Thank you so much to Jennifer at Waiting On Sunday To Drown for hosting me today! She’s asked me to tell you how the cover for What Kills Me came to be.
I know how the saying goes but we all do it: we judge a book by its cover. So it was super important to me that the cover of What Kills Me reflected the drama and adventure in the pages.
I was trolling the internet for ideas and I came across a CD cover by Lisbon-based artist Liliana Sanches Davis. I loved the movement, the starkness of the body against the storm clouds. Liliana’s work is dark, emotional, and surreal. So I was thrilled when she agreed to design the cover for What Kills Me.
We talked about the story and Liliana sent me her first draft. It was beautiful. It featured a young woman sitting on a lakeside rock as a sunset softly warms the land. It said: “Vampires are trying to chop my head off. Let me relax by the water and contemplate what little life I have left...” [A harp and a children’s choir sings in the background.]
In other words, beautiful but not right for What Kills Me. Liliana and I talked more about my heroine, Zee. About her emotional turmoil at becoming not only a blood-sucking monster, but the monster of all monsters, feared and hunted to the death. We talked about about her battle to survive, and her growing power. Zee had to look strong, not meek. The waves need to be violent, not calm.
Liliana created the final image. We sent each other probably 100 emails, tweaking everything from the color and look of the sky (more clouds please!) to the butterflies exploding from Zee’s chest (more explosion please!). Liliana also did the layout for my website and produced a stunning wider, landscape view of the scene.
I couldn’t be happier and tons of readers have sent me lovely emails, sharing their appreciation. What do you think?
Write/Tweet Wynne and judge her book by its cover. Or share another book cover that you love!
What Kills Me Links
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About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?
About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”
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