authorthoughts: jackie morse kessler & hunger

Today I’m pleased to share an interview with author Jackie Morse Kessler, who was kind enough to answer a few questions about Hunger’s amazing cover art.

Hint: she loves it as much as I do.

Did you have any expectations when you thought about what the cover for Hunger should look like? Were you able to provide any concept input?

Usually, authors have very little say when it comes to cover art. So I kept my fingers crossed for something wonderful. And Sammy delivered brilliantly!

What was your very first reaction when you saw the final design?

I believe my exact words were “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD — LOOK HOW FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!” (And recently, I saw the final version, complete with foil. And so along with the “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD — LOOK HOW FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!” was “OOOOOOOOOOOOOH, SHINY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)

My sentiments exactly. 😉 My favorite part of both the Hunger and Rage covers is that they evoke an air of danger and mystery, while paying homage to the symbolism of each of the horsemen. The color schemes of both are beautiful. What’s your favorite part of the cover(s)?

Yes! I agree — they shine darkly, both spotlighting the Horseman’s symbol and setting it in a potentially sinister cast. I’m looking at both covers now, and I can’t find one particular thing that is my favorite; for me, it’s how everything works together, from design to color to font, that weaves an incredible spell. I am so fortunate that Sammy was the cover artist!

As an author, what do you think is the most important message that a cover should relay? Should it be succinct to the novel’s message? Should it be pretty? Should it just catch someone’s attention, no matter what it looks like?

Ideally, I’d want the cover to accurately reflect something about the book—maybe depict a specific scene, or evoke a particular feeling. But ultimately, it comes down to “Is this a Pick Me Up And Hold Me cover?” (Happily, Sammy did it all for both the HUNGER and RAGE covers — the symbols are perfect, the feelings are spot on, and my God, they are gorgeous Pick Me Up And Hold Me covers.)

What are some of your favorite YA covers? What’s your definition of a good cover?

I’m a huge fan of Sammy’s work, including for Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins and Catherine Fisher. And I absolutely adore the cover treatments for Heather Brewer’s Chronicles of Vladimir Tod — that smiley face vampire icon is perfect, as is the heavily shadowed black and white image of Vlad. A good cover is one that makes you want to read the pages within. (And buy lots of copies!)

Any other comments you’d like to include on the cover/design of Hunger/Rage?

Sammy hit it out of the ballpark, and I’m so grateful that the Harcourt team hired him for HUNGER and RAGE.

Me, too, Jackie. ME TOO. Thanks so much for the interview! And tomorrow, you’ll be hearing from Sammy Yuen himself. Stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “authorthoughts: jackie morse kessler & hunger

  1. So thrilled that SHE’S thrilled with these covers. Because I think they are gorgeous! Definitely evoking the perfect vibe.

  2. Pingback: behind the design: sammy yuen & hunger |

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