We all get tired of the same old look, don’t we?
Imagine how books must feel – wearing the same cover, day in, day out – on every occasion and to every event.
If it’s true what they say that we all judge a book by its cover, then surely we should give our books a wardrobe tweak every now and then. (Although, it’d be hypocritical of me to say that book covers are the first thing that grab my eye about a book. I don’t belong to the school of thought that places more attention on a cover image than on the story itself. For me, if the title is compelling, then I’ll read the blurb and make a decision from that. I know that’s not the trend, but it’s my way.)
Anyway … I decided to give Lacey’s Law a new look. Well, it’s kind of an old look with a fresher feel.
I loved it, because it meant something to me as the writer. But, I guess it was a case of ‘you had to be there – in my head’ to appreciate it.
I wasn’t aiming for attention-grabbing, but I did feel it represented the overall theme well enough to get readers to read the blurb.
Then, I won a competition to get a new cover. Great, you might think. A chance to try out the other line of thinking without any cost to me.
Hmm, well, yes. It was. But … I could only choose from a handful of pre-made covers and so had to make my story fit someone else’s image.
“It’ll be worth it,” they said. “Having a professionally designed cover will have a major impact.”
Very different, don’t you think.
Even a new tagline – Beware the fury of a patient woman.
So, I made the change and waited.
But, something felt wrong.
While ‘the fury of a patient woman’ did fit the story, it didn’t represent the growth of my character. Instead, Lacey came across as vindictive and unlikable. In fact, she’s not like that at all. Yes, she was angry, and wanted revenge – but life threw her an ironic twist. One that changed everything. Which is the point of the story. Her need to defend her family (at first, her parents) soon became a need to protect her future family. So, that’s why I’m taking her back to her roots.
The tree is back, as is the original tagline.
It has a softer, less cut-throat, feel about it – one I hope better reflects her growth and validates her as a woman whose emotional reactions are forced to adapt.
In effect, Lacey grows up properly (and yes, she’s already in her forties when the story starts, but she hadn’t really been challenged as an adult before.) It’s a story about friendships and relationships; about trust and betrayal; about dealing with obstacles and – ultimately – “adulting”.
I once called this story ‘an eye for an eye meets happy ever after’, and I think it still fits rather well.