Tuesday, April 10, 2012

COVER REVEAL: The Peculiar

Ta-DAW! Here 'tis. The cover for The Peculiar... 

Isn't it cool?

When I first saw the image as a thumbnail in my inbox, I was like "Hem. Surely that's not my cover. It's far too happy-looking."

When I enlarged it and looked at it full-size I was like, "Hem. That sky is really blue."

When I looked at it again, I was like, "Yeeeeeah, I must hear what others have to say about it, because I don't know how to think for myself."


"Wait, hngg?" you say. "You are a clueless-bebeh-author. You are kind of obligated to be like 'Why, goodness me, it's igSAKLY how I imagined it should be."


And I did like it. I loved parts of it. But... But... But it didn't look like the imaginary-and-totally-non-commercial-cover for which I had vague notions in my head.

That sounds really bratty, especially now when I look at the awesome ARCs I was sent, and pat them adoringly, and admire how the colours pop, and how the bird is all gold-foil and embossed, and how the sky is this metallic shimmery blue stuff, and how the artwork shows rather precisely a scene from the book.

But at the time I was just like, "Where is the glooooom? The doom? The gothic, the faery, and the fantasy???" 

I love it now, though. Now that I've seen it in real life. I think that whoever designed it, and drew it, and made it did a really fantastic job, and I'm seriously happy with how it turned out. The artist even carried over some of the details from the book, like the north-south-east-west symbols on the bird's chest, and the blue-ish glow inside, and the capsule for carrying secret-and-most-definitely-sinister messages.

Also: black feathers. Those are important.

Technically none of that matters anyway, though, because the book is shiny. And shiny is of paramount importance. When I was twelve I would always, alwayyyys bee-line it to the shiniest book in the bookstore. I once paid fifty franks for a hardcover of The Looking Glass Wars (fifty franks being my allowance for, like, my entire life) and I didn't really like the book BUT ALL WAS OK because it had a shiny, holographic cover. It's possible I was just a very shallow twelve-year-old, but whatever... Shiny is good. 

I'll do an ARC freak-out post some time later on, and possibly give away a copy, and then you'll be able to see the book from every possible angle in all its shiny, metallic, gold-embossed, shiny glory, because I'll take lots of unnecessary photos.

Bye. :)


  1. Dude, that's a GREAT cover! It's upbeat and colorful, but also mysterious with the dark leaves at the bottom making you think that maybe there's something sneaky-scary coming up. I dig it.

  2. Oh YEAH!!!! This is a winnah! Congrats!

  3. Covers are so persnickety. I think they might be the hardest thing in the nuts & bolt process of making a book. If you're illustrating it yourself, it's tricky because you have so much control & responsibility. And if one is presented to you, it's tricky because you have little control or responsibility.

    Everyone wants to dress their book up in something they can be proud of when parading it around. This one travels down from the brilliant blue sky into to the inky black feathers so nicely. You can be proud of this well-dressed creature!

  4. You always make me laugh.

    The cover is BEAUTIFUL and totally the kind of thing I would pick up for my kids (or myself!). I'd probably be less likely to buy something with a doomy, gloomy cover.

    So, what I'm saying is, you're team built the perfect cover for MOM sales. Moms buy a lot of books. When THE PECULIAR sells a million copies you'll be even more thankful for your happy cover. :)

  5. Man. This is freakin' awesome.

  6. That is a wonderful cover! Love every little element including the very European town in the background. The black feathers look just like the one at the book fair. Huh! Congratulations!! The best part is YOUR NAME in big letters!! How exciting!


    And both me and my friend agreed that that cover is totally the kind of book that we'd pick up in a book store and go "OH! SHINY! MUST READ! NOW! EEEEE!!!"

    Oh me, oh my, I is excited for you ^_^ :D =D :-) Heeeeee! :D


    /end spazz.

    The end.

    .... or is it?

  8. Woah, ok, wake up, Stefan.

    @Emily: Thank you! I imagine it's much harder for the designer than for the writer, though. I pretty much just sat around chewing my fingernails and hoping for an awesome cover. ;)

    Also, persnickety is the best word ever.:D

    @Natalie: Oh good! I just hope nobody picks it up expecting all sunshine and cheery birds. Even though my Dad didn't think it was very dark at all. And it is set in summer-y England. With birds. We shall see. If I get disgruntled letters from disgruntled parents I will be disgruntled.

    @Bethany: Cool! Gladja like it! :)

    @Clayvessel: I know! My name is in CAPS! So weird. The city's supposed to be London. And I think that clocktower is a colourful version of Big Ben. :)

    @LYSAAAA: Hahahahaha! HAHA! Hahahahaaaaaaaa! Oh golly. Good. Thank you.


    And it's not the end. It just really isn't.

  9. Agree with all of the above. I would most definitely pick this up. Congrats, Stef! You make the rest of us look like slackers! :-)

  10. Psh. I'm as lazy as they come some days.

    But thank you! :D If you read it, I will be frightened.

  11. Stefffffffffffffffff! I love it and don't you forget about me! I can't wait to tell people I know the author of a book... wow, that sounds kind of sad. But no really, I can't wait to read your book =)

  12. VERY awesome looking cover! Can't wait to read it!

    This also reminds me I need to sculpt another clockwork bird....I shall send you one if I ever manage to get it done, as a congrats!

  13. @Ambah: I haven't forgotten about yooou! :D Anyway, Floop would throttle me if you didn't get your signed copy. But I'd give you one either way. :)

    @TDawn: I'm super glad you like it! At some point I need to do a post solely about the awesome bird by the awesome sculptor, and how the bird was so awesome it HAD to be in the book. And on the cover. And your clockwork snail makes a brief appearance too. Yeah. I'm pretty sure *I* should be sending *you* free things for all the inpiration... :)

    1. Seriously...you are fantastically wonderful. Do you have any idea how encouraging it is to know your random sculpting ideas inspired someone to write a BOOK where they make an appearance??? I'm still thrilled to the point of silliness!


    2. Aww, well I think you're sculptures are brilliant, so it's only fair that they should be in books and stuff. :) They should be on TV for goodness sakes.

  14. The cover is really, cool, somewhat reminded me of the Ulysses Moore series (I don't know why). I wouldn't really connect it to faerys or being gothic but still, awesomeness!

  15. Love the cover, Stefan. I have a legitimate question to ask (erm, hopefully you can respond...somewhere) - I am going to Zurich for my university graduation present and I was wondering what you recommend doing there. I'll be solo (granted i'm staying with relatives) but I'll mostly be solo on my trip at least during the day and was wondering what you'd recommend for a 22 year old...person (I don't want to say girl because that makes it seem as though what YOU like as a guy I might not etcetc).
    best wishes and congratulatons on the cover AND foreign rights!!!!

  16. @Zéva: Yeah, I think the designer had a tough job on this one. Like, he had to choose which element from the book to make the strongest. And apparently he chose steampunk. ;D I hear there will be more art on the back, though, so perhaps all the Gothic and the faerys will be put there? Exccccited to see it...

    @Rachel: Thank you! Glad you love it! I do too. x) And hmmm. 22 year old people can do ALL THINGS in Zürich. I think I'll PM you when I'm back from school and give you a list, ja? Good.

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  18. Well, I love anything and everything steampunk so life is good. :D I suppose it would make sense to have one side of the book be all happy and the other to be dark(?). I guess it's true then that the author has no control over the cover.

  19. THAT would be cool. One side happy and one side dark. And then the feathers kind of wrap around the spine and take over the back? They should do that. I would die happy.

    And it's pretty true about the no-control-thing, but that's ok, because HarperCollins is far cleverer about these things than I am. Had I designed the cover? No one would buy it. xD

  20. Oooh yes wrapping feathers sound awesome!

    I guess I just enjoy designing covers and would love to have input on mine. But I shall survive!

  21. So I just stalked all your blogs and I decided that it's not allowed to be able to do so many things. xD

    Kidding. That's awesome. And perhaps when the time comes, and you tell your agent/editor that you are knowledgeable about such things as covers, they will bring you in on it. But it probably depends a lot on the house and the editor and a ton of other things. So yeah... most likely? You shall need to survive HG-style. ;)

  22. *Gasp!* Blog stalking is awesome.

    Hopefully my agent/editor will be awesome with all of that, maybe I'll just fall in love with the cover provided to me... we can only hope. lol

    Survive HG style.... so climb a tree, brandishing my sharpened pencil? Oh yes. You can totally poke an eye out with one of those.

  23. Bahaha!! NO POKING OUT OF EYES. Your agent will come with a butterfly net and drag you far, far away. xD

    But cover designers tend to do awesome jobs, judging by the vaaaast majority of covers you'll find in bookstores. So I wouldn't worry about it. Much.

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