1. We're kinda, sorta dramatic.
2. We're really appreciative of all the people who put up with our drama, including but not limited to: agents, editors, husbands, and most of all, YOU dear blog readers.
Now. For the juicy truth.
We cried when we first saw the cover of The Liar Society. And they weren't tears of joy.
Okay, let's back up. The Liar Society cover has been in the works for many, many months. The designers working on the project were focused on creating a brand for the series--something that would hopefully set our book apart from the thousands of other private school books out there. It needed to combine the element of mystery with the element of fun, which may not sound that hard, but as it turns out is borderline IMPOSSIBLE. We're sure the designers can attest to that.
Along the way, we were shown many, many comps. There were silhouettes, legs, profiles, girls with pearls, girls with purses, girls in uniforms, black backgrounds, pink backgrounds, teal backgrounds. You name it, we probably saw it. And we fell in love a few times. Had our hearts broken a few times. Cried a few times.
We were asked to describe Kate. What did she wear? Hello Polyvore! What did she look like? We're looking at you young Minka Kelly. What was her life like? Hilfigers on holiday, whut whut! We were absolutely positively sure we knew how Kate should be portrayed on the cover of the book.
Our agent sent us the dreaded, "Can you talk?" email. Laura took the call, which in hindsight is a good thing. As our agent explained that the team had decided to go in the pink hair direction, all Laura could think about was, "What am I going to tell Lisa?" Turns out, she would have to repeat herself many, many times before Lisa believed her. And this is where the crying comes in. Well, technically sobbing. (Please see Truth #1 listed above.)
"But...but...but Kate doesn't have pink hair!" she wailed.
It was like the book we had worked so hard on had disappeared before our eyes. This was not our Kate, not our vision, not our book.
But here's the thing. We needed to cry. We needed to threaten to quit (at least to each other). We needed to take out our anger on one another and our loved ones (sorry!). Because only then could we begin to pick ourselves up. And admit that we were wrong. Did you hear that?
We were so wrong.
After we'd dried our tears and swore up and down that we'd NEVER write again we took a step back and tried really hard to be objective. We went back to the long list of over 300 votes in the cover contest and began analyzing the results.
- Our 12-year-old cousin who read The Liar Society just over a year ago and fell in love? Voted pink.
- The adorable 14-year-old book blogger who sent us an e-mail raving about Kate? Voted pink.
- Our 56-year-old mother who grounded us when we dyed our hair in high school? Did NOT vote pink.
Um, yes. Yes it was.
And that's when we realized two things:
1. We are OLD.
2. We are NOT the target market for this book.
Our readers had spoken. The girls who we hope will love Kate, the ones we are so excited to get e-mails from and meet at school visits and book signings? Apparently they love pink hair. (Who knew?! Oh wait, Sourcebooks did.)
So, we blew our noses, wiped our eyes and begged to get our hands back on the manuscript. For the record, Kristin Zelazko, our production editor, is a saint. A SAINT!
When we went back in, we realized a little something. It was super-easy to change Kate's hair to pink. Not only did she have every reason in the world to dye her hair (her BFF died under mysterious circumstances and she's pretty sasstastic in general) but it was a great way for us to characterize her transformation. Before Grace died, Kate's hair is brown and after she dies, she rocks the pink. Add in the pearls she already wore and you have just the twist Sourcebooks was looking for--something that makes Kate unique and maybe even a little iconic.
So, we're thankful.
Thankful we're not in charge of designing book covers because we would have outfitted Kate in the same-old, same-old private school fare, totally expected and completely forgettable. Thankful the design team helped us add another layer to Kate's character, one that makes her infinitely more bad ass. And thankful our publisher cared enough to get it right, to give The Liar Society the best chance of success.
Because, let's face it. The bookshelves are crowded out there.
But maybe, just maybe, there's room for a pink-haired, pearl-rocking, private school sleuth.
PS: Tracey Neithercott is the winner of a brand-spanking-new copy of Beth Revis' Across the Universe! Congratulations! Tracey, email us with your address and we'll place the order straight away!