A few posts back, I posted the cover for my forthcoming novel, The Stolen Crown (March 2010), and someone asked me the name of the cover designer. I posted it in the comments, and I was delighted to hear from the designer herself, Cathleen Elliott at FlyLeafDesign. It seemed a shame to have Cathleen's remarks about the cover design process get buried in the comments, so with her permission, I'm reproducing them here:
There is an early scene where Kate sees the secret marriage taking place. She is given a gold chain to keep quiet. This image spoke to me most in the way that the gold chain is there and it is also wrapped around her neck like it is silencing her. She is tugging on it. Which I think is symbolic.
The apple is really just the whole forbidden fruit thing. It's a general feeling about these forbidden marriages. The way she is holding it is seductive and secretive. The apple (figuratively speaking) is the moment when man was driven out of the garden and there was a separation between God and Man. Not that this is a religious reference but here it symbolizes the division between the houses York and Lancaster.
There is also the scene with the apple. Susan, I thought you chose the apple in that scene because there were talks of leaving Kate. That he should just say "She seduced him"
As for the dress it can be so hard to get everything just perfect in one image. This dress is slightly more modern but the feel and the symbolism were right on. The dress is close but mostly serves as a beautiful backdrop.
Yes, I do read the books I work on. It's one of the best pleasures of my job! Lucky me! :-)
There is nothing that makes me happier than a happy author and readers. You all made my day. Truly.
I've posted the cover again, so you can see what Cathleen's talking about without having to go to the sidebar. Thanks again, Cathleen!
EDIT: I'm stopping by to add that the series design work for my three Sourcebooks covers--i.e., typography and the overall layout--was done by Kimberly Glyder at Kimberly Glyder Design (who has a blog here and a website here). Here they are so you can see all three of 'em side by side and note the common elements: