Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I think I may have mentioned that in July of 2011, Shadows on the Moon (my Cinderella re-telling set in Japan) will be released by Walker Books. Actually, it's safe to say that I may have mentioned it A LOT.

However, what I might not have mentioned quite so often is that at the same time, Walker Books will also be re-packaging and reissuing The Swan Kingdom, my very first book. I'm really ecstatic about this, because not only does it mean that Alexandra and her story will get a completely new chance to reach out to readers, but because it also means the book gets brand spanking new cover art.

Now, I LOVED my original UK paperback artwork, and a lot of people told me they loved it too. I mean, what's not to love?

I adore the striking colours - especially the midnight blue - and in real life it is sparkly. But when I compare it to the covers of YA books which are on the shelves now, following the Twilight Boom and the surge in photocovers, it looks a slightly 'young' for a book aimed at 12+. I've even seen, in my local library, a little sticker placed on the book to warn off readers under the age of 12, because it might be too scary for them, which argues that it was appealing to readers of 11 years old and younger.

On the other hand, I have to admit that when when I knew I was getting new artwork, I also felt a bit nervous, because...that first cover really does express the type of story TSK is so well. What if it all went wrong? What if they came up with something I really hated? I've been so lucky with covers so far.  Could this be where my luck ran out?

Thusly, when I recieved an email from my editor which had the words 'Swan Kingdom' and 'Cover' in the title, I had to take a few deep breaths before I opened it up. But I needn't have worried. Because what I found was this:

Will you think less of me if I admit that I did a little happy dance when I saw this? It takes all the things I loved about the original cover - the sense of magic, the organic forms, the nature imagery and most of all that luscious blue, and it turns them into something grown up and sophisticated. And what's more: SWANS!

Just as with the first cover, I know for 100% certain that if I saw that on a book in the shop, I would pick it up and read the back (which is half the battle). I'm so pleased! What do you guys think?

In other news, I've also now seen the cover for Shadows on the Moon - and I will be posting that on Friday for you. Stand by!


Alex Mullarky said...

can't waiiittttt

Zoë Marriott said...

I'll be doing a giveaway of this new version when it comes out next year (along with Shadows, of course!) but I think I'll keep a few copies myself, just to look at them...

Nattasha said...

Oh my gosh that is sooo pretty and I can't wait to see the cover for Shadows on the Moon :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you. I think the designer (the lovely Sophie) was going for a bit of a Shiver-esque vibe with the branches and I love it the effect. The Shadows cover is very different, but because they're going for a sort of matching look for my covers now, it still goes with this one really well. I can't wait to show it!

Nattasha said...

Oh Awesome, I think it pulls off that vibe really well.

Isabel said...

Hi Zoe!
Let me just say this. You have EXCELLENT luck with covers. If I ever get a book published, (which would be in a long time) that would be the cover i'd want. I don't care if my book didnt mention swans once.
Anyway, about that sticker thing warding off kids under twelve. Well, in my opinion, that's just stupid. I was ten when I read The Swan Kingdom, and I loved it. And I'm 11 now.
Well, I'm really excited about seeing the Shadow on the Moon cover!!!!!
And, by the way, thanks for putting into consideration my problem from last post.
: )

Zoë Marriott said...

Ha ha. I must have been really, really GOOD in a former life to get all these beautiful covers.

You know, I read 'The Song of the Lioness' Quartet by Tamora Pierce when I was *eight* and I loved it! There's all kinds of bloodshed (and even some boy/girl naughty bits) in that, and it didn't do me any harm at all. I can only imagine that sticker turned up as a result of a mum who peeked into her daughter's reading material and thought it was too grown up. No readers have ever complained to me!

I'm going to answer your question hopefully next week, Isabel, and thank YOU for asking something new. I always seem to get the same questions over and over, so it's nice to have a chance to answer something different.

Isabel said...

Hey Zoe,
Oh, yipee! I'm so glad you liked my question. And glad that you feel the same as me about how the age groups tagged onto a lot of YA books are kind of . . . well, I say ridiculous. I was reading YA in third grade (if not second. don't worry though, nothing too inappropriate, just sophisticated.) It seems like in a matter of decades, something like Magic Tree House could be tagged with middle grade. Or perhaps I'm exaggerating. Just me, of course.

sadie said...

I have read the all of the comments for this post and agree with Isabel on the fact that age groups tagged on to a lot of YA books are a bit absurd.

Our class visits the library every three weeks which is a great opportunity, but our teacher doesn't let us go to the YA section, and that is where most of the good books, in my opinion, and books of my reading level(your books included in both catigories) are. I understand that some people like different books than others and some people have simalar tastes. I am willing to try new books, but sometimes I want to sink into a nice, thick novel that is sophisticated, has interesting and somewhat challenging vocabulary, and plots that don't always have happy parts in them all the time.
p.s. I'm worried. is my comment too long? Did I spell everything correctly? Please let me know.

Zoë Marriott said...

No, your comment was not too long, Sadie - and you expressed yourself perfectly. It must be very frustrating to be kept out of the YA section. I know that by the time I was about nine or ten I was mostly reading YA, and when I was eleven/twelve I had moved onto the adult shelves. As far as I'm concerned people should always be allowed to read exactly what they want. It didn't do me any harm!

sadie said...

Thank you for responding. I'm glad you agree with me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...