I am within hours--or for me, days--of finishing the first draft of my current manuscript. The title and cover have been set for months, or so I thought.
Last Wednesday, while in the shower, I had a horrifying thought. The cover I'd settled on featured a looming figure in the foreground holding a gun in front of what was obviously a college dorm. I chose the image because my hero is a professor, and the setting is a college campus. My heroine is a bodyguard, so it isn't unusual that she would carry a gun. Besides, the image is flirty rather than threatening and matches the images on the first two covers in the series.
However, it suddenly occurred to me that in light of recent events, readers might look at the cover and think "school shooting." That's the last thing I want to suggest! I felt queasy just thinking about it. My books are light, humorous, romantic suspense novels, and I've put way too much into this story to turn anyone off with the cover.
I remember when the release of the movie "Big Trouble" was postponed for several months after nine-eleven because it made fun of lackluster airport security by having the idiotic villains carry a bomb on a plane by claiming it was a food disposer. Dave Barry's original book was hilarious, and the movie was an excellent adaptation. The problem was timing. People weren't ready to laugh about something like that yet. I certainly don't want my book to suffer a similar fate, especially when I can avoid it.
This story had also been through a couple of titles, neither of which reflected the story very well, so this was a good opportunity to see if I could come up with something I liked better. I wracked my brain, making myself crazier and crazier, until a writer friend suggested that since my heroine works as a nanny, I might want to try using that word in the title. Bingo! Undercover Nanny was born. It succinctly describes the premise, which is unusual enough to create interest on its own. As usual, I had been overthinking the problem. LOL
From there, it wasn't difficult to come up with a new background image that also matches a couple of scenes in the story. I was able to use the same figure I'd used previously, and I even added the monkey for a humorous touch. After all, he does save the day!
I hope readers will be intrigued, rather than repulsed. Now, all I have to do is finish the darn book.