But first.....the cover!
A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV's Teen Mom.
People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.
Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.
A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?
The design process:
Courtesy of Ray Shappell, Designer
Alison Impey, Art Director
Ray said: “My design process always starts with reading the manuscript and bookmarking anything from the story that I think could be helpful in the design, along with anything that pops into my mind while reading.
Next, I continue to gather visuals related to the story. My searches start off quite literal. In this case, I searched for Cupid and his depiction in art history, the Teen Mom TV show, and dance/ballet visuals. After I have the imagery, I try to figure out how to best combine and/or connect them.
Luckily for this cover, a Cupid character comes with his own visual language of love and arrows. And love = hearts (obviously). After some initial cover ideas, my art director and I were leaning toward images of girls and heart-shaped balloons. But not long after a heart-shaped balloon and cupid’s arrow appeared in my design did I desperately want to combine those images into one concept. I knew that I now wanted to depict the moment when Aaryn has an “Epic fail,” and then searched for deflated heart-shaped balloons until discovering this perfect image.
After adding a hand-drawn illustration of the arrow for a human element, and the addition of my new favorite typeface—Aeneas (look at those R's!)—I was really excited for this. I love the simplicity of the cover. It's beautiful and broken at the same time. (Just like the story.)”
GENIUS. A cover so perfect and simple and sumptuous I have it set as my cellphone background. (Because let’s be honest, that means I get to see it about a hundred times a day.)
Ray managed to capture the story of ARROWS in a completely original way. This cover has my heart!
Enter to win “Beauty and the Book”: One lucky entry (US and Canada residents only, please) will receive an ARC of ARROWS when available, along with a nail-art kit Melissa created to commemorate the cover. (She’s modeling the kit here!)
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MELISSA GORZELANCZYK is a young adult author who believes love is everything. A dreamer for life, Melissa has been writing books since she was nine years old when she penned her first story about a beloved black horse. She is a member of the SCBWI and The Sweet Sixteens. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and two teenage children, one of whom is named after a Greek goddess.
Author photo by Mark Anderson