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