The Palomas and the Corbeaus are traveling circus performers…and major rivals. They’ve been feuding for a generation when a disaster brings Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau together, sparking a forbidden romance in a world of magic and danger. Anna-Marie McLemore’s debut, The Weight of Feathers, has been called The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet, but it’s definitely got a magic all its own. Here to tell you about how that magic got translated into this beautiful cover is the author herself.
A few years ago, I was in the woods with a photographer friend, wearing wire and fabric wings for a shoot. White and gold, and sheer enough for the sun to come through, they were as beautiful as they were difficult to hold up. As I straightened them on my back, I noticed a little girl watching me with as much wonder as if I was a magical creature who had come out of the trees.
For the next couple of months, remembering that moment kept bringing me back to a story my father had told me, about a mermaid show he saw when he was my age. Those two ideas grew into a story not only of two rival traveling shows, but of two enemy families, and a small-town disaster that brings out the worst in both of them. For those two families, magic is woven into both their most cherished traditions and their deepest fears. It keeps each family together, but also deepens a feud that’s gone on for a generation.
Lisa Pompilio, the cover designer, not only combined the feel of the ethereal with the sense of the realistic, she also incorporated so many details important to the story. I love how she depicts these two characters caught between worlds. They’re balanced in a place that feels precarious because of the feud between their families, but also safe because they’ve made it theirs. They never forget how far they can fall, but for a minute, they don’t care. They just hold onto each other.
I could not be happier with this cover! There were elements I hoped to see on the cover, but I had no idea how they could come together, and this beautiful depiction feels so true to the story and its characters. It captures both a world we know and the magic that haunts both these families. I’m so grateful to Lisa Pompilio and everyone at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press involved in bringing this book to life. I feel so lucky to get to work with a team who takes such care with this story.