Guest post by Stephanie Lawton

As a writer, one of the coolest things about getting published is seeing your characters brought to life on the book’s cover. I mean, these imaginary people are in your head for months, years even, talking to you, yelling at you, whispering their story. And then BAM! They’re writhing around on a piano looking all tortured and real.

I was so blessed to work with Najla Qamber,  who designed the stunning cover for Want. (She does all the amazing covers for Inkspell Publishing.) Honestly, I still stare at it every day. There may also be some heavy petting involved …

Anyway, many of the elements are obvious. Julianne has flaming red hair that’s both a blessing and a curse; she plays the piano like a boss and there’s sheet music faded into the background; and she attends a disastrous Mardi Gras ball near the end of the book—hence the mask in her hand.

But there are a few more subtle symbols on the cover, as well. Those who have read my short story “Aftertaste,” (available for free at Inkspell) may have an easier time identifying them. Isaac’s dream provides major clues. (Scandal!)

For instance, there’s a reason Juli’s wrapped up in white. There’s also a reason she looks all angsty on red velvet that resembles … something else.

And finally, there’s a detail that Naj worked in and it’s so hard to see on a computer screen, but it’s there. I can’t reveal it now because of spoilers, but you’ll want to look closely at Juli herself after you finish reading Want. It’s a major part of her story, but like the thing itself, it’s hidden very well and only those who pay attention—who are plugged in and care enough about her—see what’s been in plain sight for far too long.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I need to stare lovingly at the blown-up poster of the cover that my husband got me for my birthday.

Author Bio

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things Gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature.

She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.

Connect With Stephanie

Blog: http://stephanielawton.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Lawton-author/192796874113180

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Steph_Lawton

Pre-order Want: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/4/post/2012/02/want-by-stephanie-lawton.html