Issue #112: My Book Cover Reveal (!) and a Q&A with My Editor and Agent
Behind-the-scenes of book publishing.
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📺 "Lessons in Chemistry" Apple TV+: Bonnie Garmus wrote the novel Lessons in Chemistry with the intention of creating the role model she always craved growing up. In the Apple TV+ adaptation, out last Friday, Brie Larson plays Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who becomes the host of a cooking show after she’s fired from her lab. I loved the first episode which is both infuriating (in the number of misogynistic platitudes Zott receives), empowering (we know from the start that she gets the last laugh), and inspiring (I immediately looked up the lasagna recipe). I’m already looking forward to watching more as soon as I get the chance.
📚 Land of Milk and Honey by C. Pam Zhang: As you’ll read below, I clearly have an interest in books that explore the near future, and am fascinated to read how other novelists imagine it. In Zhang’s novel, biodiversity and most of the world’s agriculture has been wiped out when a chef travels from Los Angeles to a secret facility in the Italian Alps to cook rich, over-the-top meals for billionaires. Privilege is the driving theme, but also the tip of the (melting) iceberg of this gorgeous book about sex, deception, and all that we stand to lose, reading as fatly hedonistic as the food the chef prepares. (Thank you towho edits for this excellent rec!)
🎥 ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ in theaters: In this French film, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, a woman is suspected of pushing her husband off a balcony to his death. What initially begins as a whodunnit—was he pushed or did he jump?—zooms out to examine the slow decline of a marriage as the wife is put on trial and her relationship with her late husband is picked apart in minute detail. At 2.5 hours, it’s a long movie, but one worth seeing in theaters.
While unpacking boxes from my old office, I came across a pile of journals filled with hastily written drafts of my novel. It looked like I was trying to get the words down before I lost the story—which is exactly how it felt. Though I’d made a few half-hearted attempts at novels, the concept for this one hooked me. While lying on my back in the middle of a yoga class in Silver Lake, I had a flash of a woman doing the same thing, forty years in the future. Only she was at an isolated, floating wellness retreat in the middle of the ocean. How did she get there? What does the wellness industry look like in 2060?? The next morning, I woke at sunrise to write the first few pages before heading to work. And then again the next morning, and the next. Over the course of the next few years, with the encouragement of friends, I finished my novel, You’re Safe Here, now available for pre-order ahead of its June 2024 release with Scout Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
Today I am beyond thrilled to finally share the cover with you! Without further ado…
AHH! I gasped the first time I saw it. It so perfectly captures the eerie tone of the book, which takes place between California and the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and is told from the perspective of three women. I love the ways in which the subtle ocean imagery disintegrates into pixelated glitches, a nod to some of the book’s themes around technology.
Below, I spoke to my literary agent Claire Friedman at Inkwell Management and editor Taylor Rondestvedt at Scout Press about the behind-the-scenes of the publishing process and their first encounters with my novel, You’re Safe Here.
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