Author Jen Nadol Reveals Her Cover Story

The Mark (The Mark, #1)

The Mark (The Mark #1)

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

How much effort do you think is put into perfecting the cover of a novel? Why do you think so much effort is made? Jen Nadol tells us all about the covers of her books.

1. Let me start by saying that the cover is beyond beautiful. Really pretty and definitely an eye-catcher. Did you have this cover in mind from the start? Or was it something else?

 Thank you!  But I have to preface all my answers here by saying I had nothing to do with the creation of the cover.  As is usually the case, the publisher designed it and though they showed it to me along the way, I wasn’t part of the creative process at all.  Which is probably a good thing since I had no idea what the cover should look like!  My best guess would have been something like the Twilight or Wake series covers, with a single object against a dark background…but I had no clue what kind of object would be fitting.

2. Describe your cover in 4 words. The first four words that pop into your head when you see this cover. 

Glow, purple, flower, wish

3. Okay, so i’m guessing thats Cassandra on the cover blowing the dandelions. Why dandelions? Any special meaning behind it.

  I think the dandelions work on a few levels.  There are many times in the story that Cassie would like to wish away her ability so I think the photo and tagline “If you had the power to see death, would you wish it away?” speak to that, but also the deeper question of whether you’d wish the actual death away.  Would you change the course of events if you could?  Another question Cassie faces in the story.  I also think of the blowing seeds as the consequences of the choices we make – each seed lands somewhere, starting a new chain of events. 

4. Truthfully, i mean it, what was your first reaction when they placed your finished copy of the book (cover and all) in your hand? I know i would pretty much be in heaven and jumping with joy.

  It was definitely thrilling…and scary!  It becomes very real at that moment that this book is going to be on shelves and people might actually read it.  It took me a LONG time – almost a year and a half – to read the finished copy.  Of course, I’d gone through the story many, many times during edits and copy edits, but when you have the final, finished book, there is truly no going back.  I was afraid to read and find mistakes or things I wish I’d done differently, but was vastly relieved when I finally did re-read, to find that I was still really happy with the story!

5. If you could, in anyway, change your book cover what would you do with it?

  This is a funny question because my book cover has actually changed a few times already.  The first version had to be changed because another YA book coming out two weeks before mine used the same stock photo.  So, they re-did it and came up with the one currently out.  However, it’s changing again for the August paperback release to match the cover for the sequel, The Vision which comes out in September.  So, honestly?  I’m still kind of spinning with all of these versions so much that I can’t really imagine ANOTHER change!

View themarkpp...jpg in slide show   View themarkco...jpg in slide show   View themarkne...jpg in slide show

6. Finally, this is a non-cover related question. What can readers expect from your book?

Even thoughThe Mark is categorized as a paranormal book, it’s really more of a contemporary/coming-of-age story.  There’s a little romance, a little philosophy, Cassie’s extraordinary ability, but it’s all in the context of Cassie trying to figure out herself and her purpose, something we all go through, regardless of what kind of abilities we have or don’t.   It’s a better fit for people who like Lisa McMann’s or Stephen King’s early books – contemporary with a paranormal element – than fans of heavy fantasy/world-building/paranormal creatures.


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