Heat, Logan’s Run, and More Things That Inspired the Cover to Solstice

When I first saw the new cover for Solstice, I tried to place exactly what it was that worked so well for me. Sure, there are a million young adult book covers out there, and I like some more than others. But with the cover for Solstice, there was something special. Something that really drew me in.

It took me a while to figure out what it was, but after staring at it for hours and hours on end, it dawned on me.

This cover was me!

Like somehow the artist crept into my brain and picked out all the things I loved, and managed to get them all on the cover. Score! I just won the cover lottery!

With this in mind, I’m going to share four things that inspired the cover for Solstice (or at least inspired the words inside Solstice which then inspired the cover for Solstice).


The new cover revealed for Solstice, by P.J. Hoover

1) Logan’s Run

Raise your hand if you’re a Logan’s Run fan. Yes, me, too! Ever since I saw the movie a million years ago, I fell in love with the idea of cities under domes. It never really dawned on me until (a) I wrote a trilogy for kids about cities under domes, and then (b) I wrote Solstice which also has a city under domes. Domes rock! It’s the whole idea of a city closed off to everyone else that drew me in, because inside that dome, anything could happen.

(Just to warn you, there is no Carrousel in Solstice, but worry not! Plenty of people are still heading to the Underworld.)


2) The Heat Blast of 2011

If you suffered summer 2011 anywhere close to Austin, Texas, then you might remember this. It was brutally hot, with temperatures above 100 degrees like 365 days out of the summer. If there was ever an apocalypse coming from extreme heat, then we had all the signs last summer. Sweat dripped off me just by looking out the window. And forget about getting in the car after parking it outside. 

I adore how the cover for Solstice has captured this blistering heat, from the reflection of the sun off the domes to the bits of sunlight surrounding Piper (that girl on the front cover). I also adore seeing the Austin skyline there, beneath the domes.


3) The Sci-Fi Thing

I admit I’m a huge science fiction fan. But even at that, I never set out to write a science fiction book when I wrote Solstice. It was more just a story about this girl, Piper, and the really hot world she lived in. But I guess when you put your character in a futuristic world and make every day one hundred and twenty degrees, science fiction is what you get.

I adore how the cover for Solstice screams “science fiction” without feeling hard and gritty. Because, yeah, I love science fiction, but not in that hard, gritty kind of way.


The new cover revealed for Solstice, by P.J. Hoover

4) Lara Croft

Ever since I started taking kung fu, I’ve been trying to channel my inner Lara Croft, from wearing tank tops to learning how to kick some serious booty. So, of course, this translated to my main character, Piper. I love the whole Lara Croft look that Piper has. If I wasn’t me—like maybe if I was born the daughter of a billionaire, never got married, never had kids—then I would be Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. I’d ride my motorcycle on the Great Wall of China. I’d raid tombs. And I’d look seriously awesome while doing it.


Now that we’ve talked a bit about the cover, how about I mention what the book is about?

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. For more information, please visit her website at www.pjhoover.com .


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