And the Winning Cover Is…

Thank you, Voters!

It was a close vote between #1 cover (blue) and #3 cover (yellow).

Some yellow cover voters said they wouldn’t consider reading the blue cover book…too scary, and made references to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Some blue cover voters said the yellow cover was too sappy, and looked like a book about fishing. They liked the blue cover because of the Detroit Zoo water tower on the back, and they liked it because it made them think of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Continue reading “And the Winning Cover Is…”

Vote! Help me choose a cover

Several months ago, when  I sent my latest novel out to agents, I also started playing around with cover designs. Covering my bases—if I didn’t find an agent, at least my book would have a cover.

Yesterday, I went out to see Nancy Massa’s new house. I told you about Nancy in my last post, she’s a meticulous designer. So after a tour of her new digs and a delicious lunch, we sat close together on her sofa and passed my laptop back and forth. I had two versions of the #1 cover, six versions of the #2 cover, and two versions of the #3 cover for her to select from. She had valuable nudging, noodling, incremental tightening up, and loosening up suggestions.

So today, after nudging, noodling, incremental tightening up, and loosening up, I think the covers all look pretty good. I’m pleased.

So now it’s your turn.

Here are the front covers:


And here are the full covers: fronts, backs and spines.

If you were in a bookstore, which cover would entice you? Which would you want to read?

Please help me out. You can:
*  vote here in the comments section below
  vote on Facebook
  email me at

Tell me which cover you like the best, and if you feel like it, tell me why.


Dead Elephants

When my kids were little, we lived around the corner from the library in South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts. Every day when their father went to work on the afternoon shift at the Air Force base, the kids and I would walk to the library and gather several picture books that we brought home. They cuddled up close on either side of me on the front porch steps while I read to them. One day I read them The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff.

When the mother elephant got shot, both of my little children cried and cried. I thought, oh no, I should never have read that book to them. After dinner they asked me to please read them the Babar book again.

“Any part in particular?”

“The part where the mother dies.” Continue reading “Dead Elephants”

Fresh Eyes

First readers are an important part of my writing process. I’m not talking about preschoolers, or first graders, I’m talking about friends and family who read my novels before anyone else. Before it’s an actual printed book, when it’s still in process or finished (supposedly) with plenty of errors—typos, missed question marks, fuzzy wording, maybe even fuzzy characters or situations. After I’ve read the book at least a billion times it still needs to be read by kind volunteers. Continue reading “Fresh Eyes”