Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices is an anthology in which ten YA authors use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction embraces a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry and comic form. Debbie Rigaud is one of the contributors to the anthology, and she's here to talk about the cover design.
"The title as an illustrated microphone is just perfection. I’m liking it! But that’s not the initial detail I noticed about the cover. First thing that jumped out at me was the color—as yellow as that early Coldplay song. It made me think of the cover for my romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT (read that Cover Story!), which was also unexpectedly of a yellowish hue. The funny thing is—ready for this?—that for generations in my family, yellow was deemed bad luck. I’m talking bad as the devil on Halloween! We think it all started back over a century ago when my great grandma wore a yellow dress on a day that turned out to be her very worst. Well, my obedient mom took the yellow-ban to heart and kept it going. Growing up, the worst thing you could do was hand her a yellow Mother’s Day card with a bouquet of daffodils. How wacky is that? But all along, I (the rebel that I am) was drawn to yellow, thinking it a bucket of cheerful golden goodness. So, it’s all good to me. Thankfully, with my generation it’s a new day for yellow. Currently, my favorite flower is the sunflower (they were the first flowers my husband gave me), I’ve been published in two yellow-jacket books and the experience didn’t sting (pun intended), and I’d welcome another sunny book cover on my author shelf in the future. Let the sunny shine on!"
Debbie also asked Open Mic editor Mitali Perkins about the cover, and she said that she loves that the cover image isn't a face that's tied to a gender or other identifier. And interestingly enough, Mitali tweaked the title to fit the artist's design. The original title was OPEN MIC: TEN RIFFS ON GROWING UP BETWEEN CULTURES.
I love these takes on the cover, which I think is simple and eye-catching and loud in a subtle way (not easy to pull off).
Debbie's short story, “Voila,” is the tale of Simone. Thanks to overprotective parenting, Simone’s elderly great aunt Ma Tante has more of a social life than she does. But one afternoon, Ma Tante’s social scene awkwardly intersects with Simone’s in the unlikeliest of places.