“I was actually able to offer a lot of input before the art department got going on the cover of Amor and Summer Secrets, the first book in my young adult series. After I signed with Kensington, I went up to Manhattan to have lunch with my editor, Kate Duffy, and she was nice enough to bring along the art director who’d be designing my cover. This gave me the opportunity to describe how I envisioned the cover directly to the source and after the meeting, we all went to Barnes & Noble to look at some examples on the YA shelves.
“The following covers are not necessarily inspiration in that I don’t think the models look anything like Mariana, but they’re covers I remember pointing out during that Barnes & Noble visit. I felt either each captured the mood of Amor and Summer Secrets, or the image jumped out at me from the shelf.
“Mainly for Amor and Summer Secrets, I wanted to feature a photograph on the cover, something moody. My character, Mariana, is very introspective and I wanted an image that would reflect that. I also wanted to feature a model who was not a stereotypical Latina, as Mariana has red hair and freckles in the book.
“For the third book in the series, Adios to All The Drama (which just debuted this month), we kept with the theme of showcasing a picture behind ‘holes.’ (I don’t know if there’s a better graphic design term for the look.) I really like the theme.
“The Adios cover showcases the wedding that occurs at the end of the book where Mariana and Lilly are bridesmaids. The biggest change that was made as a result of the cover is that the bridesmaid dress pictured is Tiffany blue, whereas the dress in the book was originally silver. I could have left the color scheme as silver, but ultimately I decided to change to it to robin’s egg blue so it would be consistent with the cover. I think as a reader, it bugs me when things like that don’t match.
“I’m pretty sure they used a stock photos, which is why each cover features a different model. Personally, I love the model on Amor and Summer Secrets and she’s really come to look like Mariana to me. So I would have preferred to see her used on all three books. But in the end, I’m happy with how all three turned out. I think the concept is cohesive and very eye catching.
“My editor was also thrilled that they were able to include a ‘tip in,’ which is the full color photo of the model directly behind the outside cover. I think it’s more expensive to do this, but she thought it was important to showcase the full image and I was really excited that they did. All three books feature a tip-in cover.
“The biggest change they made to the original covers was Mariana’s hair color. The models on both the Amor and Summer Secrets cover and its sequel Amigas and School Scandals do not have naturally red hair. But the art director changed the hue to auburn to better match the book. This was a very important change for me, because Mariana is depicted as not physically resembling the stereotypical Latina , and her hair color is a major component of that.”
“When I first saw Amor and Summer Secrets, I started freaking out in my living room. This is my first book and there was my name on the cover. It was amazing and to this day, the Amor and Summer Secrets cover is the background image on my laptop.”
Cool! What do you guys think? I agree with the dress color change–as a reader I really dislike when covers don’t match the stories. Good move, Diana. I think the holes brand the series really well, and I love how Mariana has such a distinct look!