Going Gypsy and the Story of its Cover (you may judge the book by it)!

Risking shameless self-promotion, we bring you this story of how the cover to our book GOING GYPSY came to be.

Going Gypsy is now available!

We’ll talk about that in a minute, but first I want to tell you the story about the cover.

A few days after we heard from Skyhorse Publishing that they wanted to publish our book, we were still (and still are) pinching ourselves as we boarded a plane to Europe. It was pretty much all I could think worry about.

An idea for our book cover popped into my head as I was “sleeping” 30,000 feet above the Arctic (quotes are used as I was on a plane and real sleep isn’t possible). You know how the drill:

Trying to "sleep" on an airplane
Reenactment: In reality I was wedged in a middle seat, not luxuriously sprawled as these photos depict!

Excited that my thought-tumbling/worrying had worked in my favor for a change, I grabbed what was available — a cocktail napkin and a Sharpie — and painstakingly drew a stick-figure rendition of what had been knocking around in my jangled head.

Excited, I woke David (who was also “sleeping” and in no mood for my shenanigans) and presented my masterpiece:

Napkin Drawing for the book cover of Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All
New career as a stick artist, perhaps?

David’s response?

“It looks like I’m flipping you off.”

Followed by, “Don’t you ever show that to anyone.

I sulked, stuffed it in my backpack, and went back to “sleep.”

Fast-forward a fortnight and we’re in NYC to spend the holidays with The Spawn.

While there, we visited Skyhorse’s Manhattan offices for the first time. In the skyscraper’s elevator — jet-lagged out of our brains — we were giddy with the surrealness of it all. Prior to this meeting, everything had been handled via e-mail and, though we had already formed a good working relationship with our editor, the fabulous Jenny Pierson, we had never met face-to-face.

Jenny greeted us at the elevator, led us to her office, and, after some getting-to-know-you-in-person niceties, she asked us if we had thought about the book’s cover.

I could feel David shooting darts at me as I said, “Actually, yes.”

Whipping my fantastically awful doodle from where it had been getting crumpled in my backpack, I could see David scanning the room and looking for the nearest exit out of the corner of my eye.

Poor guy, this was not how he had envisioned our first meeting with our editor — at all. We were (still are) in that we-can’t-believe-we’re-actually-going-to-have-our-book-published phase, and was it too much to ask his cowriter not to act like a doofus? Magical thinking at its finest.

Visions of Jenny bolting out of her office whilst screaming danced through his head.

Instead, she asked to keep it. I was convinced she actually liked it and was pretty proud of myself as an artist. It’s kind of Picassoesque, right? My delusions of grandeur were flowing like water down a river of whimsy.

By the next morning, David had me convinced that Jenny had shown it around the office and it was destined to become Skyhorse’s latest viral e-mail joke (not that Jenny — or anyone else — at Skyhorse would actually do that, but we were paranoid enough to think it, nonetheless).

Thankfully, minutes later, we received this from Jenny:

You made my designer friend’s day today when I told her I wanted her to make the cover look like “this” and showed her the napkin. We love it.

She may have saved my marriage of thirty-one years with that little note.

We booked a photo shoot immediately (huge thanks to über-photographer Nick Coleman for spending Christmas Eve shooting us and for picking up on the concept right away — I had left the now-infamous napkin with Jenny and couldn’t redraw it in its proper glory for the life of me).

In order to get the correct angle for the shot, the incredibly nimble Nick needed to climb to the top of a twenty-foot ladder and wedge himself up against the ceiling of his studio. This made it easy for me to come up with the look of fear needed on my end — I was petrified Nick was going to fall off the ladder and meet his demise!

A few months later, while we were in Costa Rica, we received this from Skyhorse:

Book cover for Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All
HUGE thanks to Brian Peterson for making my doodle a reality. You rock, sir!

You should have seen us happy dancing around like idiots in our hotel room! We LOVED it!

But, wait, there’s more!

Three months later, as we were visiting family in the States, we received yet another surprise from Skyhorse – we had no idea this was coming!

We are so honored that the incredibly talented Danielle Ceccolini agreed to lend her original work to our book jacket – look what she created for us:

Book Cover for Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure frome Empty Nest to No Nest at All!
Share our happiness and

I, no we, feel beyond blessed that someone of Ms. Ceccolini’s caliber could take our goofy little sleep-deprived, airplane-napkin doodle and turn it into an incredible work of art!

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Want to know more about Going Gypsy?
Click here!

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Also available as an audiobook from Audible.com

Add Going Gypsy to your GoodReads!

Warm, funny, clever, and inspiring... Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All - http://goinggypsybook.com #GoingGypsy

YOUR TURN: Could life be any grander? Could we be any goofier? Do you love our cover as much as we do?

Did you enjoy what you just read? Then you'll LOVE our book!
Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Going Gypsy One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All 

- See how it all began!
ORDER NOW - Wherever Books Are Sold!
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - IndieBound - Books-a-Million
Also available as an audiobook from Audible.com

68 thoughts on “Going Gypsy and the Story of its Cover (you may judge the book by it)!”

  1. Congratulations on your book AND 31 years of marriage 🙂 Love the photos of you sleeping (or trying) to sleep on the plane. I’ve had strangers readjust my head because they were afraid I was going to break my neck 😉

  2. I’ll throw in my 2 cents and repeat what the other comments have said. Congratulations and I’m looking forward to reading your book! The cover is terrific and promises a lot of laughs (and from reading your blog, I know it will deliver some guffaws!)

  3. Congratulations on your book! The cover is hilarious and great it was your own concept. Looking forward to reading it as I can relate so much to your mid-life musings!

  4. Congratulations on your published book. Your doodled idea is great. I have just one question about the cover – how did your empty nest get to look so tidy? My empty nest would look a bit more saggy and worn out!

  5. The photographer really did a great job of “translating” your doodle. We’ll give David a pass on this one for lacking the imagination to see your doodle (um, vision) for it’s graphic potential. In any case, congrats on the book! When will an ereader version be available? (We downsized. No more hardback books 🙁 Just refrigerator magnets).

  6. Congratulations! And as a former art director who worked in advertising for 20+ years, I got a particularly relevant chuckle out of the ‘client layout’ that you provided to the editor….shades of my former life, only this time, unlike many of my clients, your idea was GOOD!

  7. Such a thrill to be a published author! Your napkin sketch is priceless!.Too funny! But the real cover is even better! Looking forward to reading the entire thing. Mazel tov!

  8. As you’d most probably know, I’m a great believer in doodly sketches to convey your inner most thoughts… or book covers for that matter!
    Isn’t it amazing how a few stick figures can be so expressive ~
    Love it 🙂

  9. I have already pre-ordered my copy!
    My husband and I will be leaving our nest in November to travel as well. We are buying a larger camper and going everywhere we want to go, even those places that we didn’t even know we wanted to go to. You are my inspiration and I can not wait for my book!

  10. Your cover Rocks! Simple, easy to read, uncomplicated graphics that tell a great “action” story…did I mention I was a graphic designer for 30 years? Kudos to your “people.”

    When it’s out, I’d like to review it for adventuress-travel-magazine.com. E-mail me at editor@adventuress-travel-magazine if you’re interested.

    Meanwhile, GO GYPSIES!

  11. Cannot WAIT to get a copy of your book. Randy and I are so excited for you both. HUGE congrats to you!!

  12. WOW!!!! Congratulations Veronica & David! That is my “dream come true” to become published! You both are “living the dream!” I am envious, but on the same note, you both give me HOPE! I also am an “empty-nester,” however, I’ve been divorced now for a decade. I’ve recently met a terrific guy who is widowed, and he is everything that I wanted for the next guy that I allowed into my life. I am Blessed! I ALWAYS think about just picking up & taking off, just like you and David! My what an exciting life you two are living! You both are my inspiration. I enjoy reading all about your adventures & hope to one day do the same….who knows ….perhaps we’ll actually meet up one day!!! Again….Congratulations on your Book….I cannot wait to read it…….

    1. Wow Deborah! You sure know how to make a GypsyNester feel proud – an inspiration – wow! We’re so happy that you’ve found happiness and that you shared it with us. Best to you – and maybe someday soon we’ll be running on the same road! -Veronica

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