Blog Tour: Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson: Making a Book Cover

Hello Sister Spooky readers! I’m very excited to be taking part in The Goldfish Boy blog tour. I’m Sean and I work in the design team at Scholastic. It was my job to come up with a cover for this amazing debut, so here is a little insight into The Goldfish Boy cover process…

First off here is some blurb about The Goldfish Boy to give you some context:

The Goldfish Boy is a touching story about a young boy called Matthew Corbin who suffers from crippling obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and spends most of his time as a virtual recluse at home, looking out of a window watching the comings and goings of the residents on Chestnut Close. Until the day he is the last person to see his next door neighbour’s toddler Teddy before he goes missing. Matthew must turn detective as he sets out to unravel the mystery of the missing toddler whilst facing up to his fears – with the help of a brilliant cast of characters including Melody Bird (who likes to visit the graveyard a lot), Jake Bishop (Matthew’s old best friend and now local bully) and Old Nina (the mysterious lady living in the Rectory).

Matthew is given the nickname ‘Goldfish Boy’ by one of his neighbours because he is always staring out of the window, never leaving his home. So my idea of putting Matthew in a crowd full of people looking utterly lost and isolating him to his ‘goldfish bowl’ came to me very quickly upon reading the brief – it was the best way I thought to single him out.

The Goldfish Boy final cover

As soon as I came across Mike Lowery’s work, I knew he was perfect for the tone I wanted to achieve with the cover. His characters were quirky and full of charm, which was perfect for bringing Lisa’s cast of suspects to life. 

After I had gotten in touch and Mike was on-board with the project, I sent him my initial sketch on a post-it note of my idea which he used as a starting point. Mike followed the design closely, with the final cover not looking too different at all from the first rough he sent through. 

Sean’s post-it note rough sketch

As we were putting together an uncorrected proof for The Goldfish Boy, I saw this as an opportunity to build on the ‘whodunit’ theme of the book, which led to the ‘usual suspects’ line up idea. It allowed for the proof to instantly tell people there was a mystery to be solved, but also to expand on Mike’s spot-on depictions of each of the characters.

The Goldfish Boy proof back and front cover

Et voila! I hope you enjoy reading The Goldfish Boy!

Lisa Thompson worked as a radio broadcast assistant first at the BBC and then for an independent production company making plays and comedy programmes. During this time she got to make tea for lots of famous people. She grew up in Essex and now lives in Suffolk with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her debut novel.

The Goldfish Boy is available now, wherever books are sold.


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