Mundie Moms

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Getting the Perfect Book Cover Picture: The Decision Making & Photo Shoot for Blood by K.J. Wignall

Recently I had the chance to review one of Egmont's newest releases, Blood by K.J. Wignall. You can read my 4 star review here. Recently I had the oppturnity to get some behind the scenes photos to share with each of you for the cover.

I'm also always intrigued how publishers and authors go about finding the "perfect" cover for their books. In this case, Blood's cover is a fabulous match for the story. Thank you to Egmont, we're able to share with you how they go about finding the "perfect" picture. I know what you're thinking, "Someone had a tough job with this shoot". *I'm not sure why the images loaded so small, please click on the images to make them bigger*

Egmont’s editorial staff had a great time creating the sexy- heart-throbby jacket image for BLOOD by K.J. Wignall. To start, Elizabeth Law, the publisher, talked to the jacket designer, Sammy Yuen, about what ideas he might have for showing the character of Will, a teenage vampire who was “created” in the 13th Century and Sammy had the idea of showing the vampire as he stalks the streets of London. As she recalled, there was some discussion of wardrobe, and of a long jacket that might be a possible choice for the model (Sterling) to wear. But when Elizabeth arrived at the photo shoot she was so dazzled by the sight of Sterling with his shirt off that all thought of trying additional wardrobe choices went out of her head. She wanted something where the character looked haunted, but also where he would clearly appeal to the readership. I’d say they nailed it!

What follows are paired shots from the photo shoot and Elizabeth’s commentary on the thought process behind each one.

1. short vs long hair

Will has long hair in the book! But, frankly, we hated how the wig looked. We decided we could live with the error, that being immediately appealing was more important than being 100% accurate.

2. one-eyed view vs hair in the face

The single eye shots looked good in the studio, but when we tried them on the cover, we found it was a little forced looking—like he was acting, rather than natural. Also, we really hated the wig!

3. strike a pose poses

The first shot was too reminiscent of Taylor Lautner’s entrance in Twilight:Eclipse, and in the second I thought Will looked like a juvenile delinquent—not heir to the Earl of Mercia, which he was long ago, before he was attacked and became a vampire.

4. to fog and not to fog

I LOVED the fog. We tried shots with and without fog because we weren’t sure which would look better on the jacket. We ended up using a fog shot because it added to the “atmosphere” on the book jacket.

5. black fog and just black

It’s interesting, because the shots against black look really good—but the white background allowed the designer, Sammy Yuen, to lay in the London architecture into the finished background. Also, black made me think “vampire at night” which I find really clich├ęd.

6. full frontal versus over the shoulder look

There was quite a bit of discussion about over the shoulder—I thought those shots were very sexy. We are thinking of using an over the shoulder shot in the book’s sequel (due out next fall) called Alechmy

Clockwork Angel Read Along Day 11: Chapter 10 Pale Kings & Princes

It's day 11 of our Clockwork Angel Read Along! Please be sure to visit our link here for our schedule, guidelines and to fill out the form to be entered to win some fabulous prizes. Feel free to answer any number of the questions asked. You don't need to answer all of them if you don't wish to.

Today we're discussing chapter 10. Tess and Will attend the party, MANGUS is finally introduced (yay), we learn more about the automatons and what of Nate.

* Out of curiosity, do you think Will and Tessa discussing A Tale of Two Cities is foreshadowing what their relationship will end up like? I couldn't help thinking that, especially when Will says, "Yes,"... "He loved her enough to know she was better off without him."

* Magnus!!! The first time I read CA I may have squeeled a bit when Magnus is finally introduced to the story. I adore the charming Victorian era Magnus, as much as I do the TMI Magnus. Not taking the TMI book into consideration here, were you a bit surprised to learn that Camille and Magnus may have had a relationship? Do you think Magnus will be that certain someone who can help Tessa with her ability and figure out exactly what she is?

Book Review: Without Tess

Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released on: October 11th, 2011
Source: ARC from publisher to review
3.5 stars: It's A Good Read

Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go. -quoted from Goodreads

This is a well written book that touches on something that's rarely seen in YA books, and that's mental illness. The story itself centers on the young Lizzie, the forgotten sister who's constantly caught between her mentally ill sister and her parents who for the majority of the story are in denial over Tess's problem. Tess and Lizzie seem to have that fantastic childhood that's full of make believe and magic. Their world is one that takes them to different places and allows me them to be anything they want to be. It's full of possibilities, happiness and magic. Little by little the world that centers around the two sisters becomes darker and darker as Tess starts to blur the lines of make believe and reality.

Lizzie herself is one of these girls I wanted to reach out to. Now a teenager she's in therapy, turning to cope with what happened during her childhood. This poor girl is so strong and yet so broken. Her emotions and feelings of what happened through out the book were completely justified and understandable at times, and other times it was hard to connect with her. As a child there were times she knew something wasn't quite right, but she couldn't quite grasp what that was. Tess, the older sister was someone I despised from the get go. The things she does to her sister were not only harmful and selfish, but they permanently scared her sister. She had absolutely no regard to Lizzie's safety or anyone else's and didn't mind inflicting pain upon her. On the same token, it was a little heart breaking seeing how quickly she goes down hill.

Marcella really does a great job at taking readers into this delusional, darker world of her mental ill character. If she had gotten the help earlier on, I think there would have been a dramatically different out come for everyone, including Tess and Lizzie. I spent most of the book completely frustrated and irritated at Lizzie's parents who when it's apparent something is really wrong with their daughter are in such denial, that they inadvertently put both girls in harm, because they do not get Tess the help she desperately need. It's not until something happens to Lizzie do they finally get Tess the help she needs, but sadly it's far too late for it. I wasn't at all prepared for what takes place during this story when I sat down to read it, but it was something I couldn't stop reading.

While I found the story to be rich, and well developed, there were a few times I found the dialogue between Tess and Lizzie who are 10 and 11 at the time to be a little bit too mature for their age. There's also the topic of religion that is mentioned a few times in the story that I felt was a little out of place for what was going on. One of the things I really wanted to see develop more of was the sweet romance between Lizzie and one of the characters. I understand it was not a big part of the story until the very end, but it's one I wish hadn't sat on the back burner until then. The scene that takes place is heartbreakingly beautiful for both characters. Regardless, Without Tess is a truly powerful read that dives right into the dark world of mental illness and the effects it has not only on the person who has it, but those around them. This is a story I'd recommend to older YA readers.