Monday, March 2, 2009

On The Outside: Siobhan Vivian

Siobhan Vivian is the author of the previous release, A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE, and the released today novel, SAME DIFFERENCE. You can visit Siobhan at


When I first sat down with my editor to discuss a possible cover for SAME DIFFERENCE, I really didn't have much in the way of ideas. I was still in the process of finishing the manuscript, and the whole thing felt very dizzying and unclear. Honestly, I was stalled.

My editor pitched this concept - a photo shoot of a girl painting on a canvas. You wouldn't see the girl's real face, only her self-portrait.

I understood what he was going for. After all, SAME DIFFERENCE is about a girl in a summer art program. But it became clear to me in that moment that art actually plays a very small part in the story. And I was afraid that putting a painting on the cover would mislead what my book was truly about - a girl figuring out exactly who she was, and divorcing that person from what others thought or expected her to be.

So I promptly went on Getty Images and did some looking around at the stock photos. When I saw the picture that is now the cover, I nearly SQUEED with glee. First off, the girl was PERFECTLY Emily - pretty, but not in a conventional way. Like Ellen Paige from Juno. I also loved the action of her walking through the glass doors, emerging from somewhere, pushing past her reflection in the glass. It was visually so arresting.

I sent that picture over to Scholastic and everyone loved it. My cover was born, and through the process of selecting the image, I had renewed clarity of what I wanted my book to be. I used that fuel and charged through to the end of the draft. Viola!


Thanks Siobhan!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!


  1. The book sounds interesting, and i cant wait to check it out.
    Oh yea i love the cover.

  2. I love this cover! And it's pretty neat to find out how it came to be what it is. Thanks for sharing this with us, Siobhan!

  3. Definitely a cool story. It's great that Siobhan had such a big say in the cover design. I totally's a great cover! :)

  4. That is such a cool story, usually authors don't have much say in the covers of their books. And it's a great picture.

  5. It is a cool cover. I like it. And its make the story sounds even coller!!!

  6. I love the fact that they used the picture she selected - which is a rare, rare thing in this industry, due to availability, rights, so many things - Congrats, Siobhan!
    Everyone, you MUST read Same Difference as well as Siobhan's first book, A Little Friendly Advice. NOW.


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