Monday, September 28, 2009

Cover Uncovered… and the Judgment

Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue prints are different

No matter what people say, a potential reader does judge a book by its cover, and I think this is especially so with kids. Unsurprisingly, people have done studies on the subject  - Do Children Judge a Book by its Cover, and found that as children grow older, they have definite opinions regarding color, detail, proportion, and space. The study concluded that males prefer bright colors, less detail, and deep space in cover illustrations while females prefer illustrations with more detail. So you want a cover that attracts a readers attention and gets them to flip open the book.
So needless to say I waited in great anticipation as the team at Simon and Schuster did their magic. During the process, I was tremendously appreciative of the fact that both my editor and the art director kept me in the loop on who they had chosen as the artist – the fabulous Yan Nascimbene, and showed me the first cuts. In order to make sure that the cover is accurate to Afghan culture and the look and feel of the subject matter, I made some comments, which were incorporated into the final design. In the end, I feel, it’s truly a collaborative effort. And here it is...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jumping In...

A square piece of paper cannot be folded in half more than 7 times

I remember the huge sense of accomplishment I felt when I finished reading my first book – It was a tiny thing, 5 pages with colorful illustrations, simple words in large font. I think it was about a cat or a bunny… something small and furry… but the pride I felt as I reached the last page was all encompassing. Learning to read is like being inducted into a secret society – once your admitted, and a card carrying member (library card of course!) you're allowed to access endless reams of ‘secret’ information.
Like all those before me I soon found out what a gift reading is – it opened the doors into a world of possibilities, of knowledge and understanding. Of knowing what I didn’t know, and searching for answers if I didn't.  Now, as a writer, I feel the responsibility on the other opposite end– of creating stories that not only entrance, emotionally connect, but also leave a parting nugget of knowledge newly acquired…

So, here I am, jumping into the deep end of the blogging pool, with my nose closed and eyes wide open. I hope to post at least a couple times a week on reading, writing, sometimes eating, interesting conversations, happenstances, travelling and acquiring knowledge, in all its forms.