I'm beyond excited to share the cover for the first book in my debut series, Clara Poole and the Long Way Round (Publishing July 4, 2023, Pixel+Ink). Like everything in publishing, getting to this cover was a journey itself. After a somewhat bruising experience with my first illustrator, I was ecstatic when celebrated children's illustrator Matt Rockefeller signed on to save the day. And did he! Those who read middle grade fiction have, no doubt, many of his covers on your shelves: The Midnight Children, The Miraculous, and The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, among a few (and hopefully soon this one). I'm still gobsmacked about how Matt interpreted the balloons for this cover which are as much characters in this story as any of the people. What's even more exciting is that I get to work with Matt again for the next book in the series Clara Poole and the Wrong Way Up (Summer 2024).
Here are Matt's thoughts on approaching this cover:
"For the art, I wanted to convey the epic sense of adventure that pulses through the book, but also a bit of the danger and peril involved in piloting one of these strange balloons. I love to include environmental details that allude to other aspects of the story as well, and in this instance the lightning streaking across the sky was the perfect way to hint at one of Clara’s foundational experiences." - Matt Rockefeller
And here it is...
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