1.Have a discussion with my editor about my (fairly lame) ideas for a cover. Use the word “FIRE” a lot until finally my editor admits that all I seem to want is a cover that is on fire.
2.Agree that the cover on fire would be awesome, if somewhat dangerous, and that bookstores might show a certain reluctance to shelve a flaming missive by other flammable books.
3.Leave the cover design in the capable hands of Harper’s amazing design team.
4.Hear from them a few weeks later that they’re thinking of using a super long cloak to wrap around the spine the way the dresses wrap around the spine in the Luxe books.
5.Squeal at the brilliance of it and ask if the title can be flame-tipped because … Fire. How cool would that be?
6.Learn that the cover will be a photo shoot and that they are auditioning models.
7.Pick out the model with editor and agree that she’s fierce and perfect for the character of Rachel.
8.Receive a cover comp a few weeks later that looks like anime fan art but that is undeniably COOL even though there is no fire anywhere in sight.
9.Be assured that the cover comp isn’t the real thing, but just a way for the art department to work out the design specifics before they actually do the photo shoot.
10.Also discover that wardrobe is sewing a long cloak specifically for the book.
11.Begin dreaming about breaking into Harper after the photo shoot and absconding with the cloak to wear at signings and Halloween and Christmas and my neighbor’s uncle’s kid’s best friend’s birthday party.
12.Wait eagerly for news about the success of the photo shoot.
13.Wait even longer for the first official draft of the cover.
14.Receive the draft of the cover, open the email, and feel tempted to lick the monitor because the cover is STUNNING.
15.Decide it no longer matters if there’s fire anywhere on the cover because this idea is so much better.
16.Read through the list of revisions sent by the art department (font change, bring leaves out of the background, minor color changes) and sign off on them.
17.Share the cover draft with three closest friends who all are tempted to lick their monitors as well.
18.Wait a few more weeks and get final cover copy.
19.Nearly cry because it’s so perfect for the book, and because suddenly it seems REAL.
20.Start the entire process over again for book 2, only without the mention of lighting the entire thing on fire.