Diary of a debut: In search of the perfect cover for Your Perfect Life

FentonSteinke_Your Perfect Life coverWe have to admit, there is no feeling to describe what it's like when you first hold your novel in your hands. For a time, the characters you've created live only in your head, until they eventually make their way onto your computer screen. So the the experience of gripping the actual paperback--of feeling the pages between your fingers, the emotion of seeing your name on the front, the details about your plot on the back, the amazing blurb from your author idol Jen Lancaster (thank you, Jen!), the dedication, the acknowledgments, well, there are no words.

But I suppose if we tried, if we really took a shot at conveying what it felt like to cradle Your Perfect Life, it would be something along the lines of holy f*cking shit, we actually wrote a book! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

When we were told our cover was being overnighted to us, we were like little kids on Christmas Eve, tossing and turning in our beds, eyes wide open, unable to wait to open that big gift the next day. Then the doorbell finally rang and we found ourselves walking, then running, then walking to the door, equal parts scared shitless and excited beyond belief to see it.

There are so many covers out there--a gazillion different ways to use images to encapsulate what a book is about, to call someone's attention to it when it sits in a store, in a sea of other novels.  Would we love it? Would we *gulp* not? Hand on the doorknob, we took a deep breath and opened, then grabbed the box and ripped with wild abandon, unable to get that damn perforated tab to pull just right, then finally, we just say eff it and take a steak knife and slice through, then put our hand in and slowly slide the picture of the cover out of it. Eyes squeezed shut until finally, popping them open and...

Screaming with joy--so loudly that a neighbor or two *might* have popped their head out of the door to check that there wasn't a mass murderer roaming.

The cover was, in a word--perfect.

And also eerie. *cue Twilight zone music*

Because what the designers of this oh, so perfect cover, could have never known is how much the images on the front would mean to us. They could have never in a million years known that at Lisa's wedding four years ago, she picked orange Chinese lanterns and white lights to dangle above the atrium where she would be married. Or that just a few months ago, Liz and Lisa spent two painstaking hours hanging Chinese lanterns and lights over the dance floor where her closest friends and family would come together to celebrate her 40th birthday.

This cover is so much more than a perfect representation of what our book is about or a beautiful way to attract a curious reader as she peruses the aisles of her favorite bookstore. It is us. And for that, we want to say thank you to our publisher, Judith Curr and our editor, Greer Hendricks and everyone on the team at Atria who worked so hard to create it.

So to celebrate, we are giving away a signed arc of YOUR PERFECT LIFE which, btw, is available for pre-order! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, December 15th after 12PM PST. And also, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive info about more giveaways, contests and details about our novel.

Lisa's wedding

And, as always, thank you so much for being there for us through it all! We could NOT have done it without you!

Liz's 40th birthday party