guess.
The tagline “ vengeance is eternal” is powerful and certainly memorable; is there a tagline from either a book or film that really stood out for you and made you want to run to the bookstore or movie theater so you could see how that teaser played out?
First--thank you! I came up with that tagline. In the shower. (Why are showers such good places to think? I wish I had one at my desk.) Anyway, a tagline I’ve always loved is from Alien: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” And I once wrote a tagline that I’ve always liked: “Some things are too terrifying to be real. Some aren’t.” I love that one because it’s really evocative, and yet makes no sense, when you think about it. And everyone at the publishing house thought it was BRILLIANT, which made me love it even more.
Do you have a favorite element of the cover–use of color, image choice, font? Is there any one element you would change?
I think the color is my favorite thing about this cover. I also like the icons on the spine. I wouldn’t really change anything about it--I feel really lucky to have such a gorgeous cover.
What was the last book you picked up off the shelf just because the cover really caught your eye?
Several years ago, I was dying to have two copies of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell--one black one and one white one. That’s the last time that a cover really, really appealed to me, and what’s odd is that it’s a very simple cover.
Did you have an idea in your head of what the cover would look like? What went through your mind when you saw the initial proof for the first time?
I hated the cover when I saw it for the first time! I wanted it to be an image of a lightning-swept sky, and a Siren walking into the water. But now I see that this is much better--it really leaps off the shelf.
What are your thoughts on judging a book by its cover? Not necessarily in terms of judging the quality of the writing by the cover, but rather the overall effect a beautiful design can have with regard to grabbing consumer attention. I guess a more succinct question would be do you think good design sells?
The cover is the most important marketing tool that a book has. I’ve seen books increase sales dramatically with just a cover change. Of course, you don’t judge a book by its cover--you can only judge it after you’ve read it. But you do judge whether or not to *buy* it based on the cover. You can’t read it until after you’ve bought it. That’s the problem.
Do you know anything about how the cover is going to be printed? Whether they will use a metallic ink to add a paranormal shimmer or another specialty printing method? Anything in particular you’ d like to see them use?
I would LOVE it if they used metallic ink, or maybe a matte cover with spot varnish on the eye and the text, but I don’t think they’re planning on it. I don’t care--I’m happy!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Lisa! For more information on Lisa and her books, you can find her here:
SIREN'S STORM (from Goodreads)
Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.
Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.
Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman.