Book Report

The final cover! My novel will be published on June 3rd.

To say I was on the verge of tears when I saw the first draft of the cover for Sommaren på Nornö would be a  complete understatement. I wanted to bawl, sob, weep–so reduced was I to a blubbering sack of JOY! Given the multilayered themes in the novel, I wasn’t sure what element Norstedts would choose to highlight. Instead, the super-talented artist Emma Graves went for a mood, that summer feeling in the Stockholm archipelago when the sun begins to set and the sky is bathed in a rose-gold glow, eventually vanishing below the horizon to make way for the violet-gray night. This fleeting time of year is a character unto itself and the blanket of lavender flowers in the foreground flawlessly evokes the season’s natural beauty. I definitely think shades of purple will be my motif in the visual profile supporting this book. I may even stick to an all-purple wardrobe if I do events haha!

We tweaked the cover a few times before reaching the final image that best represented Zoë Holmgren, the eighteen-year-old girl whose narrative alternates with that of her mother, Linn. Thankfully, Norstedts recognized the importance of authentically depicting Zoë’s biracial traits: her textured, curly hair, tan skin tone and curvy physique. Here are the three previous drafts:

The fact of the matter is things seem so much more real once an author sees the cover of their book, which is usually completed before revisions are even finalized. This gave me extra motivation to dig deeper into the soul of the characters and what I genuinely wanted to convey, no holding back. The manuscript returned from the Swedish translator last week and I’m so excited to read her interpretation of my words and tone. However, she is such a pro and has translated many best-selling authors, including Josie Silver, E.L. James, Paula Hawkins, Jennifer Weiner, Ruth Druart and Mike Gayle, so I have faith she captured the spirit of little ol’ me as well!

I recently participated in a virtual sales conference where Norstedts presented their releases for Summer 2021. I was given a publication date of June 3rd, perfect timing for vacation season. My hope is that people will want to read Sommaren på Nornö while they’re sunbathing at the beach, lounging in deck chairs, or catching some rays on the dock. It was interesting to hear the other writers talk about their upcoming titles and to pitch my own work, giving me a glimpse of the business side of publishing. Sommaren på Nornö is now listed on Adlibris and Bokus–another thrill–and I love the back cover copy. In addition to all of this, I took some new author photos. It was so much fun getting glammed up to look laid-back and casual!

Photos by Hugo Thambert.

I also received a summary of the communications plan surrounding publication and it was very professional, on point, and a bit nerve-wracking! As the oldest publishing house in Sweden, Norstedts’ literary and cultural bona fides run deep. I am so grateful to be one of their writers, but upon reading the document a few words made me stop and think, namely “critics,” “cultural editors,” “review copies,” and “book bloggers.”

This is what I keep telling myself, but it’s more like a fifth child!

After a year of being in my writing bubble, it suddenly dawned on me that Sommaren på Nornö will soon be going out into the world and at that point, every word, all of my thoughts, ideas and contemplations about Zoë, Linn and the fictional world of Nornö will be open for analysis and commentary. This is certainly a daunting thought (!), but I’m also very curious to see how the book will be received. Until then, I’ll probably have to undergo some kind of therapy beforehand…

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