the color purple

It's that time of year again. Finals. And I've got plenty of papers to grade. As kids wandered into class late, babbling excuses about broken printers and glitchy USB drives, I quirked an eyebrow and said, "You're lucky I'm in a good mood."

I just got a glimpse of my new and improved cover design!

"Do you like purple?" I asked a punk rock girl (who wears nothing but military coats. I picture her closet strung with identical coats in various shades of black).

"I love it!" she said, plopping down her purple folder.

"Good. Because my new cover is purple."

More like lavender, really. And it's decorated with doodles inspired by the book--from African violets to cute little skulls to bottle caps. In the background is a waterfall of drippy numbers. This pattern was designed by the kickass London design duo, Kai and Sunny. The typeface and doodles were drawn by an in-house artist at HarperCollins. (Good thing I sent enough chocolate hippos to go around the office. I owe them big time!)

The cover is still not complete. It will make another trip around the art department for additional comments. When my editor gives the green light, I'll post a picture here.

I never realized how much work went into the cover design---or how many people were involved in the process. I'm so thankful that they listened to my input (I've always been told that authors have no say in their cover designs. But my Harper peeps have been good to me). It's like an early birthday present!