Ah my heart…
Special thanks to Orca Books, Rachel Page for the design, and Katie Carey for the illustrations of this spectacular cover.
I’ve had covers where, I’m like yeah, that nailed it. Exactly the tone I wanted to hit and the cover I’d imagined. And I’ve had covers where it just didn’t quite work, and didn’t work for the book. But in both of these cases ME, I’VE been inserted myself in the middle of that thought process. Sometimes as a writer you forget that you wrote the book for others to, you know, read? And those people aren’t you. This is the cover I could not have imagined.
There were two key images in the book that I thought might work for the cover. One is when a key character says that having a new heart is like holding on to a little bird, tight enough to trap it but loose enough that she didn’t squish it (I’m paraphrasing!). So the image of the bird in hands.
The second image was when Emmitt takes a sheet of butcher paper, draws an outline of his sister and starts mapping out all of her organs. Not being an artist, I didn’t think the second would work, but lo and behold, without my even suggesting it, it’s what ORCA went with and I love it.
What I find most interesting about the cover is that it grew on me. At first, I was hesitant, I could see how it would stand out–those colours!–and that’s really important. But overtime, I’ve come to absolutely love it. I see more and more detail that I’d missed before. This is a book that I’m super proud of and it’s wonderful to be as happy with the cover as what lies between.
I can’t wait until you have a copy in YOUR hands.
I also want to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the City of Ottawa’s Arts Funding Program.