The fifth novel in my Murder-by-Month series hits bookshelves September 2009. The book, set at the Minnesota State Fair, was originally titled September Mourn. I loved this title so much that I worked Neil Diamond into the plot. Unfortunately, my publisher discovered another mystery already has that title. Neil Diamond stayed, but the title went, replaced by September Grace.
Not catchy enough, said my publisher, offering up September Fair instead. Nothing was ever going to be as good as the original, so I said fine, grateful to have a publisher who even asks for my input on such things.
Then I saw the cover mock-up.
Midnight Ink has rightfully won awards for their cover art, ranging from the beautiful to the eerie to the complex. With August Moon, I talked them into a streamlined cover more in keeping with the comic mystery genre. They agreed and stuck with that theme for September Fair, for which I was again grateful. But that color. The background was described to me as "butter." I would call it "light nausea." Your thoughts?
And what about that bloody tiara? It was originally an old-fashioned bottle of milk with a blue ribbon draped over it, but since Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, gets murdered while her head is being carved out of butter in Chapter 1, the bloodied crown seemed more fitting. Other thoughts for what could occupy that space instead, or is the tiara compelling to you?
p.s. My cousin just emailed me to say that you can buy a used copy of the as-yet-unreleased September Fair through Amazon.com for $1000. I will sell you the manuscript fresh off my laptop for half that. :)