featuring guest mystery authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FASHION WITH TESSA--WHAT THE WELL-DRESSED MOP DOLL IS WEARING

While the Olympics are going on in Sochi, Fashion Week has been in full swing in New York. And speaking of fashion and the Olympics, have you seen the Norwegian curling team’s uniforms? Quel fashion faux pas! 


 But I digress. We’re here today to discuss fashion of another sort—one that resulted in a mop doll travesty. Unless you’re new to reading this blog, you’re aware that Death by Killer Mop Doll was the second book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series. It was also the first book in which I, Tessa Lisbon, first appeared as the new fashion editor.

Lois Winston, the series author, Anastasia, and all the characters from the book (with the exception of Anastasia’s communist mother-in-law Lucille who doesn’t have a good word for anyone or anything) loved the cover of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series. We were all hoping for another great cover with the release of Death by Killer Mop Doll. We didn’t get it.

Although Lois had supplied photos of mop dolls she’d designed and from craft books she’d edited, the cover artist chose to ignore them. The mop doll he came up with was out of proportion, not constructed correctly, and had a goofy expression plastered on her face—not to mention a knitting needle through the head, reminiscent of the old Steve Martin arrow routine. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

But it got worse. The doll was also “naked” except for angel wings and a halo. Why? Because the cover artist had found lots of angel mop dolls online. However, the doll in the story is a Valentine’s Day doll. Lots of complaining got the angel wings and halo removed but none of the other problems resolved.

Fast forward a couple of years…Lois has received the print rights back to the first two books in the series, and both are now once again available as trade paperback editions.

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, it seemed a good time to introduce the new and improved cover for Death by Killer Mop Doll. How do you think it compares to the old cover (on the sidebar.) Which do you like better?

Death by Killer Mop Doll
Overdue bills and constant mother vs. mother-in-law battles at home are bad enough. But crafts editor Anastasia Pollack's stress level is maxed out when she and her fellow American Woman editors get roped into unpaid gigs for a revamped morning TV show. Before the glue is dry on Anastasia's mop dolls, morning TV turns crime drama when the studio is trashed and the producer is murdered. Former co-hosts Vince and Monica—sleazy D-list celebrities—stand out among a lengthy lineup of suspects, all furious over the show's new format. And Anastasia has no clue her snooping has landed her directly in the killer's unforgiving  spotlight.

Buy Links

26 comments:

Pat Browning said...

Love the new cover! Good luck with the new edition.

Bev Spicer said...

Hi Lois, I like your new cover, but would have loved to see the old one too. Any chance?

Susan Santangelo said...

Love the new book cover. Much better than the old one! Congratulations and hope you sell loads of books!

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thanks, Pat! I'm thrilled with the way it turned out.

Bev, the old cover is over on the left in the sidebar.

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thanks, Susan!

Robin Burcell said...

The new cover is great! But I remember the old cover, as I was unpacking the books from the boxes your publisher had sent over to give out at Left Coast Crime in 2012, and I remember liking it very well. Undoubtedly, one would have to be up on their mop doll couture to know that the mop doll on the old cover was not correct!

I think the biggest issue when it comes to covers on books we write, especially when the covers actually pertain to something described in the book, we have it pictured so distinctly in our heads as to what it should look like. Then, when the actual art comes out, we're thinking, "No way. Not even close!" (I found this to be particularly true for the one and only romance I ever wrote. The hero on that cover was *NOT* the hero I'd spent the last year with (creating).

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

So true, Robin. You'd have to know what a mop doll looked like to know that the one on the original cover was so wrong.

Most publishers ask authors for images and input regarding covers. Some even have forms to fill out where you describe the settings, characters, best scenes to use, etc. Yet so often no one seems to look at that information.

I know there are wonderful cover artists who strive to create what the author outlines. I'm not putting all cover artists down. It's just very frustrating when someone -- whether the artist, the editor, or marketing -- completely ignores the author's input and requests and produces a cover that's not quite right for the book.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

It looks great! Loved the post.

Morgan Mandel said...

The new one is prettier, but the old one was okay.

Sheila Boneham said...

Great new cover, Lois! As you know, I have also had many issues with covers, and had to fight to get what I wanted on all three Animals in Focus mysteries. They still aren't perfect, but they're a lot better than the original cartoon I was shown. Good for you on the new presentation!

Christine said...

Lois, I love the doll on your new cover! Seeing the dress makes her much more interesting--plus the voodoo look of the pin through the heart is spooky. I, too, had a different image for my book cover. As a fellow author, I wish we had more say in cover designs--after all, we're the ones who are presenting the books in public and asking readers to buy them.

Lois Winston said...

Thank you, Marilyn, Morgan and Sheila. Today is my birthday, and the only good thing about it is that everyone seems to like the new cover.

We're in the middle of a N'oreaster here in NJ. We've already gotten about 8-10" of snow (on top of the 41" so far this winter,) and it's supposed to continue until tomorrow morning, with more snow scheduled for Saturday. So I'm spending my birthday shoveling snow and hoping the power doesn't go out. :-(

Sandra de Helen said...

I love when the author gets to choose her own book cover design. I'm happy for you! And I appreciate knowing the difference between mop dolls. Plus, a knitting needle through the head? bah.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Christine. I agree whole-heartedly. Authors should have much more input in their covers. Now that so many of us are going indie, we have the control we never had when we were traditionally published.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Sandra. Yeah, that knitting needle through the head really turned me off.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

I love your comments about the "Steve Martin arrow in the head" thing. Yes, the new cover is cuter.

Dru's Cozy Report said...

Happy Birthday Lois.

Love the new cover.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Jane and Dru!

Gemma Juliana said...

Fun blog post, Lois. The new cover is very eye catching and "fun"! Best of success with your releases.

Terri Herman-Ponce said...

Good luck with the re-release and fun cover!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks so much, Gemma and Terri!

Calisa Rhose said...

My granddaughter has an angel doll with that same "constipated" facial expression. lol I love the new cover, especially the new font.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks so much, Calisa!

Haley Whitehall said...

I love the mop doll on the cover!
It sounds like a fun story. I can't wait to read it.

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Hope you enjoy it, Haley!

DirtyMartini said...

Good Luck with the reissue Lois, Anastasia, Killer, and whoever else...

Cheers,
Alan.