Friday, March 30, 2012

The cover of THE LONG WAY HOME

THE LONG WAY HOME by Karen McQuestion release date May 1, 2012

In this heartwarming novel, four strangers brought together by grief join forces for a road trip that becomes an unexpected adventure and a journey toward reconciliation, healing, and love.

At long last, I have a cover for my new novel, The Long Way Home! And I'll go on record as saying I absolutely, positively love it.

Getting to this point was quite a process. Months ago I started to see cover concepts via email, most of them varying combinations of roads, cars, suitcases, and maps. All of them were fine, in their own way, but none of them was the cover.

Finally, around the time I was getting a little panic stricken about not having a cover, the publisher brought in Jaime Flores of Monocle Design to get a fresh take on things. I spoke to Jaime and my editor during a phone conference-- a memorable conversation especially because my editor kept saying I lived in Minnesota and when I corrected him and said I was in Wisconsin, I got the feeling he thought they were essentially the same. Those people on the coast think they know so much. Fly over country, indeed. If they only knew what Wisconsin has to offer they'd be flocking here in droves.

Anyway, I did appreciate being able to  give the designer my thoughts. Since I don't have a great talent for the visual arts, most of my suggestions covered what I didn't want. Basically, I didn't want pastels, landscapes, or dissected women (if you've looked at covers of women's fiction lately you know what I mean). I did want a cover that would stand out and be memorable.

In short order, Jaime came up with seven possibilities, all of them terrific. Seriously, not a bad one in the bunch. I narrowed it down to my two favorites, one of which was the predecessor of the cover you see above. That cover was tweaked a bit and I received the final version in an email ten minutes ago. Yes, the book comes out in a month and I finally have a cover.


The timing was a bit of a nail biter, but now that I've seen the end result I have to say it was worth the wait. Thanks so much to my editor, Terry Goodman, and to Jaime Flores, the genius designer who knew what I wanted, even if I couldn't articulate it.

Now I'll have to find something else to worry about. :)


Pamila Daniel said...

Very nice cover! Refreshing and bright! I've been following your blog for awhile - happy to see your success.

Kimmyj79 said...

I just love your cover..It works so well with the time :)

Pale Rambler said...


Karen Wojcik Berner said...

It looks great. Can't wait to read it.

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, everyone. I like it because it has a different look than other covers I've seen. I hope that's a positive once it's out in the world.

Coleslaw said...

Oh, that is cute, yet very professional looking.

Shayne Parkinson said...

Oh, that's really nice! It's clear, distinctive, and goes beautifully with the book's description. I can see why you're so pleased with it!

Karen McQuestion said...

I agree with both of you, Shayne and Coleslaw. The longer I look at it, the more I like it...

Bill B said...

Your cover feels right! 'Course I haven't seen the others, but I like this one very much, and think you have a winner. Congratulations! And regarding your 'Flyover' comment ... we call it The Detroit Syndrome. During the years we lived in Montana, more than a few people made comments like, "Oh, you're from Michigan - which part of Detroit are you from?" Which is funny since we lived at least an 8-hour drive (in good weather) north of Detroit and had spent zero time there. We've had friends from upstate New York with similar experiences. They were from a very rural, isolated area, but as soon as "New York" was spoken, they would be asked about life in the fast lane.

Also, I overheard this conversation between two young adults (I promise this was serious): "'Iowa' - what's that?" "Umm, it's one of the rectangular states."

Anyway, just know that many of us do appreciate Wisconsin (and Minnesota, too!).

Jon Olson said...

Congrats on the cover, Karen. It captures a lot!

The Petoskey Stone
The Ride Home

Karen McQuestion said...

Hey Bill--"The Detroit Syndrome"--sounds like it could be a book title!

I guess it must be a universal problem. Not everyone in Wyoming lives on a ranch, and Idaho is more than potates. If people haven't ever been somewhere, they don't know what they don't know, so they insert what they do know. In the case of the Midwest that seems to be cows and anything they heard listening to A Prairie Home Companion. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course!

Hi Jon, thanks for your kind words about the cover. BTW, when is your new book going up? People are waiting! (And my "people" I mean me and my mom, and I'm sure there are more as well.) Hurry up!

Jon Olson said...

You and your mom, and me and my mom. Four readers! Enough to boost its rank.

I sent it for formatting. So, a week or two? Or three?

The Petoskey Stone

Sean McCartney said...

Great cover Karen and congrats. I agree about those people from the coast. They aren't sure what happens here in the Midwest but I'll take it every time.


Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks Sean, fellow author and fellow Midwesterner!

Brenda ND said...

Oh, I can't wait to read The Long Way Home. I like the cover and I'm betting I'll love the writing.

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks so much, Brenda. If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it!