Happy Tuesday!! Before you know it, we will be celebrating the end of another year, but before we do, I am excited to host this post where fellow readers will select the new cover for Lona Manning’s Mansfield Park Variation, A Contrary Wind.
I loved and reviewed A Contrary Wind a few months ago, after rereading and falling in love with Mansfield Park. I highly recommend reading both books! I also hosted an excerpt from the book and I launched a five-day “duel” between Fanny Price and Mary Crawford. I also posted a review for David Shapard’s annotated edition of Mansfield Park and collected articles from all over the Internet that helped me find new insights to connect with and love Mansfield Park. Let’s just say I had plenty of reasons to reexamine Mansfield Park through these experiences!
Therefore, today it is my absolute pleasure to host this reader’s choice cover vote for Lona Manning’s Mansfield Park Variation, A Contrary Wind.
Hi Claudine and thanks for letting me drop by JustJane1813 to share the fun I’ve been having, working with Tim Barber of Dissect Designs https://www.dissectdesigns.com/ on a new cover for my debut novel!
I published A Contrary Wind last January and so many interesting things have happened since then, especially the invitation to contribute to the anthology Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Rogues. As a new author, I knew that I had a lot to learn about writing, publishing and marketing. I had made my own book cover but I do know this is a job better left to a professional. But I wasn’t sure how the process worked, or how to communicate my thoughts. Turned out, I needn’t have worried.
A Contrary Wind is about Fanny Price’s journey of self-discovery after she runs away from Mansfield Park. Yes, there is romance and the Edmund Bertram-Mary Crawford-Fanny Price triangle, but the book is also my homage to Jane Austen’s world and her writing. So I didn’t want my book cover to emphasize romance and happy-ever-afters, but the personal journey of the individual. (But plenty of romance and more twists and surprises are coming up in the sequel, A Marriage of Attachment!).
So here are two different book covers I’d like to get your feedback about.
The “classic” cover.
I grew up reading the Penguin editions of Jane Austen, so when I think of Jane Austen, I think of a Penguin book cover and I wanted to emulate that look for A Contrary Wind. They always featured a detail from a classical painting and the title simply set in an orange box. And a penguin, of course.
When I saw the painter Louis-Léopold Boilly’s portrait of Madame Fouller, I fell in love with the expression on her face. She looks calm and gentle, but yet—look at that stubborn little chin and those strong eyebrows and the intelligent expression in her eyes. I knew that I had found the face of my Fanny Price. And although it is an attractive face, she is not a raving beauty. Remember that Mary Crawford said of Fanny “I have always thought her pretty–not strikingly pretty–but ‘pretty enough,’ as people say; a sort of beauty that grows on one.”
I asked Tim to incorporate the portrait in his new design. He understood that I was looking for a classic, straightforward look. He freed Madame Fouler from the canvas and set her against a subtle, rich brocade background. I like the clean, elegant lines of this book cover and I love the way her head pops out of the cover and overlaps the title!
Second cover: The “windy” cover.
Tim and I were talking about the finishing touches for the cover. I asked him add a little compass rose to the bottom of the spine as a reference to the “wind” in A Contrary Wind.
And that got me thinking—what a minute, the name of the book is “A Contrary Wind” and there is nothing about this cover that suggests motion, or wind. Should there be something about wind?
The title is taken from a remark by Henry Crawford, who wished that a steady contrary wind had kept the father, Sir Thomas Bertram, at sea and out of his way while he seductively flirts with Maria and Julia. One of the variations in my book is that Sir Thomas, does not arrive home in time to stop the dress rehearsal of the risqué play that the young people are putting on, with shocking consequences. Also, the phrase suggests the hardships that Fanny has to overcome in her quest to become her own person and find happiness.
This second cover illustrates that thought beautifully. There is an elegant white brocade background. The wind sweeps across the cover and your eye is drawn to the little birds flying away, just like Fanny. I think this cover promises to take you on a journey. There is movement and mystery.
Thanks again Claudine, and I’d like to invite everyone to please vote for your favourite cover, and/or enter a comment. Everyone who comments before December 23rd will be entered into a draw to win your choice of an e-book or a paperback of A Contrary Wind with its new cover.
Follow my author page at Amazon or Goodreads or at my website, www.lonamanning.ca or my Facebook page, “A Contrary Wind,” for further updates about the sequel, A Marriage of Attachment.
Tim Barber’s website is www.DissectDesigns.com.
Thanks for sharing this background about your new cover. I can’t wait to share the winning choice with my readers!!
Here’s the link to the Google Form where you can help Lona Manning by casting your vote: Reader’s Choice for Lona Manning’s “A Contrary Wind.”
Want to read more about the story? Here’s the book description:
Fanny Price, niece to Sir Thomas Bertram of Mansfield Park, is an intelligent but timid girl from a poor family, who is grateful for the advantages of education and breeding conferred upon her as result of growing up with her wealthier cousins.
But the cruelty of her Aunt Norris, together with a broken heart, compel Fanny to run away from Mansfield Park and find employment as a governess.
Far away from everything she ever knew and the one man she loves, will Fanny grow in fortitude and independence? Will a new suitor help her to forget? Or will a reckless decision threaten to destroy her own life and the lives of those she holds most dear?
This variation of Jane Austen’s novel includes all the familiar characters from Mansfield Park, as well as some new acquaintances. Note to readers: There are some mature scenes and situations not suitable for all readers.
It’s Giveaway Time!
Lona Manning is offering an international giveaway to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please vote on this cover and leave a comment on the post below no later than December 27, 2017. The winner can select an eBook or a paperback copy of this book with the new cover that is selected by my readers. So thrilling!!
Thank you to Lona Manning for helping me fall in love with Mansfield Park and for writing a variation that is so engaging. I can’t wait to see the new cover and read the sequel to this book too!
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