Cover story

Kisscover

While I try to do my best making every book I’ve published, my next book, A Kiss Before You Go, is the most important one I’ve written — to me. It’s a recollection of the lovely years I spent with Patti and a journal of the months after she died, how Jack and I coped, how it changed and sharpened my view of the world. Because the subject is so dear to my heart, I have worked very hard to make every inch of it as perfect as I can, to fill it with the bright colors Patti loved, to be as scrupulously honest as I can be, to craft it to the highest standards I can muster and to drive my editor a little nuts by insisting on all sorts of things to make it perfect, from the exact dimensions of the book to the bleed trim on the inside of the cover.

The book itself has been in production for months and I am so happy with it; I have okayed the proofs of the pages and have now only to be patient until the first bound copy arrives in my hands. The part that is always the toughest on every book I’ve done — the cover – took months of experimentation and discussion. How to encapsulate this book in a single visual statement that would attract a casual browser and still evoke all of the richness within? And how to make the most of the fact that this is my first book with a dust jacket, making it feel even more real and special.  I made almost thirty different designs; I even dragged in Patti’s old friend Mick Haggerty, one of the great album cover designers of all times, to lob in his ideas.

Simultaneously, I worried over who would be the best person to write the cover blurb, the first review. I finally decided to ask our old pal Moby who loved Patti and who is the sort of sensitive artist whose endorsement would mean so much. He got the book and wrote, “I loved Danny’s wife Patti. And I love this honest, beautiful book.” That’s so simple and nice.

Last weekend, after I dismounted from my horse, I opened a FedEx package and out fell the first proof of the dust jacket. I wrapped it around a book and, for a minute, pretended I had just come across it in my local independent bookstore. One of my favorite features works perfectly —the dustjacket contains a lovely surprise that will only be experienced by people who buy the book. I do hope you like it.

The book will be out this winter — I’ll be talking about it a lot more in the interim. Meanwhile, here is a peek at some of the designs I considered for the cover.