Internets, what does one do during a six hour layover at Auckland airport?
If one has the money and inclination, one buys an ad hoc pass to the Koru club international lounge, which is about ten thousand times quieter and more relaxing than the regular terminal, even though they don't have proper diet coke, but only Coke Zero, that weak shadow of the perfect form of non-food non-sustenance.
(I saw some reviews for the lounge while I was looking to see if I could buy access, and saw one business-class frequent flier wanting to know SINCE WHEN the GENERAL PUBLIC could gain access by PAYING MONEY for a SERVICE. I sincerely hope that person is in the lounge right now and I am offending them with my middle-class economy-flying presence. I also hope that during their next flight, they spill orange juice on themselves just before a lengthy bout of turbulence.)
One then shows one's readers the Australian/New Zealand cover to one's next novel:
I got this on the bus on the way to the airport and I grinned so much I think my seatmate might have thought I was contemplating some terrible deed.
And here's the American cover again:
Now, all they want is for things to return to normal (or as normal as they can be), but the government has other ideas. Especially since the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia's cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust - and, when they uncover startling new details about the program, they realize that thousands of lives may be in their hands.
Karen Healey offers a suspenseful, page-turning companion to When We Wake that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and make them call into question their own ideas about morality -- and mortality, too.
Internets, my publishers have been pretty generous with showing you pretty ladies on my covers*. I thought long and solemn thoughts** and then I said, "publishers, it is time for there to be a pretty gentleman on my cover. I feel this is important. For reasons. Equality reasons? Misandry!"*** I yelped, much like an MRA who has just been contradicted by someone whose lived experience as a woman is somehow not as valid as his deeply considered assumptions about how sexism doesn't exist any more.
"Karen, you know misandry isn't actually a thing," they replied. "But how about a pretty gentleman because the narrator is actually a pretty gentlemen?"
"Oh, right," I said. "Much better reason, let's do that."
And it was so, and I was very pleased! I love these colours, I love the way the tone is so different to Tegan's cooler mood and style in the When We Wake cover. I think both of the models chosen show a different aspect of the Abdi in my head, and that this perhaps will help connect readers to that Abdi. I think the designers and editors and everyone involved did a really great job.
I say this every time I get a new cover, but I say it because it's true; I am SO lucky with cover design. I am lucky that the designers are so talented and hard-working, and I am lucky that my editors take my thoughts into account. And I am very, very lucky that I work with people at Allen and Unwin and Little, Brown who will most absolutely put people of colour on the front cover without me having to explain why that's important and right.
Oh, also, why am I flying? I am flying to Boston! To do some stuff at NCTE, to wit:
2:30 – 3:45 PM Convention Center – Room 307, Level Three:
I am speaking with MALINDA LO on Fraying the Seams: Using YA literature to explore overlapping and contested identities.
Me and Malinda, that's going to be great. I imagine you can't go to that unless you're actually at the conference, but if you ARE, you should come see us; we will be awesome.
Also awesome will be our school visit to Wellesley High the next day. You probably can't go to that either, sorry.
But if you happen to be in Boston, you CAN go to:
6:00 – 8:00 PM Event with MALINDA LO and A.S. KING at Cary Memorial Library.
<em>Growing up is tough, and no one knows that better than writers of Young Adult fiction. Their teenage characters solve mysteries, unravel conspiracies, and rebel against a world of unfair expectations. YA authors tell stories about overcoming obstacles, falling in love, and the fight against injustice. Their stories teach us how to survive in an uncertain world.
Join us for a special after-hours event as Karen Healey, A.S. King, and Malinda Lo talk about identity and coming of age in contemporary teen fiction.</em>
I think actually that most people who are currently growing up know growing up is tough much better than I do, but, you know, we try. And all three of us got through it. Come and get some survival tips.
* There was actually one time when we wanted a non-pretty lady on the cover - Ellie Spencer, of Guardian of the Dead, and we couldn't find a damn stock photo anywhere. I talk about that, and about whitewashing, in another post. Instead the covers for that book are a creepy white mask (US hardcover), a pretty lady with her back to you (ANZ) and a pretty, creepy lady's face (US paperback). ONE DAY THERE WILL BE A PLAIN LADY ON A COVER.
*** Total lies.