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Sunday
Jan252009

Duck and cover

Many of you know that before this whole “writing thing,” I worked for years as an art director, in fact I have a degree in design. So when I sold HOTEL, friends would inevitably ask, “Are you going to design the cover?” To which I would twitch uncontrollably and shriek, “NO!” I’d worked with soooo many do-it-yourself clients, and the results were never pretty. More like a bad 5th grade pottery assignment, all blobs and fingerprints. Is it an ashtray? Is it a birdfeeder? You know how it goes.

So when it came to cover design, I was MORE than happy to sit back and just enjoy the process from the other side of the table. But when my editor wanted to talk about general cover concepts, it was naturally easier for me to show, than tell—with a little Photoshop action.

With that in mind, here from the digital cutting room floor are some early thumbnails, designed by yours truly. Not real covers mind you, just explorations of direction. Should it be overly Japanese or Chinese? Should it be more generic and about the Panama Hotel? Should icons that appear in the book, like the koi parasol, be featured? What about the main characters, Henry and Keiko?

As you can see, none of my ideas even remotely resemble the finished product, and I’m thankful. I’ll stick with words, and the pictures in my head.

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Reader Comments (6)

These are all pretty nifty. I like the parasol one the best, though.
January 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPasha
I agree, the parasol one caught my eye first. Thanks for sharing this, offers another side to putting together a novel that most people don't see generally.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ.C. Mongtomery
The Japanese flag comp is a pretty shocking image, at least from an American point of view where Old Glory is sacrosanct. It's fun to see a bunch of different directions...now you'll have to go through this all over again for foreign printings!
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric
Hey, just wanted to pop in and say congrats on your book. I saw a great review in our Utah paper (Deseret News) which makes your book sound fabulous.

Also, thanks to you, I finally checked out Lisa See's book "Snow Flower". I can't wait to get a hold of her other books.

Have a great week!

PS All your cover ideas are gorgeous.
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPink Ink
I like the parasol cover too. It has a sense of "innocence" weaved into it. The title is also very catching - great job on that!
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I liked two and three a lot. The others, not so much. They did not enchant me, and I suspect your book would.
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

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