Cover Crazy: FORGIVE MY FINS by Tera Lynn Childs and interview with Megan March/Relient-K

For two weeks, come celebrate mermaids, whether it’s winter or summer where you live. Splash into Summer runs from June 28th to July 12th. There will be author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, reviews, and more! Now is the time to celebrate mermaids, especially with so many new novels about them coming out.

Cover Crazy is hosted by The Book Worms. Each week, bloggers "admire the art and beauty of a book’s design, so I’m going to post minimal words. It is up to you to write how you feel and what you like about it the way you’d like to."

Why I Love This Cover:

This cover is fun and breezy, just like the story hiding within. The first thing I noticed when discovering the book upon its initial hardcover release in 2010 was her lips. The lip fetish trend going through YA at the moment hadn't hit yet. How could you not notice her blue lips? On a normal person, she'd look cold, but on a mermaid, it feels completely natural! What kind of magical air is she blowing out of her lips? I like that lips are the focal point of this cover because the novel is centered around a mermaid who accidentally kisses a human she dislikes. While this wouldn't be a problem in any other mermaid novel, it is in Tera Lynn Childs' world because the first time a mermaid (or merman) kisses someone, s/he becomes bonded and now has a mer-mate. Imagine being mated to someone you didn't like...especially when you think you're in love with someone else!

I like that the hair and eyeshadow colors complement the lips, while the title has a color all its own that makes it pop. I also like the fact that the cover model has freckles! I don't recall if main character Lily had freckles or not in the first book, but I remember seeing mention of them in the second book. It made me happy, since cover models don't always match the image the author has given the corresponding characters.

And now, a special treat for fellow Splash Team members, mermaid lovers following Splash into Summer, and every bookworm who just likes a pretty cover!

Designer Megan March, whose online persona is Relient-K, has stopped by Splash into Summer to share how this fun cover came about!

Stop by Megan's online art gallery to see more of what this girl can do!

I was so excited to stumble across your artwork on DeviantArt and realize that it later became the cover for FORGIVE MY FINS. Did HarperCollins contact you to use the image, or how did it come about?

Well, I received a message on DeviantArt from Amy Ryan, who is the Associate Art Director for HarperCollins Children's Books. She said she'd come across my artwork and loved it. She wanted to know if I would be willing to sell a license to her for to use the image on a book cover she was working on. I was kind of skeptical at first, thinking it was either some sort of joke or a hoax, but everything checked out and so I started getting everything together to make the image for them.

What was your reaction to hearing that your artwork would be on a book sold at stores across the country?

I was really excited. I hadn't really had any major recognition for my artwork until that point, so to have something on a book that would be sold around the country was really big. Plus I was really impressed by Amy Ryan's resumé, so for her to be so impressed by my work was huge.

Did you make any changes to your artwork after connecting with HarperCollins, or did they make all the changes after that (Such as the removal of the lighting, etc.)?

I created the image for HarperCollins from scratch. I got the original base image of the girl from the photographer, who sold the rights to her photo to the publishers, and basically tried to replicate the image I had originally created. Since it had been a few years since I'd created that original image, I no longer had the original PSD file, so I had to start over completely. I wasn't able to get the rights to the light texture in time, so I had to leave it off.

After I sent the image to HarperCollins, they made their own edits to the image such as removing the texture I'd laid over it, as well as removing a different light texture I'd made myself. They then added different colouring (such as the green in the hair and the blue wisps coming from her mouth) and some sparkles and such. I was initially disappointed that they'd made so many changes, but the version that came out in print sort of grew on me...

Was FORGIVE MY FINS the first time your art was featured as a book cover? Will you have any other artwork featured in the future or start freelancing cover design?

Yes. I don't think I'd ever had my artwork displayed anywhere before, other than at school. I don't think I'll have any other artwork featured in the future, unless something shows up. I am currently in the process of finding a job in the publishing industry, because I hope to one day start doing actual illustration work, not just book covers. My one big dream is to someday write and illustrate children's books.

What are your favorite things to create? How long have you been making art? Is this what you do (or will do) for a living?

I've really gotten into making icons and banners for LiveJournal recently. I've been playing around with colouring and texures a lot recently. I'm also doing a bit of sketching here and there, but not as much as I used to.

I've been making art ever since I could pick up a pen/pencil/paintbrush/marker/[insert art medium here]. I was always creating things when I was growing up, dabbling in painting and clay and all that kind of stuff that kids usually do. I would fill notebooks with all my little drawings in pen and marker. I even wrote a few little stories and illustrated them myself.
I actually got my degree in Art, with my primary emphasis being in drawing, and my secondary being in graphic design. I definitely hope to make a career out of making art!

What are some of your favorite creations?

My senior year of college, I made a piece of artwork using tar paper to fulfill an assignment given to me by my drawing professor. I wound up cutting out the silhouette of a tree and its root system and then sewing it to a white piece of paper with gold thread. It turned out looking really good, even though I gave myself blisters trying to sew the darn thing, and I was going absolutely mental the whole two weeks I was working on it.

I also really enjoyed a project that I worked on for another drawing class, where I had to pick a number of books and draw book covers for them. The ones I wound up liking the most were my covers for Shakespeare's MACBETH, THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the epic poem BEOWULF. They were done in India ink on watercolour paper, and I think the contrast of the black and white is really striking.

***With the conclusion to Splash into Summer almost upon us, look forward to the review of FINS ARE FOREVER that I've been promising you later this week!!!***


  1. Oh, yes I agree, this cover is awesome. I love the blue lips, especially fitting for a mermaid novel. I've very excited I'm able to get this book through the digital library. :-)

    I like the informative piece of how the cover artwork was designed and selected. An added bonus!

  2. @Gina: Isn't this cover fun? And it just SCREAMS mermaid! I grabbed the first time I ever saw it! I can't wait to hear what you think after you get to read this! I loved hearing how this cover came about, too :)

    @Bookish Brunette: Isn't it pretttttty? I love how the second cover still matches despite having a different initial designer!

  3. Blue colour is odd ..But it is making curious to read the book

  4. This interview was so cool! I love seeing the behind the scenes process. How exciting to be contacted by a publisher like that!


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