I am so pleased to welcome Sophia Bennett, talking about the cover for the third book in the Threads series – Sequins, Stars and Spotlights!
When Threads originally came out in 2009, Chicken House ran a competition forreaders to design their own outfit, inspired by Crow’s ‘Swan’ dress. The prize was forthe winning outfit to be professionally made by Tammy, and for the winner to visit afashion show with me. Which meant I got to visit a fashion show. Yay!
Hundreds of people entered and in the end we chose a pink dress (technically ‘nude’, according to the fashionistas on the panel, and ‘very next season’) with a delicate corsage of flowers and sequins. It was duly made, worn by a model in a fashion shoot for Bliss, and given to the winner, Jewel (yes, her real name), aged 11, to keep.
More than a year later, when the time came to choose a dress for the cover of Sequins,we trawled through hundreds of images on the internet. So many, in fact, that I became bored of looking at them. The day actually came when I was tired of looking at dresses! After several weeks, I suddenly thought of Jewel’s dress and realised it was better, more photogenic and closer to what we were after, than any of the designs we’d been looking at.
Luckily, my publisher and the designer agreed, and got Jewel to lend us her dress for a photograph. And there it is. Beautiful in its own right, but extra lovely for me because I had a great day choosing the competition winner and another one meeting Jewel at the V&A to go to that fashion show together. Even though she was only 11 she was so cool that Scott Schuman, one of the most famous style bloggers in the world, asked if he could photograph her that day.
Covers matter so much. (I’ll be writing more about them later in this tour …) So far ,I’ve heard only good reactions to this one, but that hasn’t always been true. The first two seem to provoke a love/hate relationship in readers (except in Brazil, where the Threads cover is universally adored, for some reason). You’d never guess I originally wanted a mannequin, a spotlight and a machine gun on Threads, but I did. As you can see, I was massively outvoted. Perhaps rightly.
I’m very fond of the dress on Beads, Boys & Bangles because it was designed by a graduate of Central St Martins called Tanielle Lobo, who I got to know when I visited her show. But I think everything’s come together best in the new book. The series is all about the joy of making things, and there’s a lot of joy (and a Jewel) woven into this cover. And I prefer the hanger on this one! Don’t get me started on hangers …
Thank you so much Sophia! And why on earth a machine gun?!
Want to see where else Sophia has been? The blog tour schedule is as follows:
- 1st Feb Bookster Reviews: interview (and giveaway)
- 4th Feb Chicklish: five of my favourite fashion-inspired books (and giveaway)
- 5th Feb Love Reading X: the issue behind this book
- 6th Feb The Beaucoup Review: sneak peek – Nonie in the fringed tablecloth and bicycle chain belt
- 7th Feb MileLongBookshelf: five of my favourite scenes across the series
- 8th Feb Writing from the Tub: writing to music
- 10th Feb Almost True: writing a series
- 12th Feb Magic Bean Review: what’s special about the cover of Sequins (and giveaway)
- 14th Feb Mostly Reading YA: New York
- 16h Feb I Was A Teenage Book Geek: fashion book covers