Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cover talk with Jennifer Bosworth

Today I'm talking to Jennifer Bosworth author of STRUCK. I first started following Jenn on twitter when the writing group The Apocalypsies published a twitter list of all the writers. Last Thursday Jenn posted the cover for STRUCK which I absolutely loved and asked if she would be interested in talking about her cover.

Jennifer Bosworth was born with no idea who she was or how she got here, and had little choice but to make things up as she went along. At a young age, she learned to read and write, and decided that’s what she would do for the rest of her life. Many years later, Jenn and her husband moved to California, and she fell in love with the strange, eclectic, trying, and often wonderful city of Los Angeles. Then she wrote a book about what would happen if her beloved city were destroyed. That book is STRUCK, slated for release May 8, 2012 from FSG/MacMillan. Let’s hope the world is still around by then.

What was your first reaction to the cover?
Whoa. That was my reaction. I knew my publisher was going to give me a great cover, but I was still completely blown away. What struck me first (I’m never going to tire of that pun) was that the cover was a perfect representation of the actual content and tone of the book. I was amazed at how well the designer captured the whole world of STRUCK with a single image.

Did you see any other version?
I did see one other version, but it’s almost exactly the same as this one. My agent and I felt that the title font used on the first version of the cover was too sci-fi, so the designer changed it. Although STRUCK has some sci-fi elements, it isn’t strictly a sci-fi novel, so we felt the original title font didn’t represent the book accurately.

Normally authors don’t have input in cover designs. Were you included in the decisions of what the cover would look like?
To a certain extent. My husband has a design background and had done a couple of different mock covers for me that influenced the final design.I was also given the opportunity to weigh in on the model who was used for the cover.

STRUCK looks a little like a movie poster has there been any movie buzz yet and do you feel this will draw readers in?
There has been movie buzz, and I have to say, STRUCK would make an excellent movie. I have a background in screenwriting, and that came into play when I was writing STRUCK. It’s a very cinematic book, which is probably why the cover ended up seeming cinematic as well.

As far as the cinematic quality of the cover, I think it will draw readers in because it looks a bit different from a lot of the other covers that are out there right now. One of the most important things a cover can do for you is make you stand out.

The cover and your website front page have a similar look. Were they designed by the same person?
My husband designed the website front page (and will hopefully soon design the rest of the site for me!). Right now we’re working on the book trailer, which is going to be pretty groundbreaking. I can promise you that.

Do you feel they captured how Mia looks to you?
Oh, yes. You can’t see her face too well, but she’s all Mia Price in a conceptual sense. She’s fierce and a little sexy and, most of all, she longs to feed her addiction to lightning, and I think you get a sense of yearning from her posture and the way her face is turned up to greet the storm.

About the Book:

From Goodreads:

When Los Angeles is devastated by a catastrophic earthquake, seventeen-year-old human lightning rod, Mia Price, finds herself at the center of a power struggle between two fanatical doomsday cults, one that wants to save the world, and one that wants to destroy it... and she will be the deciding factor in which cult succeeds at their aim.

Is this a standalone book?
When STRUCK sold to FSG it was a standalone, but while I was working on revisions for my editor I wove in a few threads that could lead to a sequel. There’s plenty of story left to tell about the Struckiverse. Currently I’m working on a novel that has crossover elements with STRUCK. I wish I could tell you more about that one, because I’m so excited about it, but that will have to wait just a little longer . . .

Do we know who the bad guy is from the start or will we be guessing on who really wants what is best for Mia?
With some characters, like the blind prophet of the Followers of the Light, you’ll definitely know from the get go. With others . . . you won’t know until it’s too late.

In the Goodreads description Mia is called a lighting addict. Can you tell us more about that? Does she enjoy it or is it more that lightning can’t leave her alone?
Both. The lightning seeks Mia out, but she never feels more alive than when she’s struck. I did a lot of research on lightning, and it’s actually true that certain people attract it, and the more often they’re struck, the more likely they are to be struck again. It’s has to do with an energy exchange. In truth, lightning doesn’t strike an object unless that object “reaches out” with its energy to connect with lightning. This is how I came up with the concept of Mia’s character.

But, like any addiction, Mia’s longing for lightning comes at a price. Sometimes the lightning turns her hair to ash. Sometimes it stops her heart. And every time she’s struck, the lightning scars––actually called Lichtenberg figures––grow across her skin. This is a real phenomenon that sometimes happens to people who are struck by lightning. The figures actually look like red lightning on the skin. I like to incorporate as much natural phenomena as possible in the construction of my fantasy worlds.

I want to thank Jenn for taking time to talk about STRUCK. With such an amazing cover and description I will get this the moment it comes out. Remember STRUCK will be available May 8th 2012 so add it to your to-read list.

You can find Jennifer online at:!/JennBosworth (coming soon)


  1. Jenn, this is so interesting. Looking forward to your release.

  2. Very cool. It was good that she got some input. You're right, so few authors do.

  3. Excellent interview. I can't wait to read STRUCK!

  4. ooo sounds like a great book - what a fantastic concept!

  5. That cover for Struck is *really* eye-catching. I do love a badass looking character on a cover, that's for sure. The novel's premise definitely has me interested in picking up the novel. Although without context on the naked back picture I'd take "struck" to mean something else!

  6. WOW, what a cool cover! Loved the interview about the design of it and the book. Wish I didn't have to wait so long to read it. :)

  7. Love the concept for the book, the title is also my maiden name so any time I see that word-it immediately grabs me! There was an indie film I saw a few years ago called "Act of God" and it was all about people who had been "Struck" by lightning- it was scary and fascinating....

  8. Great interview! I love the cover and the idea for this book. I can't wait for the trailer to release so I can post it on my blog :)