This past summer, Mary E. Pearson released the first book in the Remnant Chronicles, The Kiss of Deception. This YA fantasy features a princess attempting to escape the life chosen for her, though she quickly learns how impossible it is to outrun your own destiny. At the time, Pearson shared with us the seven traits she felt were most important in a heroine. Now, we have the pleasure of giving you an exclusive first look at the cover for the second installment in the series, The Heart of Betrayal:
Dark, bold, and dramatic—this cover has us imagining all of the trouble Lia, Rafe, and Kaden will get into now that they’re trapped in the barbarian kingdom of Venda. While we sadly have to wait until July 7, 2015 to travel back to that world, we did have the opportunity to ask Pearson for a bit more information about the series and the cover.
Bookish: You have a BFA in illustration. Does your art background come into play when it comes to cover design or do you keep those two worlds separate?
Mary E. Pearson: My visual brain is always working, both when I’m writing scenes in the book and when I suggest possible images to the designer that might work for a cover. That part of me is impossible to turn off. But I never know for sure which direction the designer will go and I eagerly await cover designs just like everyone else.
Bookish: Your Pinterest boards show the thought that you put into the creation of this world and these characters. You told Swoon Reads that your first book cover (David v. God) didn’t match the image in your head. How are the covers for The Remnant Chronicles shaping up to your imagination?
MP: One thing I think that’s important for both authors and readers to remember is that the cover will never entirely match the images you conjure in your own head—which is as it should be. A description of “long dark hair” to one reader is going to look very different to another reader. The cover is only one interpretation of what’s inside, and whatever the reader imagines from reading the text is the right image. What I look for more than anything in a cover is an energy and feeling that is true to the story. Both of these covers hit the nail on the head for me—from Lia’s bold stance, to the stormy clouds, to a crumbling city, to the sense that a journey is about to begin. And the graphics? Oh my goodness, I still swoon over them.
Bookish: The first book is titled The Kiss of Deception and this second is The Heart of Betrayal. There’s a clear connection between romance and deceit. In the first book, Lia, Rafe, and Kaden all hide their true identities. Do the lies begin to unravel in the second book or do the webs merely grow more intricate?
MP: A lot of both. We’re talking survival here! And there are complications in the form of a dangerous new character. While some lies are revealed, new ones must be spun to even greater heights.
Bookish: The Kiss of Deception’s cover had a few ominous elements, though The Heart of Betrayal is noticeably darker. Is that a good indicator of the direction the series is taking?
MP: The setting in Venda for The Heart of Betrayal is decidedly more grim, Lia’s situation more dire, and the circumstances escalating. I don’t think of it as a darker direction so much as the stakes have grown higher, and Lia is facing even greater obstacles.
Bookish: Lia also looks different. On the first cover she’s wearing flowers and dressed in white. On this next cover, she’s wearing in a dramatic red dress. What does that symbolize about her development in this next book?
MP: The red dress was the designer’s idea, but I was thrilled to see it. I think it can symbolize so many things. For one thing, Lia stands out in this new world! It’s impossible for the people of Venda not to take notice of her—for many reasons. Two, I think the red can symbolize Lia’s growth from anonymous tavern maid to a young woman making bold and dangerous choices. Third and fourth, I can’t reveal to you because it would be too spoilerish! But I think the designer’s choice of a red dress was perfect.
Bookish: If you had to pick one word to describe each Remnant cover, what would those two words be?
MP: Oh that’s a tough one! About a hundred words come to mind—especially for this wordy writer—but for The Kiss of Deception, journey, and for The Heart of Betrayal, jeopardy.
Mary E. Pearson is the author of six previous novels for teens, including The Adoration of Jenna Fox, The Fox Inheritance, and The Miles Between. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.