The 3 Faces of Isadora

April 30, 2008

One of the most-asked questions of a writer: Where do you get your ideas?

I rarely know; my novels are stitched together with bits and pieces like a crazy quilt. By the time I finish, the inciting idea has morphed and changed so much that it’s virtually disappeared into the fabric of the story.

Not so Isadora. She appeared full-fledged before me, demanded her story be told and refused to morph. I don’t recall why I was paging through an ancient book about Boston, but I came across this illustration:

And…voila! Isadora was born. I knew she was miserable and smart and repressed, and had a fine story to tell. When I finished writing The Charm School, I sent a copy of this portrait to the publisher because in their art questionnaire, they wanted to know what the main character looked like. >>sound of art director howling with laughter<<

Here is Isadora in the illustrator’s imagination, along with a toothsome Ryan. It’s a before-and-after Extreme Makeover. Also note the butterfly, mentioned in yesterday’s post. It’s visible through the die-cut window.


And finally, in stores now, is the 2008 Isadora. She’s looking very fit indeed, Ryan is as flamboyant as ever, and I kind of like that their facees are left up to the imagination.

 What about you? Which cover do you prefer?

  • I really like the new cover. Maybe it’s time to upgrade my cover. I found the book used around the time the Chicago Fire trilogy came out. That’s around the time where I bought every book I could from anywhere I could. I know I bought The Horsemaster’s Daughter new and every book after that point. Anyway, I do really like the new cover and I like how the characters faces are hid for imagination. I like that it’s on the beach, too, with the ship in the background. I feel that matches the idea of the book more than the step back from the first cover.

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