Back in November, Editor Charlie e-mailed it to me without comment, then called later to ask my opinion. "I love it," I said. "Really?" he replied. "I don't." We then engaged in a charming round-robin discussion that went like, "Tell me what you don't like, I really respect your opinion," "No no, it's your book, if you like it that's fine with me," repeat in a loop for 15 minutes. We're a real comedy team.
Abrams used a similar treatment of the images on the back cover of the U.S./English edition. I really liked it there and I really liked it here.
Quick Behind-the-Scenes Story #1: in the first French cover design I was shown, the background was a much lighter shade of blue. The highlight on Mom's sweater was white, as in the original art, and I think her sweater was the darker blue-gray tone. It really didn't work in color; it looked like Mom was wearing a sporty ski sweater with a stripe down the sleeve. My only suggestion was to make the highlight a light blue-gray instead of white, and I think they then went ahead and switched the light and dark blue-grays so that the highlight became a shadow. That's fine by me.
Quick Behind-the-Scenes Story #2: Last I heard, the French publisher had rejected this cover and was going to go with one that looked very much like the profile of Mom used in the English and German editions. If they switched back to this one it's a surprise to me, but this is what's showing up on Amazon.fr and elsewhere so I guess that's it. Again, fine by me.
I hope to have some hard copies in my hands soon. It's a cool and vaguely unsettling experience to see my work translated into other languages. I've said before that writing a book feels a little like sending kids off to college, in that you don't really know how they're doing or who they're hanging around with when they escape your grasp. In this case, my kids moved to another country and returned speaking a language I don't understand.
Which is still fine by me.
A Follow-Up Comment on my Recent Book Reviews: I am informed by someone who knows and loves me very much that I am, as I feared, an enormous wheezing bag of hot gas.