1) Did you have any ideas about a cover before you saw yours?
I knew I didn’t want it to look “goofy.” PAST PERFECT is about a modern girl who works in a living history village for her summer job. I didn’t want the cover to be, like, a girl in petticoats with sneakers peeking out. That felt goofy to me. And I didn’t want it to look like a historical fiction, or a book about time travel, since it is neither of those. I didn’t have ideas about what I wanted it to look like, but I had many ideas about what I DIDN’T want it to look like.
2) What was the first thought that popped into your head when you opened the file?
“My editor must have sent me the wrong file.” Seriously. The cover image is really cute, but it doesn’t reference anything about the events of the book. As far as we know, it rains once during the entire summer, and Chelsea does not go outside in it. I didn’t think the cover was bad-looking. I just thought it was a mistake.
3) What's your favorite thing about it?
I love how PAST PERFECT looks next to MOSTLY GOOD GIRLS. They have a similar appealing aesthetic, while still being clearly two separate books with two separate settings. I’ve spent a lot of time lining them up on my bookshelf next to each other. They are getting to be close friends.
4) If you could change one thing, what would it be and why?
I think Chelsea’s raincoat looks too heavy. The whole book, she talks about how unbelievably hot Virginia is in the summertime. The raincoat is stylish—like, I would wear the hell out of that coat—but I would wear the hell out of it in October. Not July.
5) Is the model how you pictured Chelsea?
All I say about Chelsea in the book is that she has brown hair and blue eyes, so I think the cover model looks right. I have brown hair and blue eyes, too, which has sometimes (like when I was working as a Colonial interpreter, and when I’ve visited England and Ireland) caused people to think that I am of Irish heritage. I guess brown hair, blue eyes, and pale skin is a classic Irish look. So that’s why I gave that look to Chelsea, too. (I'm so flippin' jealous of the going to Ireland thing)
6) Which other YA cover would by your cover's best friend? (i.e. which one is similar to yours or would compliment it?)
This is a really hard question! I’m kind of thinking the AUDREY, WAIT! hardcover. It, too, had a lone girl standing against a designed (instead of photographic) background, and it also had some hot pink going on. I don’t know, though—there are a lot of options out there! Can my cover be very popular and have lots of best friends? (Heck yeah, this cover can be the most popular girl in school!)
Thanks so much for joining us today. Before we go, I wanted to remind you what this novel is about!
Past Perfect by Leila Sales
All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.
Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….
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