Here's what Suzanne has to say about the cover:
The Stolen One's cover, in my humble opinion, is incredibly beautiful and haunting. It captures the mood of the novel perfectly. The cover girl, the dress, the pose, her expression, even how she is tenderly holding the pear, are a perfect match to the story.
My editor sent me photos of every stage of the production of the cover, from the search for a model to the dress. And I actually found the necklace on the cover on a site called "Sapphire and Sage." I contacted my editor who ordered one from the artist and it arrived the night before the photo shoot. Later, my editor gave me the necklace, and I actually wore it to my first event on Saturday at a local library where I did a presentation.
I got to see takes from the photo shoot which was totally cool! And eventually, when I saw the final cover, I was more than thrilled. I'm still excited when I see it. It's like an old master painting, and a Vogue photo shoot in one - the richness, the color saturation, are so incredible, yet I think it also has a modern, approachable feel. Magnificant!
And then, I was privileged enough to get to ask the photographer, Chris Borgman, a few questions (thanks to Alea for helping me brainstorm):
Did you have the chance to talk with the author or read The Stolen One in preparation for the shoot?
I personally did not get a chance to talk to Suzanne during production of the cover, but I did read a pre-release copy of the book. That helped me to visualize what the model should look like and what her surroundings might look like.
Did you have a certain amount of artistic license or were the instructions from the publisher pretty strict?
When I met with Paul, the Art Director, he had a basic sketch of the cover. It was for the model's pose and angle of view. Our discussion was mostly about what she should be wearing which would represent apoint in time within the story. I got with my stylist, who has a lot of experience in theater, and she sketched out clothing options. I then sent these to Paul. Once a decision was made I sent the sketches to a costume rental house in Long Island. We selected the dress and it was FedExed to us. These dresses are exact replicas and were used on Broadway or in museum exhibitions. We were lucky to find such a wonderful dress, it was the only place in the New England that had this kind of authentic quality.
I did a small casting of models. Since the model had to fit an exact look, it was very difficult to find our girl. Many models look too model like. We wanted a beautiful young girl that looked like a real person, of course she also had to have the red hair. We photographed her in the studio on a green background. The studio background was removed and an ivy covered wall was added. I photographed the wall at The Cloisters. I went there thinking it would provide some interesting textures and was not disappointed.
What are some alternate poses you tried out or would have given the chance?
Originally I was thinking more of royal garden in the background. After discussing it with Paul, we thought the wall was better because it was more closed in and better represented her eventual feelings while working for the queen. The open garden would look too open and free. I did play around with a few different backgrounds but liked the ivy the most cause it was simple enough to allow the type over it but still looked like a castle wall.
Another option would have been that's she inside the castle, maybe in a small room. I imaged castle walls as pretty boring in color, and we all really liked the her red hair against the green ivy. Her hair and the ivy seem to flow in a similar pattern.
Thanks Suzanne and Chris!
Fun fact - Chris also shot the cover for Cindy Pon's SILVER PHOENIX and she interviewed him about it on her site.
You can also read this interview at Shooting Stars Mag where Suzanne talks some more about the cover (and the meaning of that pear).
Now on to the giveaway! In honor of getting such a gorgeous cover, Suzanne has put together an amazing prize pack for one lucky winner, worth well over $100.
(1) lucky winner gets:
Signed hardcover copy of THE STOLEN ONE
$25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
$75 of MAC cosmetics from the 'redhead"collection (don't worry, just about anyone can wear it - you don't have to have read hair) including:
"Pinch Me" Blush
"100 Strokes" Eye Shadow
"French Cuff" Eye Shadow
"Viva Glam" Lipstick
"Teddy" Eye Kohl
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what cover artwork has grabbed you lately and why.
For a second entry, post about this giveaway on your blog (sidebar is fine) or social networking site and leave a separate comment with the link.
For a third entry, leave a comment on my review of The Stolen One.
For a fourth entry, do at least two of the following and tell me you did so in a yet another separate comment:
Leave a comment at Suzanne's blog.
Add Suzanne as a friend on MySpace.
Become a fan of THE STOLEN ONE on Facebook.
Become a fan of Suzanne on GoodReads.
This contest is open to anyone with a shipping address in the US or Canada and will end on September 19th at 11:59 CST. Best of luck!
UPDATE: Suzanne is so excited about the response that she's donating a second signed copy and she will ship that one internationally! Just indicate "international" on your entry.