Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Molly Fader’s next novel? The Sunshine Girls transports readers to the 1960s and recounts a decades-long friendship between two nursing school roommates. 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?
I gasped out loud when I opened the email and saw the team’s vision for the cover. Even though it was a rough version, you could tell where they were going and how iconic it would feel. That bright pink border is my favorite thing—it feels fresh and somehow retro all at the same time. I also love how it looks like something dramatic has happened just off the page and those girls are gonna go DO something. It has a lot of motion and energy. My editor Melanie Fried said, “I feel like I’m looking at BettyKay and Kitty.” And I couldn’t agree more. Alexandra Niit, the art director, and Mary Luna, the designer, worked some serious cover magic.
Cover design is constantly changing and evolving. Is there a current trend in covers that you enjoy? What do you think is the secret to a good book cover?
What a tricky needle to thread! Distilling a 100,000-word book into an image? I mean… talk about hard!
I love a cover that makes me gasp, that you can’t quite look away from, that gives not just a sense of the story but of the vibe of the book. A cover that says: this is how you’re going to feel while reading this book.
What inspired you to write The Sunshine Girls?
The opening scene of the book arrived in my imagination fully formed: two estranged sisters at their mother’s funeral, feeling (the way so many of us do) like they knew everything about their mother. Only to have legendary bombshell actress Kitty Devereaux walk in and reveal that the girls didn’t know their mother at all.
After writing that scene down there was a lot of staring into space wondering what happens next and I found the inspiration very close to home—my mom. As BettyKay and Kitty came to life in the book, they were inspired and informed by my mother’s nursing school experience in the 1950s and 60s. I added some Hollywood sparkle, the Vietnam War, and some deeply held family secrets and The Sunshine Girls was born.
In three words, what can readers expect from The Sunshine Girls?
Emotion, glamor, secrets.
What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for The Sunshine Girls to hit shelves on December 6?
Oh, so many. Grab Kristy Woodson Harvey’s The Wedding Veil for that perfect blend of family drama and history, all told in her warm Southern voice. If you like spooky, spooky ghost stories, Simone St. James‘ The Book of Cold Cases is unputdownable. I am eagerly awaiting Jane Green’s Sister Stardust.
Now, let’s get our first peek at The Sunshine Girls!
Here’s the official summary for The Sunshine Girls:
1967 Iowa. Nursing school roommates BettyKay and Kitty don’t have much in common. A farmer’s daughter, BettyKay has risked her family’s disapproval to make her dreams come true away from her small rural town. Cosmopolitan Kitty has always relied on her beauty and smarts to get by and to hide a devastating secret from the past that she can’t seem to outrun. Yet the two share a determination to prove themselves in a changing world, forging an unlikely, powerful bond on a campus unkind to women.
Before their first year is up, tragedy strikes, and the women’s paths are forced apart. But against all odds, a decades-long friendship forms, persevering through love, marriage, failure, and death, from the jungles of Vietnam to the glamorous circles of Hollywood. Until one snowy night leads their relationship to the ultimate crossroads.
Fifty years later, two estranged sisters are shocked when a famous movie star shows up at their mother’s funeral. Over one tumultuous weekend, the women must reckon with a dazzling truth about their family that will alter their lives forever…
Molly Fader is the author of The McAvoy Sister’s Book of Secrets, The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season, and The Sunshine Girls coming this December. As Molly O’Keefe she is the USA Today Bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, two kids, and rescue dog.