Saturday, September 10, 2005

Irrational cover fears

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've submitted information to help Luna's art department design the cover to The Eyes of Crow (still tentative title). Now I wait a few months for the results.

Why am I scared? No rational reason. Luna's covers have ranged from the very nice to the drop-dead gorgeous. Not one has made me go, "My God, what were they thinking?"

But I'm sure that somehow mine will be the exception.

Mine will be the one cover designed during the artist's brief but destructive Chartreuse Period.

Mine will portray my skinny hero as buff as a weight lifter and inexplicably bare-chested during a funeral.

Mine will depict a unicorn piloting a starship (even though my book contains zero unicorns and even fewer starships) by shooting lasers out of his horn.

Mine will create a fifteen-foot blast radius of badness, so that any books positioned on nearby shelves will languish, unpurchased.

This is my fear. Why? Because I'm neurotic, that's why. Not enough to affect my everyday life (although anyone who has watched me load a dishwasher might beg to differ), but enough to make me believe that any dream I want so badly as I want to be a respected, successful author couldn't possibly come true. I've been around the publishing world enough to know that Things Go Wrong, things that aren't anyone's fault.

Part of me is still convinced that a very small earthquake will swallow up my entire shipment of books on their release date. Or that bands of marauding crows will start kidnaping babies right out of their strollers, so that no one will want to buy a book having anything to do with these birds. Or, more realistically, that a terrorist, serial killer, or hurricane with the same name as my main character will strike the United States right before my book comes out*.

The only way out of this negative thought pattern is to put all my effort into the one part of the process completely within my control: writing great books. I have to believe (or at least pretend for sanity's sake) that everything else follows from that.

*Not that I think my problem would be the worst result of such a disaster. I'm not that much of a narcissist. But to be safe on the weather front, maybe I should give her a name beginning with Q, U, X, Y, or Z, which they never use for hurricanes.


Hillarious, and right on target, this target being you, and, I suppose, every newly to-be-published author. You'll do just dandy.


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 9/10/2005 4:35 PM

If crows start kidnapping newborns, I'll be on your book like white on rice.

But then, you probably knew that.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 9/11/2005 8:43 AM

Jeri, you're nuts. Just plan nuts!

LOLOL! Luna is gonna do a fantastic job with your cover. Your hero will sorta look like Joseph Fiennes from Shakespeare in Love, without the leather jacket.

AND you will start the newest trend of "all things crow" replacing unicorns in the hearts of little girls everywhere.


Posted by: Blogger moonhart at 9/13/2005 9:16 AM

I specifically asked that they not depict the hero on the cover. To be sure, I didn't even give them a description of him. Seeing men on book covers makes me think "cheesy romance novel."

I like Marek just the way he is: in my mind. Seeing someone else's depiction (especially someone who hadn't read the book) would cheapen him somehow. Maybe I'm just weird.

Besides, the dude's invisible half the time!

How cool would that be, third-graders with crow stickers on their lunchboxes?

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 9/13/2005 9:36 AM

Okay, well =I= picture him like Joseph Fiennes from SIL.


And they could have crow trading cards.


Posted by: Blogger moonhart at 9/13/2005 2:12 PM

Terri, I picture Cillian Murphy.

Then again, I picture Cillian Murphy a lot these days. Heh.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 9/13/2005 6:49 PM

Post a Comment


This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

Sign up for Jeri's newsletter

  • First draft of secret new project

Current Reads