You would think that designing the cover for a book would be the easiest part of the entire novel process. You would be frustratingly mistaken.
How does one try to sum up a 200 page story with just one image? Well, lemme tell ya. It ain’t easy. I knew what I wanted. I just couldn’t put into words what it was. I looked over countless images and other book covers to get me inspired, but nothing jumped out at me.
Sure, I could just put two scantily-clad buff men on the cover and call it day, but that wasn’t me and it certainly wasn’t anything to do with what was written inside. I wanted something that people would recognize and would bring up a certain feeling when they saw it.
I bounced ideas off of my friend and collaborator John Goode. He helped me immensely and if I don’t give some credit, I’ll never hear the end of it. Believe me.
(These are jokes, people. Don’t worry.)
Anyhoozles, I knew that my main character, Robbie, was living in a “fractured fairy tale” of sorts and I needed to convey that on the cover.
A broken glass slipper, a cracked lamp or even a magical, wilting rose.
I sent these ideas with a brief description of A Way Back to Then to my publisher’s art department. Bless your heart, Paul, for all your patience. He sent me back beautiful designs, but my eyes always returned to one.
With minor adjustments here and there, Paul created the book cover that I’m proud to have my name on. Beauty & the Beast has always been my favorite movie that Disney has put out, and it was important to me to pay homage to it on my first novel.
The fragile red rose underneath the bell jar that mustn’t be touched. Unfortunately, in my story, the protective glass has been cracked and a little band-aid is all that’s holding it together with the fear that it could shatter at any moment.
Snarky yet good-hearted Robbie DeCaro made his first appearance in the pages of Tales from Foster High: End of the Innocence, years after the loss of his first and only love. A New York transplant, Robbie now decides that his work is done in the town of Foster, and the time has come for him to leave Texas.
Returning to his childhood home on Long Island, Robbie reunites with his family members. Each using their own unique methods, they try in vain to help Robbie reset to a life he knew before he left it all for the fairy-tale love he found, then tragically lost.
As he remembers some of the darkest moments from his past, Robbie wonders if he’ll ever find the “after” in “happily ever after.”
About the Author: Robert Halliwell hails from the mysterious land of Ronkonkoma in the Island of Long and grew up dreaming of the day the dark, handsome Mediterranean Prince of his dreams would whisk him away from the boring life he was accustomed to to a land far, far away…from his mother. A magical place full of roller skates and rainbows called Xanadu. Unfortunately, that never happened, but was instead whisked away to the dark kingdom of Westchester County and the “prince” turned out to be a very pale country bumpkin from Schenectady. Yes, it’s a real place. When he’s not spending the day writing, Robert can be found at home taking care of his four-legged children, Kira, Carter & Willow and viewing unhealthy amounts of QVC much to the dismay of his husband, Kevin.
Robert is still waiting for Lynda Carter to sign the adoption papers he sent her in 1998.