The cover for my YA novel SCARS!

I just got the ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) for SCARS from my editor, Evelyn Fazio, at WestSide Books. I’m so excited!! I *love* the cover, the description on the back, the blurbs–I even love the paper it’s printed on, and the typeset. (laughing)

The ARCs are paperback, not the actual hardcover that comes out late March–but it is SUCH a good feeling to be able to see and hold my book in my hands–this book that means so much to me.

SCARS is a very important novel for me–although it’s greatly fictionalized, I’ve put in a lot of my own experience as a sexual abuse survivor, someone who used self-harm to cope with the abuse, and being lesbian, into the book. Those are also all things that aren’t talked about enough (though being lesbian has much greater social acceptance now), and they’re all very important to me to get out there. Self-harm, especially, isn’t talked about much, or often with compassion and understanding.

I think it always helps, no matter what we’ve been through, to know that we’re not alone. I sure needed to know that when I was remembering the abuse, and it definitely would have helped me to know that about cutting. So SCARS, I hope, will offer that for some people. For others, I’m hoping it’ll offer a bit of insight into what it’s like–and hopefully spark some compassion.

My editor and WestSide Books have been *amazing* with me for the entire process of getting SCARS published–including the cover. (I am so lucky to have them!)

I was hoping for a cover that would speak to people, and would be visually pleasing; I really think covers can turn people on or off a book. So I’m very excited about this cover. I also wanted the cover to be meaningful and tasteful, not sensationalized–and I think I got all that.

The cover means a lot to me on an emotional level, because that is *my* arm, scars and all, on the cover. Most of my scars are faded to white, now, but they’re still there. It’s my arm, my history. It makes the book feel even more like my story. But the cover is also important to me because it’s breaking the silence. To me, the cover shows the pain behind cutting–but it’s also shows that it’s okay to talk about, to get into the open.

Photo Credit: Emma-Lee, Stripped Media Photography

Emma-Lee of Stripped Media took a bunch of striking photos of my arm. I was lucky enough to have an open-minded, kind, and thoughtful editor, Evelyn Fazio, and publisher, WestSide Books, who liked the photos, and tested them with a bunch of YA librarians and booksellers. I am so glad they all liked them! This book, it means so much to me–and I think the cover really works. I think it’s powerful and tasteful at the same time.

I’m pretty sure authors don’t usually get a say in their covers at all, so I’m incredibly lucky and blessed. It’s been such a wonderful process with this book!

So–what do you think of the cover?

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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57 Responses to The cover for my YA novel SCARS!

  1. It’s so amazing, Cheryl, that you are sharing your life with people on such a deeply meaningful level. Yours can’t have been an easy road and by taking this brave step you are telling others that you understand. And that’s exactly what someone who picks up your book may need. Good for you. I’m proud of you.

  2. Thank you, Claudia. (smiling at you) I really appreciate what you said! It felt good to read. I know I needed books like this when I was a teen–and now, too–so I am hoping it’ll reach others.

  3. Cheryl, it’s awesome and disturbing and amazing. I can’t wait to read the book…

  4. Thank you so much, Bev. (smiling) I’m glad!

  5. Wow, Cheryl. I am so pleased for you that this book, SCARS, is coming out. As a sexual abuse survivor myself, I understand what it’s like to have the urge to self-harm. For me, the pain came out in the form of an eating disorder and a variety of other disorders. I am sure that writing SCAR was therapeutic for you; I know that writing Courage in Patience was, for me.
    Proud to know another Survivor recognizes the need to let young adults know they are not alone. 🙂 I will definitely pre-order your book.
    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience

  6. Annie says:

    😀 I plan to buy this book!
    Anyway, this reminds me alot of myself. I am currently writing a book called The Scar Collector, which is about a girl who is severely abused by her parents until the day they die and the struggles she has after their death. Though my book is mostly fiction alot of what happens in my book happened in real life.
    I applaud you for writing this!

  7. Beth, thank you so much for getting Scars! And for being open about being a survivor, too–here and in your book. That takes great courage! And yes, oh yes, it’s so important to let teens–and anyone who’s been through stuff–know they’re not alone. Your book sounds important.

    Annie, I’m glad you’ll read (and buy) Scars; thank you for telling me.

    Good for you to help break the silence by writing. That takes a lot of courage and strength. And I’m sorry for the abuse you went through.

    take care, cheryl

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