There are books I pick up, and books I let sit, and sometimes that is based on the cover. (That said, there are books that have terrible covers that I love nonetheless. And sometimes covers I once didn't like will grow on me in a thoroughly irrational way. Perhaps there's a future blog post out there about covers I love, covers I loathe, and covers I've been converted to.)
I am THRILLED with the cover of my first novel, Revolutionary. So many thanks and so much admiration to the design folks at Simon & Schuster.
Check it out... when the cover is closed:
And when the cover is open:
Okay. This is going to be a gush. So bear with me. The things I love about this cover...
- The use of vertical lines on the front. I love the suggestion this gives of division, of a split, of a defining line. I like how it divides my name (and the words "A Novel") as well as the title itself. This plays so well with the theme of two-ness.
- To pair with this, the use of color in the name and title. Again, things both run together and are separate. So essential to the notion of self and identity that Deborah feels.
- The colors/stripes. I like it for the flag motif, of course. There is an immediate American theme. But also for the way the horizontal meets the vertical. The two intersect inevitably, but it is a merging we expect, given the flag.
- The stitching. Deborah was a weaver. In the first version of the novel (and a few of the subsequent ones), the construction of her first male garments played a huge role. In the final version, she stitches much of her uniform while at West Point (a point that is historically accurate, I believe) and so the sewing is part of the plot. But this also relates to her story, how it is stitched and woven together, and in the novel, she often compares her life to fabric. Alfred Young notes that Deborah was proud of her weaving: she was good at it. In later life, when she no longer worked as a weaver, she still kept samples of her fabric at hand to show how tight her "lawn" (linen) was. Not only is there stitching by the stripes have a fabric look.
- The rough edge on the left. It looks almost unfinished, and I like that for the suggestion that things aren't neatly concluded.
- The division/unity of the figure on the cover. She is clearly a woman with the jacket open. She is clearly whole and in action. But with the cover closed, there is some ambiguity. Not too much, but enough. I think Deborah would have had to look more male than this, but the closed image is still very suggestive of how masculinizing a uniform and equipment can be. Plus, with the cover closed, the idea of division is extended. She is half there, half not.