1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your involvement with the cover design for Hallowed.
Hi, there! I’m a Commissioning Editor at Egmont, so I buy and edit books to appear on the Egmont list (although I can’t claim any credit for actually editing Unearthly or Hallowed – that was done by the American editor!). I worked closely with the designer, the Publishing Director and the Art Director on the cover for Hallowed. We looked at different images and compositions, and discussed lots and lots of different versions of the cover at our weekly covers meeting. We also liaised with the sales team to get feedback from key customers, and with the author and agent.
2. How long did it take to come up with the cover for Hallowed (from original idea to finished product) and what was the inspiration behind the cover?
It was quite a long process - I’m not 100% sure of the exact timescale, but certainly several months! We had a different cover (same title, font and background but featuring a hunky boy) all ready to go to print but at the last minute we received feedback from an important customer and decided to take their suggestions on board.
3. The covers for the two books in the series are very similar. Was this a deliberate choice?
Yes, see above! The first book (Unearthly) had done well for us and while the cover with the boy on it sat nicely beside Unearthly, the feedback was that it wouldn’t be as appealing to the readers as a cover featuring a girl.
4. Does the author have a say in the cover? For example, can they request a particular design or image be used?
Yes, the author is always consulted. In the end, we had two or three versions of the cover to choose from, each with subtle differences in type, colour and composition. We were happy with them all so we went with the author’s preferred version.
5. What do you think of the current look of many YA paranormal romance novels and how do you ensure that a new release stands out on the shelves?
Twilight obviously spawned a lot of lookalikes, and there’s still an element of that, but things have moved on a little. Red and black was the palette du jour, but there’s been a movement towards lighter and airier covers, and things are bound to continue to evolve. With paranormal romance it’s important to think about what’s already working, but try to do something a little bit different too.
6. Are there any covers for YA titles that you have particularly loved?
I love the cover for Cat Patrick’s Forgotten – it’s intriguing and it really stands out on the shelves and on Amazon. The readers obviously agree, because the book has done really well! I love the whole package for The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. The paperback is lovely, but the original version with its blue flexi-back cover was gorgeous, and it’s stunning inside too.
7. Have you ever appeared on a cover yourself (and would you consider it if asked)?
Sadly not! But several of my colleagues have, so I live in hope . . .
8. If pictures could move and talk (like in Harry Potter) what do you think the girl on the cover of Hallowed would say?
'Tucker or Christian? Love or destiny? How is a girl to decide?’