Writing is a lonesome activity. It’s me. My computer. The gummy bears. Back to my computer. Back to the gummy bears. Pace the room. Sit at the computer again. Try to think about my characters and not the gummy bears. (You may have noticed, I have a slight gummy bear problem.) When I think back to writing my novel, I’m not sure how I got all those words down (but I do have a clear picture of where those extra five pounds came from).

But now the book becomes a communal project. My editor is currently editing (duh!). Somewhere out there sales people are trying to figure out when what would be the best publication date. A managing editor is making sure it all flows through the system in a timely manner. And the art department is working on my cover.

A cover! How both exciting and terrifying. Someone else is taking the characters and story I have worked on for years and translating them into an image. I didn’t realize this happened so early in the publishing process, but so far, I’ve seen a couple of versions and it’s beyond thrilling. I had some input. I told them I prefer covers where you can’t see a face. I never like being shown what a character looks likes; I want to conjure the face in my imagination. I like photographs. I didn’t want a single image (Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel is gorgeous, but I couldn’t think of a single image that adequately captured my novel). I wanted the font to have a 1930s feel. I described how I think Dottie would dress and what her hair would look like. I sent them a couple titles that had covers I’ve liked, such as:

Hmm, looking at these covers together I wonder if maybe I have a foot fetish? Well, no matter. I sent them my ideas and voila. They took that and gave me a few cover choices that were hard to choose between but I did and at this point, it’s just tweaking fonts and colors. By next week, I’ll have a final cover. And the cover? I’ll definitely share it with you when I get it. The gummy bears? No freakin’ way. Nobody touches my gummy bears.