Hello BKMRK visitors! I’m Alison Padley and I am the Art Director for Hodder Children’s Books, responsible for overseeing the overall quality of the design we produce as well as designing book covers myself. Today I’m here to tell you about the process of producing the cover for the paperback edition of Lydia Ruffles very special debut novel, The Taste of Blue Light.

I read The Taste of Blue Light overnight when it came in for submission, and I knew immediately not only that we had to publish it, but that I wanted to design it. It has so many visual messages within the text that it could take several directions, and I wanted to explore what kind of cover would most represent the book.

At one point I must have had about fifteen cover different ideas for this paperback edition but when I started to finesse these this one stood out as the most effective…

The snowdrop features again in this cover, as it did on the hardback, for a couple of reasons: it is a key visual element in the story as well as it being a motif for the school that Lux attends, and I liked the sense of hope and fresh starts that is associated with it. I really wanted to convey a feeling of being sucked in to things that are not quite clear – a feeling of chaos – as Lux is in the story; and whilst I wanted a cover that is attractive and beautiful to look at I also wanted an element reflecting that there is something slightly uncomfortable going on, which is why the snowdrops are growing out through the title lettering.

As The Taste of Blue Light is such a thought-provoking read, the feeling and atmosphere was the key thing for me and I think this cover really captures that. I am so pleased with the finished product, and I hope you like it too!