Last May, my friend Justina Chen Headley told me the back story of her cover art for Nothing But the Truth and a few White Lies. The book is about a “hapa”, a half white and half Asian girl, and the publisher was having problems finding an image of a girl that looked hapa-enough for Justina’s taste. Finally, they offered to let her find her own model and help art direct the cover. She found the perfect girl at a coffee shop, set up a photo shoot and voila! One of the most lovely covers I’ve seen.
And I have to admit I was a little envious. The cover of my book was my idea, but suddenly choosing a model and having a photo shoot just seemed so much more glamorous. And fun! I could have a call for entries, maybe a contest…my mind raced with the possibilities.
“Gee,” I said to my editor (who is also Justina’s editor), “I wish I could’ve chosen a model and done a cover like Justina’s.”
“I don’t think that would’ve worked,” she said, “How many girls would want to be on a cover of a book called, “The Year of the Dog?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I said, “Maybe the next book.”
“But,” she said, “Your next book is called, The Year of the Rat!”
Ah, good point. Sigh.