The Story of the Cover/ This is Where I Stop
Admittedly, I had very little involvement in the cover design for the novel, since it was handled internally at Macmillan. However, there are so many elements that the cover just got so right about the novel itself that it’s a really interesting topic of discussion.
My editor did ask during our second round of edits if I had any feedback or specific requests. I didn’t, to be honest, except to say I knew the cover shouldn’t be pink. There’s a recurring theme in the novel about what makes a girl and worried that this would lead a designer to pink and I don’t like the automatic linking of girls to pink. I don’t mind pink, but Ellie (the main character) doesn’t like pink and one of the key themes of the book is that defining a girl is about more than stereotypes or this idea of what a girl should be. So pink felt somewhat antithetical to that. At the same time, then thought maybe pink would be ironic and could be effective, so I wasn’t too useful in providing insight into the design process.
When they first showed me the cover, I fell in love with it aesthetically, but I also found myself a little confused. It was nothing like I had expected. I knew it was a cover I would be drawn to and it does make sense for the book when you stop and think about it, but I figured that the primary setting – an abandoned house – would play a role in the design. When therew wereno houses, was a bit taken aback. After thinking about it, though, realized an abandoned house would have hinted at the book being horror or a thriller, and it’s not. It’s firmly rooted in contemporary realism, so combining a thriller-looking cover with a summary that’s a bit mysterious may actually have worked against getting the book to the target reader. What I love about this cover is that it’s black, which clearly illustrates that it’s not a light read. It’s not a light or easy story and like knowing, when pick up a book, what kind of book I’m getting. The cover is also symbolic of so many aspects of the story. The leaves are covered in frost, showing that they shouldn’t even be alive. But there are small flowers finding their way through anyway. It’s this idea of life fighting for a way, even when it’s impossible. Plus, it also speaks to the story, which does try to show that even in the darkest and coldest places, there can be small bursts of good. also did some research into the plant itself, which is stinging nettle, and discovered that theplant thrives in places where iron has been left to rust. The town where the book is set has seen