Happy Friday bookworms! So I don’t know if everyone is aware, but Get Underlined’s cover reveal for Kelly Coon’s upcoming debut novel Gravemaidens took place on Monday (11 March 2019). This my MOST anticipated read this year (release date: 28 October 2019), and I want to rave about it to all of you!! Let’s first have another look at this beauty.
How gorgeous is this cover?! I want to share with you a Q&A with Kelly to get some insight into the covers that didn’t make the final cut.
Q: What was the first cover that didn’t work for you and why?
We went through a ton of different ideas when we were trying to come up with a cover that would encapsulate the feeling of danger, but also the allure of this grand life the sacred maidens were supposed to be leading. The first concept proposed for GRAVEMAIDENS was a single black rose surrounded by these sharp gold thorns. Sammy Yuen, the designer, had pitched the idea, and it was GORGEOUS, but it didn’t really evoke enough of the story.
The second idea the design team, led by Alison Impey and my editor, Kelsey Horton, was for a flower crown to be floating in a river, since the Boatman, the skeletal conduit that transfers people from life to the Netherworld, rows across the river. That idea was more appealing to me, but the overall effect didn’t really grab any of us like we thought it would.
Q: Was there a color scheme for the cover that you absolutely didn’t want? Or had to have?
I pushed hard for the blue and red of my website to be featured in the cover, and they gave me that stunning blue! I was beyond dazzled when I saw it! The red would’ve been too much if they’d added it to the cover as well (which I understood!) so I was thrilled that blue took center stage. I also really wanted the cover to be light, since the title itself is so dark. I wanted a juxtaposition between darkness and lightness, and I think they did that so, so well.
Q: Did you change your mind at any point during the creative process?
I would say that my mind was changed rather than I changed my mind. What I had initially envisioned for the cover was different from where it ended up. The colors were spot-on, but I had pictured a girl on the cover or a roaring lion, maybe, and those two things were definitely not on their radar. But honestly, I decided to trust the design team to come up with a new concept after the initial ones didn’t work, and they hit it out of the park. I’m incredibly thrilled.
Q: What were you feeling when you saw the covers that didn’t work?
Truthfully, I doubted my own judgment at first. I thought…if this is supposed to be the cover, and I am not really into it, then maybe I don’t know what looks good and what doesn’t. Maybe I don’t understand what a good cover even is! But after talking with my agent and reviewing things on the phone with my editor, I came to see that I wasn’t alone, and perhaps my instincts were right. =)
Q: Did any of the previous covers feature people versus the artistic portrait it has?
Nope! Right from the beginning they wanted an icon on the cover rather than a person. My brother-in-law, who is a whiz at Photoshop, designed a placeholder image for me with a girl on it, but Delacorte did not want me to use it because it was so good they were concerned that people would think it was the actual cover. Haha! He was flattered!
Q: What were the themes presented on the covers that you disliked?
They were identical to what the design team eventually came up with. We wanted something to reflect the danger the sacred maidens were in, and the beauty that came at a high cost. All of the ones they designed previously showed that central theme, but none of them hit the nail on the head quite like this one. I’m THRILLED to have my name on a cover like this. It’s such a privilege.
Be sure to add Gravemaidens to your TBR! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this adventure!
Add Gravemaidens to your Goodreads.
Pre-Order Gravemaidens here.