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Cover Me*

Cover Me*

*Bad puns were promised, and we aim to deliver. Which means there’s really no good reason not to title the blog post in which we reveal the cover of the new book after a disco song written by Bruce Springsteen. (No, seriously, he wrote “Cover Me” for Donna Summer, before his manager convinced him it was too good to give away.)

Anyhow. Where were we? Ah.

Books are beautiful objects, offering infinite variations on the same basic form, each one unique, with its own character and quirks, and even its own scent. Much like the cover of an album, the cover of a book is a gateway into another world. The best covers offer strong indicators about the creative sensibilities and characters and atmosphere that you’ll find inside.

It takes a special sort of creative talent to be able to translate not just the words, but the emotional essence of a piece of writing into visual terms. (With exceptions, of course; in the romance genre, it seems, the more literal the cover, the better.)

The cover of My Heart Sings the Harmony was conceptualized, shot and designed by my friend Jean-Paul Vest, meaning that he is literally all over this book — but that was true before he created the cover. A review of his album Fractures, with his band Last Charge of the Light Horse, figures prominently in Chapter 7, which also features an interview we did back in 2006.

The cover was shot in JP’s basement using his guitar and amp. He designed, printed, cut and hung the individual cards. I’d love to say I had something to do with how well the cover came out, but the extent of my contribution was to ask if the little clips holding the cards with my name on them were roach clips (for the record: no). Best to leave these things to the professionals.

And here it is:

The cover captures several elements that reside at the core of My Heart Sings the Harmony: the drive to create, a sense of playfulness, and a deep, enveloping passion for music. Because ultimately, it’s all about the music. It also suggests an emergent theme: both of my books to date feature a guitar on the cover.

We’ll see. For now, enjoy JP’s artistry. My Heart Sings the Harmony arrives March 21 (and until March 15, you can still enter our drawing to win a free copy by subscribing to the newsletter at lower right).

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