This week, I got to meet the amazing Cynthia Leitich Smith at a super-fun event at the Brooklyn Public Library. She was incredible and dozens of kids were totally engaged as she spoke — about 30 hands went up when she asked for questions. Loved it! That’s us, above.
“I knew what I didn’t want on the cover of Blessed: a sword. Not because I don’t like swords (I do!*) or like them on covers (ditto!), but because the sword in the story is borrowed, and I wanted something that was more closely related to Quincie herself.
“Beyond that, I had no idea. Book one in the series, Tantalize (right), featured a profile of the protagonist. Book two, Eternal, featured a luminescent angel wing (below left). So there wasn’t a standard pattern, and I felt great about that.
“This series isn’t the story of one protagonist. It’s the story of four. The books are coming out in both prose and graphic format. Some are told in a singular point of view, others in alternating. If I wasn’t going to embrace a formula, why should the cover designer(s)?
“I had a lot of faith in Candlewick Press. One of the reasons I decided to first send Tantalize to the house was because of the wonderful art and production values of the books on its list.
“I did worry a bit that it would be off-putting to boys, especially because a couple of men in my life made a point of saying so. But I often hear from guy readers who weren’t the least repelled by the photo of Quincie on the cover of Tantalize. So, I’m hopeful that, coupled with the other books in the series, it’ll be clear that Blessed is for both genders.
“To the extent that girls tend to be the romance readers, there’s plenty for them here. But my books aren’t genre romances per se. They also feature strong elements of suspense, action, and mystery. So, readers–both male and female–looking for more will find it.
“The gown is Quincie’s late mother’s wedding dress, and Quincie wears it into battle at the end of the story. Growing up, she felt a bit overshadowed by her mom and has been trying to fill her shoes at the family restaurant.
“More recently, the vampire chef Bradley, who cursed Quincie with his blood, had dressed her in a white nightgown on the night she rose undead. So, this is her way of both distracting him and facing him down on her own terms.
“What’s more, a wedding is a sacrament (or at least it is to Quincie), and this is a novel wherein she is given a guardian angel, which reassures her that she’s still a child of God. That her soul is still wholly hers.
“Finally, Quincie is fighting alongside her true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, which is romantic in its way, especially since they’ve been recently reunited after what could’ve been a permanent separation.
“They’re only seventeen with no plans of marriage at the moment, just reveling in being together and being in love. That said, Kieren’s mother is a wedding planner, so you know, if the day ever comes…!
“*I like swords as decorative/art objects and in stories, but in real life, I wouldn’t want one pointed at me or you.”
Thanks, Cynthia! I think all of her covers are gorgeous, and I’m a sucker for an amazing dress shot. Super Valentiney, right? What do you guys think?
PS-The sky on my walk home from that library visit? So pretty/creepy it made me want to be listening to Cynthia’s book on my iPod.
Sadly, I didn’t get photos with Kara and Ruthie on the first part of my sunny SD trip, but rest assured that we had a blast. Here are some shots Erin took of Part 2:
Now this is a BOAT! (Though, shoutout to my dad, I still prefer sailboats.)
There was a lovely bar on the boat too:
The view from the water, and Erin on the back of the yacht:
And hiking in Torrey Pines with Erin. So pretty. Sigh.
Have great weekends!
A group of us, me in the center in my only floor-length gown (thanks, Erin!):
I got some ARCs of Small Town Sinners (those are galleys, or early copies, for the non-book-insidery among us). They’re pretty and my cat Swayze loves them, as you can see. (Uh, or maybe he’s just bewildered? Cats are tough to read).
(Note to self: Clean up Christmas tree needles… argh.)
I promise to host a few contests this spring so you can have a chance to win a copy before the release. July 19th still feels far away!
PS-My letter to my teen self is up on the amazing site Dear Teen Me today! These letters are all fantastic, I feel honored to be in such company — definitely go read them!
A few weeks ago I was talking to author Barry Lyga about his amazing new option deal for Boy Toy, when he indicated that I probably was too young to know the great show that Glenn Gordon Caron, the person who optioned Boy Toy, had created.
“What show was it?” I asked.
“Moonlighting,” said Barry.
Um, that was only my favorite show when I was a kid! I even used to write spec scripts with my friend Ciji (I made her play Bruce’s character — I was bossy). I believe I went on and on about how much I loved the sparring between main characters David and Maddie, and I promised to dig up an old photo that I knew I had somewhere…
Well, here it is–proof of my fandom, complete with coffee-ring stain and pushpin holes in the corners.
That’s cardboard Cybill and Bruce (in formalwear), plus my friend Becky (in stripes) and me (in yellow “Party Time” alligator tee, naturally) hanging out at a county fair.
Congrats to Barry on the option, and Happy Friday! I leave you with the intro to an amazing 80s show (Shoulder pads! Mercedes! Bruce Willis with hair!):
There was major snow in Brooklyn this week. I’m talking buses-stuck-on-the-street, kids cross-country skiing down my block, having to dig myself out of my apartment SNOW. Here’s a peek!
I love Hunter Boots:
Cross country skiing on the streets of Park Slope:
Swayze watches the chaos:
And this is how much I love iced coffee from Dizzy’s, even in winter. Delish.