First, let me remind you that Vania Stoyanova at VLC Photo took this shot and designed the front cover. (Shout out to hubby for doing the spine and back cover design)
So here is how the cover unfolded....
This is what you all have been seeing as the placeholder:
I saved this image years ago when I started writing Untraceable. It was everything I wanted the cover to be. I loved the eye and the mysteriousness of being in the woods and a girl hiding from something or someone. I wanted the reader to know it would have an element of suspense.
I didn't use it b/c it was very one dimensional to me - very monochromatic, which is why I decide to bring in Vania. I really wanted the reader to feel as if they were in the woods and Grace was there with them. This picture fell flat for me, but it is the concept Vania started with and has actually received great love from the blogosphere.
Then we moved towards this:
This was a test shot we did when we were not sure of the model. We wanted to test colors for the paperback proof and wanted to see what we would need for the eye to work in the woods. I was pretty hung up on the eye in the woods thing (Thanks to Vania for being patient with my eye obsession) I loved this picture at first. But the eye didn't stand out to me - enough. It gets lost in the greenery. Vania played with the eye color to brighten it but it wasn't enough to stand out. As a thumbnail, you can't even see the eye. And if you are selling ebooks - the cover is what sells so you have to grab a reader online. There was too much green and the cover was too dark.
A little insider information - that is ME - yes - that is my eye :)
So I obviously didn't want more of my face showing - I mean it is not a HORROR novel - so it limited us in showing skin and more lightness. Ultimately I didn't really want ME on the cover - shocking I know - and I'm sure most of you just cant understand why I was not model material. But it's true, I'm sorry to disappoint you all. This photo says "old lady hiding in woods" to me. I think maybe now I will use it as an author photo :)
Then we found Jae! The minute I saw these pictures of her - I knew she was Grace.
For those who haven't read Untraceable yet. (what are you waiting for! Oh! it's not out yet. Okay you are forgiven...for now! Until Nov 29th;) Grace lives in the Smoky Mountains just outside Cherokee, North Carolina. Her boss is an old Native American man who lives on the working reserve there. If Grace was from that area, I always pictured her as having a slight Native American feel to her. This picture was a sign to me - not b/c of the stereotypical dress but b/c of her features.
Plus she's pretty without being gorgeous. Grace is naturally pretty but doesn't wear much makeup and is tough - not the girl girl. Jae is very feminine and pretty, but has that tough girl quality - esp as a teen- that showed the character I think Grace has. Besides, Grace would not want a pretty pretty girl to represent her. Actually, she'd probably kick my ass if that happened. :)
Anyway, I loved Jae and she ended up being perfect for Grace.
But ultimately - we decided on.....(DRUM ROLL).........................
This Beautiful...Wonderful...Cover. (And...yes, I now sleep with it hanging above my bed :)
And this is the whole cover (front to back)
Let me just say - I have the original. and you all have no idea the work that Vania had to do to get this shot. Add in green to brighten it, touch up the face, make the eye blue. She did much more than just take this picture and listen to me yell "Smize" b/c I thought it was a funny reference to Top Model. Which I am sure models hear all the time.
Maybe someday I will show you the original so you can see how critical a graphic designer or photographer is. But not today :)
So starting Monday - all the covers out there will be changed and this is what you will see.
Only 2 more weeks!
Let the oohing and ahhing commence.........Thanks Vania!