The cover for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray has one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs we’ve ever seen so we decided to ask Ms. Gray how she feels about it.
First of all, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories. A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
Here’s what the cover looks like:
Q&A with Claudia Gray!
First of all, congrats on all of the amazingly positive feedback on the cover! How does it feel to know that people have already made this the background image on their phones?
It is AMAZING to see the incredible response to this cover. Right away people started showing me that they’d made it their phone screen, or their desktop wallpaper, and lots of people have asked for posters. (I plan to have some made for my signings later in the year!) Never, ever did I dream that this many people would connect to this image so powerfully.
How involved were you in the cover design process? (Are there any fun facts or stories you can share?)
This was a tough cover to nail! (This is why the ARCs have no cover image.) We needed a design that would communicate the idea of “different worlds” — after all, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is about a girl chasing her father’s killer through alternate dimensions. But that’s not an easy concept to express visually. We went through many options, and Jen Klonsky and the whole Harper team were wonderful about listening and responding to my thoughts throughout the whole process. All of us wanted to reach the absolute best image possible for this book, and I think the designer rose to that challenge and then some. The result is truly outstanding. I wish I could send flowers to everyone involved!
What is your favorite part about this design?
My favorite things about this design are (1) the way it communicates a science fiction feel; (2) the different textures between both cities, which play into the roles those cities play in the story; and (3) the text treatment of the title. The image on its own is really beautiful, but somehow I think superimposing that text has an alchemical effect that takes the cover to a whole new level. My agent, Diana Fox, put it best, I think; she said that it makes it look like you’re gazing through some sort of portal — on the verge of voyaging to these places — which is perfect.
How does the cover relate back to the story?
The reason the cover needed to suggest “different worlds” is so that it tells potential readers about the voyage Marguerite is on. Her parents’ invention, the Firebird, allows her to travel to alternate dimensions — but she can only ever leap into other versions of herself. She has to look at each new world and discover how it works, and who she is there. While some of the universes are very like her own, others are radically different. What do you do when you wake up on another continent, being raised by a relative you hardly knew before? Or one where you desperately need to contact someone far away — but people are still traveling by wagon or train, and the fastest way to communicate is by writing a letter? She has to figure it all out, on her own and quickly, or the consequences could be disastrous.
Again: communicating any of this visually was super tough. But this cover not only shows two radically different worlds, but hints that they are reflections of one another. That fits beautifully with the way Marguerite keeps finding other versions of the people she knows in all these varied dimensions. It’s just such an ingenious concept.
(I keep feeling like I’m bragging when I say all this. That’s ridiculous because I had nothing to do with thinking this up! But I am just INSANELY PROUD AND HAPPY with the cover.)
Are there any hidden clues in this cover?
Hidden clues? Well, I think pretty much everyone recognizes St. Basil’s Cathedral and knows that city is Moscow. However, all the modern skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in Moscow are absent. Not a coincidence! Others might recognize that the top city is London, but that there are a few more buildings there than in our reality — and that they’re fairly high-tech and futuristic. Also not coincidence. But Marguerite’s adventures will eventually take her even farther …
What is one thing you can tell us about A Thousand Pieces of You that will make us want to read it even more than we already do?
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU isn’t just about cool scifi gadgets taking you to new cities all the time. On her journey, Marguerite has to confront all the different Marguerites she could be, and the complexity in the people around her. Can she trust one version of someone she loves if she discovers a world in which they’ve betrayed her? When she’s reeling with grief for her father, how does she handle encountering him in a world where he’s still alive? What does it mean when she finds another version of someone she hates, and then that person saves her? If she falls in love, does that mean she loves every possible person that guy could ever be, in any world, no matter what?
I think we all ask what’s innate within ourselves — our essential selves, the part that would always be the same — versus what’s the result of the way our lives have shaped us. Marguerite gets the chance to see some of the countless possibilities, to discover the truest, deepest identity within herself and the ones she loves.
With cool scifi gadgets.
A Thousand Pieces of You goes on sale November 4th! Pre-order a copy here ––>