Ta-dah! Penguin has released the cover of Pamela Power’s latest novel Delilah Now Trending, available in April.
If the cover alone intrigues you, just wait and see what to expect from the contents…
Single mom Delilah is thrilled when her darling daughter Daisy is tipped to become head girl of her prep school. But things don’t turn out quite as expected, and mother and daughter soon need to deal with much more than disappointment when Daisy’s long-time rival, Rosie, is seriously injured. Was it an accident or is someone to blame?
Accusations are flung at Delilah’s daughter, both in the school’s corridors and on social media. With the help of her business partner, Henry, and her best friend, Cass, Delilah attempts to clear Daisy’s name. But pressure from the school is mounting and Delilah’s in a state. Did Daisy do it? What other secrets has her daughter been keeping from her? And what kind of mother has she been to Daisy?
Featuring a useless ex-husband and a dashing widower who is more than a little interested in Delilah, Pamela Power’s new novel takes a darkly humorous look at school life, a modern-day battleground for parents and pre-teens alike.
An entertaining, honest and wickedly funny novel which touches on themes of bullying, the stigma faced by divorced mothers with successful careers, and finding one’s voice.
Pamela Power is the author of the novels Ms Conception and Things Unseen. A novelist, television scriptwriter and script editor, she has worked on the television shows Top Billing and Uzalo and is currently the script editor at Muvhango. She has two children and one husband and lives in Johannesburg. You can find her on Twitter: @pamelapower or check out her vlog: #BetweenTheSheetsWithPamela.
Delilah Now Trending will be launched on Thursday, 6 April at Love Books in Johannesburg.
Penguin Random House conducted an interview with Minky Stapleton, Power’s longtime cover artist:
Q: You are the artist who designed the covers for both Ms Conception and Delilah Now Trending. Tell us how you met Pamela Power and how the two of you started working together.
A: Pamela and I had the same personal trainer in Melville. So we initially used to just politely sweat together. This progressed to coffee sessions together after the gym sessions, during which Pam told me about her book languishing in her must do pile. I forced her to hand it over so I could read it and loved Ms Conception. I offered to do her cover for her if she got her arse into gear and published it and so it started.
Q: You live in Auckland, New Zealand, Pamela lives in Johannesburg and her publisher is based in Cape Town, how does that work?
A: Well, the nifty thing about living in New Zealand is that you’re awake when everyone else is sleeping. The day begins here first so you are always a little ahead of time. These days with email and the internet you can work with anyone, anywhere.
Q: Talk to us about your process. Do you read the book first? Where do you get your ideas from?
A: Well, with Ms Conception I read it first before I did the cover but with Delilah I had a few more time constraints. So I read the blurb Pam sent me, asked her if there was anything she would like or other author’s covers that she had liked. She was keen on something bright and simple and liked Maria Semple’s covers. The publisher was in the same headspace, Fourie Botha requested the following “The idea is to have bold colours and strong type and move away from “chicklit” to “griplit”. The initial brief also was that “Delilah’s the star, so I still think we should have her on the cover in some way; but there’s also the event where the girl gets pushed that sets things in motion” So I looked at a few different angles. It is important to see if anyone has anything specific in their heads otherwise you might just end up barking up the wrong tree.
The next step would be a page of scamps which are in a kind of shorthand and incomprehensible to anyone but me. But if you look carefully you can see the actual cover near the green tick.
These end up as a selection, mocked up and sent through to the writer and publisher. Then it’s time for everyone to decide which is their favourite and once that’s done, we start fine-tuning. Then it’s only the colours and back cover elements that need to be finalised.
Q: There seem to be specific covers for specific genres. Are you influenced by current trends?
A: I had a look at existing griplet covers to see what the genre’s trends are. There always are clues. With books that follow a genre it’s always helpful to give the prospective reader clues when they glance at the cover. There are so many books shouting at me on the shelf so it helps giving them hints that this is the kind of book that they would like.
Q: Tell us a bit about the technical side of designing the cover. Font style and size, textures, colours, etc.
A: Well, once we had arrived at an idea that everyone was happy with, I then had to come up with headers and colours, etc. Below I have attached some of the variations the cover went through. There are many ways to do bold colours and strong type. Once the look was decided on I had to finalise the illustration and typography, make sure the layout followed the publisher’s specifications and templates with regards to size, spine width, logos, etc. And of course add the back of the cover.
Q: Tell us about other projects you’ve worked on?
A: Obviously Ms Conception, but I usually do illustration projects via advertising agencies and my agents in South Africa and New Zealand. My favourite other book so far is a children’s book I did here in New Zealand called Shouty the Pirate. Have a look at the rest of the book and my other illustration projects at www.minkystapleton.com