Help Me Choose the International Cover for After Helen

My first novel, After Helen, received great reviews when it was published by HarperCollins in Canada in 2006. This November it will finally be released to the rest of the world. Help me choose a fresh, new cover for this international edition. Let me know what you think of these two options by leaving a comment.

cover 1

cover 1

cover 2

cover 2



Story synopsis

Irving is an unassuming history teacher grieving the recent death of his larger-than-life wife, Helen, whom he first met during a chance encounter at her father’s bookstore. Their teenage daughter, Severn – angry at Irving, angry at Helen – has disappeared after stealing a book that may reveal more about her mother than she ever wanted to know. On the road in search of Severn, Irving revisits his past with Helen as he follows a trail of clues that reveal why Severn has disappeared. Along the way, he comes face-to-face with some long-buried family secrets – secrets that he’ll have to confront if he wants to save his relationship with his daughter.

13 thoughts on “Help Me Choose the International Cover for After Helen

  1. I enjoyed the book when I read it a few years ago. The first cover with the car seems to illustrate the searching and the despair reflected in the book.

    Great news that it is being published widely!

  2. Cover 2 reminds me more of your novel and looks more unique-I like the font/print of the title.

    Looking forward to Our Father’s Sons!

    Best to you & Amy,


    • Although both covers are equally deserving options, my choice would be the 2nd cover with the women’s back to the reader, leaving one to ponder the many issues raised in the book . I enjoyed the novel immensely.

  3. Cover #1 for sure – more active and intriguing – caught my eye – so going with my intuition. Good luck Paul – great to see your aspirations become reality

  4. Hi Paul
    I vote for cover 1! It leaves a lot to the imagination and I think people would therefore pick it up to examine more closely. To me, cover 2 is suggestive of a light romance novel. Am looking forward to the new book.

  5. I am torn. While I respect the comments made above about the image of the car, I like image on cover #2 best. I like the warmth of the colours and the blurred background and the fact the woman’s face isn’t shown. Helen’s hair is one of her memorable features and while we get to know snippets of her, it is of course always at a distance so we aren’t always confident we know her.

    However, I’m not so fond of the typeface style (faux hand writing) for the title on cover #2, though it does refer to Helen’s writing, her aspirations as an author, and the heavy weight of her journals that caused such pain to others in the story.

    Very exciting prospect to have this book published “away”! Best of luck with final work on Opus No.2, Our Father’s Sons. Can’t wait to see the finished work all polished and shining.

    Wish you all the best Paul!

    Linda B.

  6. Paul,

    I much prefer the mystique behind the dark, wintery road.

    Good Luck with your publication and I’m looking forward to your second book.


  7. I really think cover 2 embodies everything Helen, for obvious reasons. It is romantic yet still mysterious. We have not developed any preconceived notions prior to reading about the character, our imagination may still lead us. As a female red head, I enjoy the 2nd, plain and simple.

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