Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cover Interview: Siren's Storm

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.


  1. The first time I saw this cover, I was kind of bored because of the face - I just feel they're overdone right now BUT I recanted the second time. The green is fresh and new, and that tag line is bomb! Awesome interview :)

  2. What a creative interview format! I love book covers and have been known to buy multiple copies of the same book if the design is changed. It's always more fun to know a little bit more about how the cover came to be and if the author likes it.

    I will be waiting by the mailbox today for my pre-ordered copy of Siren's Storm to arrive :)

  3. Loving this cover. The green hue is perfect. And totally agree about thinking in the shower. I've had a few epiphanies in the shower in my time...

  4. What a spooky cover! I love it! It's a great idea to interview the author about the cover.
    The synopsis is really intriguing too.

  5. I love this cover! The colour element is what makes it stand out. And it has a great tagline. Definitely a beautiful and intriguing cover :)

  6. It is spooky. Looking at the cover I already expect the book to be creepy.

  7. Melissa - I really like the green as well, there's just something about green that attracts attention:)

    Amanda - Yay! I do that too! I buy the paperback version and the hardcover version a lot of times just to have both covers if they're different:)

    Aylee - I either get ideas in the shower or right as I'm falling asleep and then I have to leap up and right it down before I forget:)

    Misha - I really like the use of color in this cover, it's gorgeous:)

    Nic - Agreed! It definitely makes me want to know more:)

    Beth - Me too, I'm excited to read it!

  8. I love that you made an interview from a cover :D

  9. Ooo that sounds so good. I love anything to do with sea creatures.

  10. Great interview, Jenny! I am looking forward to this book. I had to laugh out loud with her response about coming up with good ideas in the shower. I always do my best thinking there and at the gym! I must admit that it is a great tagline!

  11. The cover is definitely creepy! I do like it, though. Great interview! (I get all my good ideas in the shower, too. :p)

  12. This looks like a great book! This is the first I heard of it!

  13. This is a great interview! I loved getting to know the author's thoughts on her cover. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Blodeuedd - Thanks!

    Juju - Me too! I haven't read too many either, so I'm really looking forward to this one:)

    Christina - Thank you! I have no idea why being in the shower makes everyone think, it's strange. But no denying I've had many a good idea in there as well:)

    Lauren - I agree. I don't want her to stare at me too closely, it's off-putting:)

    Savy - Glad I could put it on your radar!

    Amber - Thanks, it's always fun to know the author's thoughts on different parts of their book I think:)

  15. I SERIOUSLY come up with ALL my awesomeness while I'm in the bathtub!!! Why is this I wonder? Maybe it's something embedded in the female DNA?

  16. Oh, this cover is hypnotic. I agree about the green tone being one that just beckons to magic. And funny about the tag line that made no sense but was still brilliant.

    Thanks for sharing such a fun interview. You don't often get to hear about what an author thinks of their books covers so this was a very nice change of pace. :)

  17. Plus that eye! It's not only the green of the cover, but the green of the eye that pulls me in! I really want to read this one and thanks so much for the interview.

  18. Ashley - Do you keep a notepad by the tub?

    Missie - I really like it too! I like the tagline that made no sense, it's one of those ones that makes you think and then go wait, what?

    Melissa - Her eye is creepy but I can't look away from it. I just keep going to back to stare:)

  19. The girl's expression looks creeped out and the green just makes the cover eerier. Personally, I'd be hesitant to pick this one since I'd think it was a scary ghost story and I don't do well with scary things.

  20. That girl's eyes are so haunting! And freaky. I find showers to be extremely good places to think too. I just finished my afternoon run so I'll be "thinking" in just a few minutes :-)

  21. Okay I just got Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore and I swear it's the same girl on the front. Only this girl is glowing green. And scary instead of scared. I love any kind of story about Sirens or Mermaids. I can't believe this one slipped by me. Have to get it! Awesome questions for a cover review. You always have such unique questions. (Yeah, I'm trying to make up for all the missed posts, but it is true!)


  22. If I had to go by the cover alone, I would have definitely thought it would a horror novel. Her eyes are so vibrant green and haunting. She definitely looks like someone I don't want to tick off.

  23. I love getting to learn more about the cover art because it is becoming such a huge part on how a book sells. In this day and age of visualization, the cover is very important!

    I love the green too, I think this year it is a very popular color choice of hues. Next year is looking to be silvers and blues....

  24. "things that glow seem magical"-so right!

    Can't wait to see what exactly is on the spine! :)

    Great interview!

  25. I love this cover! Yes, it's very eerie and the tagline is awesome. This one is definitely going on my wishlist!

  26. l don't really like green which this is my favourite thing about this cover too, great cover =)

  27. Look at that cover! Gorgeous! And the storyline sounds pretty gosh darn amazing too! Must add this to my TBR list!