Friday, April 3, 2009

Sharon's new book cover!

Am I the only author who sits for weeks, or maybe months, wondering with trepidation what their publishing design crew is going to come up with for their book cover? It is a rhetorical question because I know for a fact that many of you have expressed the trauma of a cover that just wasn’t right for some reason. I didn’t fret over it too much the first time around – ignorance basically – but was eventually faced with the anguishing dilemma of what to do when the sample proudly unveiled by my editor was, shall we just say, a bit too “sweet” for my brand of manly Mr. Darcy! Eventually it all worked out and after about a dozen evolutions I ended up with a fabulous cover for Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Two Shall Become One. Don’t you agree? Yep, the design folks came through and exceeded my wildest imaginings! Fate, divine intervention, my persistence, or plain market savvy – whatever the driving force, my “final” cover is amazing.

When it came to Loving Mr. Darcy ~ Journeys Beyond Pemberley I was simultaneously unperturbed and anxious. I was unperturbed because I now knew what the Sourcebooks wizards were capable of and had faith that it would all work out brilliantly in the end. But I was anxious because I feared another battle to get us to perfection. Well, I needn’t have worried. Deb sent me the image last week and I am thrilled!! Honestly! Take a look for yourself…………

OK, yes, they did get carried away with the apostrophe in “Journey’s” so perhaps grammar is not their strong suit. Ha! But that is easy to fix and has probably already been taken care of. Right, Deb? Deb? Hello?

Aside from that minor annoyance, I am absolutely delighted with the result. I am very pleased that they have kept the “swirly oval” for my title. I am told that it will have the same silvery sheen that my first one does. Hey, I have a theme! Cool! Especially since it is a series and all of them should have a similar look. The Mr. Darcy is a different one than before, but he is amazing. Not at all a “happy” Darcy in any way! Whew! There is something noble and strong about this one to me. He is also incredibly stylish in that impeccable outfit. I LOVE the intricately tied cravat! As one of my readers said: “How long would it take his manservant to dress him! Or Lizzy to undress him, maybe I should say.” Food for thought. *wink*

The final cap, the portion that takes it from a nice cover to an astounding one, is the painting on the bottom. I know I’ve used the word “perfect” quite a bit, but here that word is entirely apt. Loving Mr. Darcy was originally titled, by me, Journeys Beyond Pemberley. I am fine with the addition and the new title has grown on me, but I really wanted to keep "Journeys Beyond Pemberley" as my subtitle. The common thread throughout the whole novel is Lizzy and Darcy moving away from their honeymoon solitude at Pemberley. They are still crazy in love, blissful as a married couple, but now the real world of Regency England comes into play. The beginning third is set in Hertfordshire and then London, with a wealth of friends, family, and new acquaintances taking part in the drama that is life for the Darcys. The later chapters involve travels across the Midlands of Derbyshire. Even the middle section when they are at home they are surrounded by a host of visitors and activities.

This painting captures the tone of late spring to early summer while they are in London. The soft hues of peach and gold with the clear sky of blue spreading even to backlight Mr. Darcy above are beautiful. I do not know what this painting is actually of, but the building is precisely as so many drawings I have seen of structures of the day. Like this one here of the Royal London Theatre. Hyde Park is a prominent feature of my novel, and this scenic promenade could easily be a pathway through the lush gardens Hyde Park was famous for.

Lastly, the two ladies: Lizzy and Jane? Lizzy and Georgiana? It could be any of several women walking with Lizzy – let your imagination soar. But whoever she is strolling with, my impression is that Darcy is watching over them. In a way I have never quite understood the new title. Is it referring to Lizzy loving Mr. Darcy? Or that all of us readers love Mr. Darcy? Or that Mr. Darcy is a loving man? I now think it encompasses all three.

Needless to say, I am 100% approving – except for that darned apostrophe! I don’t know if the design crew listened to my descriptions of the novel or if they just got lucky. But either way I do wish I could personally thank each one of them. Hopefully Deb conveyed my overwhelming enthusiasm! And hopefully no one will decide to change it!

Now, tell us of your cover stories, good and bad. And mark your calendars: Loving Mr. Darcy ~ Journeys Beyond Pemberley will be released on September 1, 2009. For more information and a peak at the cover for The Darcys at Year's End, come to my website: The Darcy Saga by Sharon Lathan


  1. Beautiful cover, Sharon. Congrats!

  2. Looking good, Sharon! I know you're tickled to death with it!

  3. I love the cover, Sharon, really to be proud of! I had one where the moon was shining thru the heroine's nose. :) Another where there are black blobs in front of a house scene...supposed to be a silhouette of the lovers...didn't quite make a far shot. :)

  4. I have loved every cover I've gotten, and the response to them has been awesome. I feel very fortunate to have the team working on my books and bringing them to visual life.

    Congrats on this one, too, Sharon!

  5. The covers are great Sharon. I'm not surprised you're delighted with them.

    There's something about a painting (as opposed to a photo) that gives the book a certain classiness.

  6. Good morning everyone! Man, some of you are up bright and early! I need to polish off the espresso before I am fully coherent. But, I did want to say thanks! The cover is wonderful, isn't it? I am very happy and can't wait to hold it in my hands. Hopefully I'll get the ARC this time around. With Mr. and Mrs. FD I didn't know precisely how the finished book looked until I got my author's copies! Hint, Danielle, :)

  7. I'm glad you like it Sharon and you rqate a theme, yay! Lolol! This one sounds good too. Hmm, now we get to see life of the Darcy's beyond the honeymoon. ah, soires, balls, gossip and on dits. It will be fun to see what you've done here. :-)

  8. Since I have been known to buy books simply because of the cover, Sharon, I'd say you have a winner with this one! Enjoy!

  9. I agree about the painting, Mary Margret. For my type of novel it fits so well. Gives it that authentic air that I think is so important.

    By the way, I just got "Promise" today! The mail cam early. I can't wait!!

  10. Hi Sia! Yes, it gets much more involved from the second book on. I do hope you like it. Have you read the first yet? I know you are easily as busy as me so free-reading sadly takes a back seat!

  11. Hi Amelia! Thanks for dropping by. I think this cover will leap out just as the first one has done for so many people. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  12. Thanks Donna! I have to say that Sourcebooks always comes through. I truly have not seen a cover yet that did not reflect the story and was eye-catching.

    And Terry, as annoying as it is at the time, those weird mishaps later become great stories, don't they? I was so distraught over gay-Darcy, but now I can laugh about it! Like Marie and the infamous cup. LOL!

  13. Gorgeous cover, Sharon.

    We're extremely lucky at Sourcebooks to have such a fabulous art department and also an extraordinary editor who listens to us when we ask nicely for a change, or two, or three. The final products are always amazing though.

  14. Gorgeous covers, Sharon!

    I had one cover where the only good thing on it was the dog. Hero was supposed to be a bearded Mel Gibson and I got Yakov Smirnoff. Another cover was supposed to have a craggy Sam Elliott and I got Robert Goulet.


  15. SUPER CONGRATS Sharon on another GREAT cover!

    I'm in total LURVE with my new cover too!

    As others have said, can't say thank you enough times to the wonderful Art Dept. at Sourcebooks who do such a great job distilling our stories into beautiful images!