Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at YA author Claire Eliza Bartlett’s next novel? Bartlett’s first two books were epic fantasies, but she’s shifted gears for her third. The Good Girls is a mystery that promises intrigue, secrets, and murder. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our mini-interview with the author.
Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?
In the case of The Good Girls, I was sent three mock-ups to consider. I almost always let my first impressions guide me, since that’s what a new reader will be going off of. What does this cover promise it will be about? Does that promise match the premise of the book? Am I immediately reminded of another book, in the same genre? Could readers get confused between which is which? I discussed with HarperTeen and we narrowed our options accordingly.
I love the gorgeous line work of Kaethe Butcher’s art, and Diana Sousa’s design matches it perfectly to give it that thriller feel. The way the art focuses on the girls’ legs gives it an objectifying lens that works perfectly with the themes of The Good Girls, while the bloody knife reminds us that there’s much, much more than we see. Also, that tag line… I become the heart-eye emoji every time I see it!
What inspired you to write The Good Girls?
I wrote The Good Girls in partnership with Glasstown Entertainment, a company full of whip-smart storytellers dedicated to developing great books. They floated the idea to my agent, and as soon as I read the premise, a chill went down my spine. It was outside of my regular writing fare (fantasy), but I knew exactly how to begin this story. The Good Girls is a tale about the lies girls tell to protect ourselves and each other, and the front we put on for the world. That’s something I have looked at a lot in developing my fantasy works, so I still felt a strong connection to this concept even though it was my first time writing a thriller. I put together some sample pages for Glasstown, and that’s how the partnership began.
In three words, what can readers expect from The Good Girls?
Feminism. Secrets. Rage.
Do you judge books by their covers? What’s your favorite cover of all-time?
I most definitely judge books by their covers. But now that I’ve been through the process of choosing a cover, I’m more likely to wince in sympathy than to laugh at a bad cover. I know from experience that most authors have limited influence, and I’ve been lucky to get incredible editors who care about my opinions and want to go the extra mile for something stunning.
Can I say my favorite cover is one of my own? Naturally, I am very attached to the cover of my first novel, We Rule the Night. If I can’t cheat in that way, I’ll cheat in a different way: Gollancz has recently reissued Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld series with a set of stunning matching covers. Each cover fits its book perfectly, and together they are an incredible set.
The Good Girls hits shelves December 1, 2020. What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait?
Anything by Tiffany D. Jackson, who makes me scream with delight. Also check out Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten, The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, and White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (actually, anything by Caleb Roehrig).
Now, let’s get our first peek at The Good Girls!
Here’s the official summary for The Good Girls:
The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl.
Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.
After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.
Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not—and Emma was always known as a good girl.
But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer—before another good girl goes down.
Claire Eliza Bartlett is a writer and tour guide in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was born in the U.S. but left when she was eighteen to travel through Europe, where she found a home with a husband and too few cats. She is the author of two feminist fantasies, We Rule the Night and The Winter Duke. She can be found on social media as @bartlebett, or at authorclaire.com.