THE PARIS HOURS – cover reveal!

It’s been an awfully long time since I posted here, but I’m thrilled to post the cover of my new novel, THE PARIS HOURS, which will be published next May by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan.

THE PARIS HOURS will be the seventh novel I’ve published. Each book has come into the world with its own unique set of challenges, quiet satisfactions, and toe-curling embarrassments, but some things never change. One of these constants is the overwhelming anxiety that descends when my inbox chimes and I see an email from my editor titled simply cover.

The cover of a book is important. I mean, super-important. A beautiful, arresting image can inspire excitement within the publishing house; it can attract the attention of booksellers and generate buzz pre-publication – and, of course, it can tempt book buyers into picking the book up as it sits on bookshop tables and shelves. A lot rests on the cover, in other words. But as an author, there’s something more profound at stake than just marketing and sales. As I open that email and the cursor hovers over the jpeg attachment, a more elemental question skewers me: did they get it? When a cover captures something essential in the book, the writer feels seen and understood. And that feels wonderful.

My new publishers sent me a whole questionnaire about the cover. They wanted to know what covers of recently published books I liked, and why. I was asked to provide a commentary on the jacket designs of my previous novels. Did I have any thoughts about the new book? (Oh, did I have thoughts.) I labored over my answers, but everything I wanted could be boiled down into one simple, if desperate, request: please don’t put the Eiffel Tower on the cover.

I should explain. The novel is set in Paris in 1927, and takes place over the course of a single day. I went to school in the northern suburbs of Paris when I was thirteen, and a decade later I lived and worked in the center of the city as an attorney in a large international law firm. But even though I know the place quite well, it’s difficult to write about it without tumbling into crowd-pleasing cliché. People are already so familiar with the city’s landmarks that it can be a challenge to present a fresh perspective on all that beauty. I did my best, but still I worried that all my efforts would be in vain if the world’s most recognizable architectural structure appeared on the cover of the book.

Anyway, as you can see, it doesn’t.

I love everything about this cover. The green is quite gorgeous. I adore the sinuously curving staircase, the interplay of dark and light. I love the fabulous slash of orange on the right side of the image. I love the (literal) interiority of the thing. In other words: they got it. I’m thrilled to share it with you, and I hope you like it. Drop me a line in the comments and tell me what you think.

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Comments 3

  1. Hi Alex, looks great, looking forward to reading it.
    Really good to see your mum & dad (& sisters) a couple of weeks ago.

    All the best,

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