Cover art twins: The Silk Romance and Her Father’s Daughter
Imagine you are sitting on a train quietly minding your own business, and you look up and there across the aisle is your real and actual twin. There she is, staring back at you – the same as you, only weirdly very slightly different. How would you react? Amazed? Horrified? Actually a little annoyed? There should only be one of you, right? (Unless you do have a real identical twin that you know about, of course. In which case I’m guessing you’d be happy to see her :) )
Well, that very same thing happened to me. Well, maybe not my actual twin, but I came across the twin of my fictional heroine, Sophie Challoner, from my novel The Silk Romance.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year I was at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in Sheffield. I met lots of other romance writers and had a great time getting out from behind my laptop and talking to real people (not just my imaginary friends).
One of the people I met this year was the lovely Cathy Mansell, author of Her Father’s Daughter and Shadow Across the Liffey. I took Cathy’s business cards home with me, and as I sat on the train from Sheffield rooting through all my spoils I realised…Cathy and I have the same heroine!
Take a look – cover art twins. Separated at birth!
After I got over my surprise, to be honest with you, I wasn’t really too shocked by this. It’s a fact of authors’ lives now, with so many novels available digitally, that occasionally you will find the same images cropping up. Cover designers like to use free stock images, or else purchase a licence for a database of images, and it’s inevitable that from time to time images will be duplicated. In fact, it’s such a common phenomenon these days that ‘cover art twins’ is a genuine term to cover it.
I was curious, though, to find out why our cover designers chose this very same image to represent our heroines and used it to produce intriguingly different covers.
Sarah Nolan, the heroine of Her Father’s Daughter, is an Irish girl from the 1950s. My heroine, Sophie Challoner, is a half-French/half-English girl living in London in the present day. Cathy will be writing a post for my blog on her heroine and the birth of her cover, and how it turned out as it did. I’m intrigued by this, and can’t wait to hear from her.
In the meantime, this is how the cover of The Silk Romance was realised.
My novel is published by MuseItUp Publishing in Canada, and I was fortunate to have the wonderful Charlotte Volnek as cover designer. Charlotte asked me what I’d like portrayed on my cover, and I thought featuring the heroine would give readers a good idea of what to expect from the novel. It’s difficult to encapsulate everything there is to say about a novel in a thumbnail cover, but I think Charlotte achieved great results.
Here was my brief for the heroine’s character: Sophie Challoner is a student living with her father and brother on a rundown estate in London. Since Sophie’s French mother died, her father has been suffering from severe depression. He lost his business, and now Sophie supports the family. Sophie is a romantic girl, forced to curb her own dreams in order to provide for her household. Circumstances have made her hard-working and sensible, but one night, on her eighteenth birthday at a ball in Paris, she rebels against fate and does something reckless and out of character. It’s a highly romantic night she won’t forget, and one that will come back to haunt her.
I wanted the cover to reflect Sophie’s personality and also to reflect the romance of the setting. Sophie takes up a short placement in a silk mill in Lyon. I asked the designer to reflect the glamour and feel of silk in the artwork. I think Charlotte did a tremendous job, and when I posted the cover on Facebook earlier this year I was inundated with comments.
One difference you might notice between my cover and Cathy’s is that I asked Charlotte to Photoshop the heroine in order to make her eyes a deep blue, and also to redden her lips. These physical characteristics are described in the book, and so it was important to me that the cover reflected this.
If you’d like to find out more about The Silk Romance, please click here for the blurb, etc.
And if you want to check out Cathy Mansell’s Her Father’s Daughter, click here to view on Amazon. As I mentioned, Cathy will be coming to my blog some time to talk about her heroine and how she felt when she discovered her cover art twin. I’m excited to hear from her!
So, how do you feel about cover art twins? And if you’ve read The Silk Romance, do you feel the cover reflects the heroine accurately? And finally, which cover do you prefer, and why? (Don’t be afraid to answer honestly!) If you have any questions or comments on the subject of cover art twins, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!