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About six to nine months before every book is published by HarperCollins/Avon they have a Cover Conference that includes all the big muckety mucks (sales, art, editorial) who talk about upcoming books. Authors are asked to provide information about the books: plot, location, appearance of main characters, time frame, dress, important milestones, that sort of thing. I’ve got approval over some cover items built into my contracts, but I always defer to the Art Department. Those people are brilliant and can do their jobs without my input.

For the Cover Conference of the new book (To Bed the Bride) I told them that it was the first time I’d ever written a dog into a book. He just popped into my mind and refused to go away, much like any other character. Bruce was part border collie, part whatever. The Art Director is a big dog lover and asked if anyone at the Cover Conference had a dog they’d like to feature on the cover. My editor remembered Flash and called me. Could I provide the Art Director with pictures of Flash? I did.

I can’t show you the whole cover yet because we’re still tweaking colors, but I have posted the dog part of the cover. He doesn’t look much like Flash (but he does look like Bruce.) I still like to think that the picture memorializes Flash in a way.

Wasn’t it lovely of them to do that?