A Sneak Peek . . .

One of the most exciting moments for me as an author is when I first get to see the cover design for my newest novel. There have been some that I have loved, some that were so-so, and a few that I’ve really disliked. My publisher asks for my input and ideas, of course, but I never know what the final outcome will be. It’s up to the design team to choose an image and a “look” that best fits the characters, the story, the novel’s tone, and its theme. Not an easy thing to do! How do you capture the essence of a complex, 400-page novel with multiple characters and story lines in a single, compelling picture?

They say “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but I’m not sure that’s true. I find myself doing it all the time. Some covers are so off-putting for a variety of reasons, that I’m not even tempted to read the back-cover copy to see what the book is about. Other covers look like books I’ve seen a hundred times before, making me wonder if the story is also one I’ve read a hundred times before. But then there are those very special covers that are so arresting that I want to turn to the first page of the book and start reading as quickly as I can. That’s the kind of cover I always want for my books!

Well, I may be slightly biased, but I think the design team at Tyndale House did an extraordinary job with the cover for my newest novel, “Chasing Shadows.” The book will be released next June, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek, just for you . . .

What do you think? Do you spot any clues that tell you what the book is about, or when and where it takes place? The windmill and flat landscape will probably tell you the novel’s setting. And the three airplanes flying in formation across a stormy sky offer a hint of when it takes place. But what I love the most about this cover is the sense of movement and tension it portrays. This young woman looks like she has been on the move, and now something off to the side has captured her attention. She seems alert and perhaps a little uneasy, yet determined to push down on that pedal and continue her journey. I want to know her story, don’t you?

If you guessed that the novel is set in the Netherlands during World War II, you’re right. The young woman’s name is Ans DeVries, and when the Nazis invade and occupy her nation, her life will change drastically. Along with Ans, there are two other extraordinary women of faith and courage in this story, Lena and Miriam, who also will be forced to make life-and-death decisions. I won’t give away any more of the plot, for now, but you can read a preview of it on the final pages of my last novel, “If I Were You.”

In the meantime, I would love to hear your opinion of the cover of “Chasing Shadows”—and of book covers in general. Are there things you like seeing on the cover—the main character’s face, for instance? Or would you rather that her appearance be left to your imagination? Are there elements of a cover design that make you want to read the book? And anything that makes you decide to pass? I would love to know what you think about the saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

8 comments

  1. Dear Lynn,

    Just a note to let you know I love the cover of your new book, it’s beautiful!
    And very realistic too, I can tell by experience, because I’m a Dutch fan of yours!
    The landscape and everything you can see on the cover is just how it must have looked like when my late grandmother was a young woman, growing up on a farm somewhere in the Netherlands. I can’t wait untill your book will be translated in Dutch!

    Thank you, dear Lynn, for sharing your gift with the world. It is always such a joy and a journey for me to read one of your books!

    I just finished reading Eve’s Daughters. I think I read it for the fifth time, the first time I read it was in 2006. Until now, that’s my absolute favorite book of all times!

    God bless, and with much love,

    Annemarie Pieterman
    The Netherlands

  2. So I have never been a fiction fan, and yet my mentor kept telling me to try your books. And I love them! I am currently on my seventh book of yours. “Waves of Mercy” is my favorite, as I’m a western Michigan girl with Dutch roots, and I learned so much about God and the history around me. That being said, I have always seen fiction books in church libraries and the like and been turned off by covers that contain people and particularly faces. I felt all the books I had seen growing up with faces could be lumped together and considered them “not classy” looking for lack of a better term. So in contrast, your cover for “Fly Away” is great – it is more generic so that people have to ask what the book is about rather than see a cover that fits the bill of a lot of girly books shall we say, and they don’t give it another thought. I’m just speaking from the point of view of a girl who didn’t give these books another thought until my mentor kept telling me to. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading, no matter what they look like, I just enjoy a beautiful cover like yourself.

  3. Lynn the cover is perfect! Everything! The blond dutch lady, her clothes, the bicycle, the windmill, farm, field, airplanes in the background. The lovely lady also looks like she’s determining her next move.
    I’m halfway through the book and think it should be made into a movie.

  4. Hi Lynn! I’m a new fan, as I just finished reading Waves of Mercy and Legacy of Mercy. I have had Waves of Mercy on my shelf for years, passed on from my sister. The past few years have been hard (for all of us), with political division and COVID. I lost both my parents and my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Ive always been an avid reader, but as I began fighting stress, anxiety, and depression, I turned more to reading. Historical, Christian fiction is my favorite genre and has helped me to cope. It not only distracts me from my troubles, but more importantly has such valuable lessons on faith and trust. I believe I came across your book at exactly the time I needed it most and that was no accident. Thank you for your work and I look forward to reading many more!
    PS – I agree with you on the cover of books. A cover that pulls me in, makes me want to become a part of it, is what makes me pick it up for further inspection.

  5. Chasing shadows is one of the best books I have read. I could relate to the characters. And I pray I can exhibit their faith each day.

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