The geniuses behind hilarious website Go Fug Yourself, Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, have written a young adult novel. Spoiled is about 16-year-old Molly Dix, who has just discovered that her biological father is an A-list movie star. What's a girl to do but move to LA and dive into the pool of high school Hollywood sharks? The cover is a colorful spilling of beauty products... and Jessica and Heather are here to share their Cover Story:
JESSICA: I didn't [have an idea for the cover], really. I sort of suspected that the cover might have two girls on it -- because the book is about sisters -- but I never really thought about it that closely, in part because I knew that I'd be better off leaving that to the professionals.
HEATHER: Yeah, we knew that part of the process wasn't going to have much to do with us -- at least not in the initial stages. We wrote the book on a tight schedule, too, so we didn't really have time to think about the outside because we were so caught up with the words on the inside.
JESSICA: We had literally NOTHING to do with our cover -- which is sad, because that means we can't take any credit for how great it is. ALL of that was thanks to the hard work of Liz Casal, the amazing designer, and the rest of the team at Poppy.
HEATHER: We actually didn't talk to them about it at all -- they just told us one day, 'We'll have some mock-ups of the cover that should be ready for you to see by the end of the week,' and we did some squealing. Then we waited. As we wrote the book itself, idly we'd mention here and there a vague notion of what we DIDN'T want the cover to be, but we also figured that was just a bridge we'd cross if it presented itself. We really trusted our editors' tastes. I'm sure if we had hated the cover they pitched to us, we would have gotten more involved. But how could anyone hate that cover? It's so genius. I also think, based on how great everyone was, that if Jessica and I had come in with a really concrete idea for the cover that we wanted to pitch, they would have listened to us. But we're not really visual thinkers like that, so we didn't try and insinuate ourselves into the process. Which is for the best, because I would never have come up with anything as awesome as what Liz did.
JESSICA: [When the cover design came in] I was on vacation -- I'd taken off to the beach with instructions NOT TO BE DISTURBED unless something big happened -- and Heather called me the instant the cover came in. So I saw it for the first time while I was sitting in a deck chair in Laguna. And I LOVED it. I think it's so smart and sophisticated and unexpected, and a little tiny bit Retro 80s (in a really good way -- in a fun, classic beach read way, not a dated way).
HEATHER: I was in the parking lot at my dentist, which is every bit as glamorous and exciting as being in a deck chair in Laguna. Their cover letter was like, 'Okay, it's a little different, but here's why we love it...' So, going in, I braced myself for needing to be convinced, right? I was all telling myself to keep an open mind and not freak out, and whatnot. Then when the photo loaded on my phone I just stared at it, trying to take it all in. And after several seconds I let out a breath and called Jess and said, 'Jess, I kind of maybe think it's FANTASTIC.' And then, or so I imagine, we both did little celebratory dances. I certainly wiggled in my car seat.
JESSICA: We loved it so much right off the bat that I think all of our suggestions were mostly just us gushing about how much we loved it. I think we had more discussions about more copy-related stuff, like whether or not we should put 'Go Fug Yourself' on the front cover (we thought that we shouldn't, as that might not be considered appropriate by parents buying the book for younger readers), but that's something we were all in agreement on as well. The cover discussion was VERY agreeable!
HEATHER: Yeah, they were definitely open to whether we had any reservations or concerns, but instead it was a huge lovefest. My mother was like, 'I love it, but your name needs to be BIGGER, SO MUCH BIGGER.' I did not pass along that feedback. Heh. I like to imagine [the designer] Liz going shopping for a ton of makeup and then just dumping it all out on her desk and playing around, smearing it everywhere, having a day of feeling like a toddler in mommy's bathroom. But I am sure it was a lot more sophisticated and computery than that.
JESSICA: Honestly, I just love the cover. Every single person I've shown it to says that they'd pick it up if they saw it sitting on a table in a book store -- from teenage girls to 40 year old straight men -- which I think says a lot about the amazing job our designer did. I really think it looks like the ideal summer beach read. And I love that, while the makeup clearly communicates that the book is about, you know, Girly Things, it's also about the face we present to the world versus the person that we truly are, the secrets that we try to keep, and how easily all of that can be washed away. And, of course, the spilled nail polish is very symbolic of the fact that this book is, in part, about how the lives of these two girls are totally upended when they discover that they share a father and have to live together and make room for each other. And also, naturally, it's about how much fake eyelashes rule.
Thanks, Heather and Jessica! I love the Spoiled cover because: 1. The colors make it pop and draw instant attention, and 2. Once you do stop and look closer, you're rewarded with powders and eyelashes and smeary mascara... it's fabulous.
What do you guys think?
Want to keep up with my reviews, and all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more? Please follow us on Twitter: @BNBuzz!
Melissa Walker is the author of four Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy and Lovestruck Summer. She is co-creator of the popular teen newsletter I Heart Daily and the awkward-stage blog Before You Were Hot, as well as the blogger for readergirlz.com. Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com.
You must be a registered user to add a comment here. If you've already registered, please log in. If you haven't registered yet, please register and log in.