Totally seeing this.
I haven’t posted about covers in a while. Partly because I’ve been working on movie stuff and haven’t had time, but also because I just don’t think about them much anymore. Covers are something that you completely lose your mind about with your first book, and learn to shrug off with approximately two seconds thought by the time you hit no.4. (Ditto publicity. Ditto distribution. Ditto reviews. You can’t control it, so don’t worry about it. Just start your next project. Far more productive. Everything will be fine. And so on.)
I loathed my first cover, it looked like the kind of book I’d be embarrassed to read in public. I only wrote the damn book on a whim so that girls like me and my friends could read something funny about love that wasn’t stupid, and here I was, with an incredibly stupid cover. I kept thinking ‘but… my book is so much cooler than that’. Didn’t matter: that year in the UK, all the light contemporary fiction books written by women had cartoon covers with a dickish girl sporting a red coat and a jaunty leg kick, and so it was for me. (I got a hand in the US cover, which I like very much.)
Anyway, now that I’ve had five books published in the UK and the US, as well as in German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Lithuanian and Slovakian, I just enjoy covers, and everything else book-related, with a sort of benevolent detachment. Once I’ve written the books, I love them, but they’re no longer mine, and I don’t really worry about them again. (I know some people say their books are like their babies, but dude, now that I have babies, I know that’s not true. Books are books. Babies are your heart.)
The US covers of the Brooklyn Girls series are terrific. I was unusually involved in this cover process, thanks to my lovely editor. I suggested we try something that looked a bit like an Instagram picture crossed with a Richard Linklater movie still, so we did, and they’re perfect. (Okay, so the middle one is a leetle streetwalkery, but what are you gonna do.)
The UK covers of the series are also great – reminiscent of posters for a TV series, which I like, and the girls have attitude. (Third cover coming soon).
Dutch covers are cool, like Dutch people. You can tell this girl is a teeny weeny bit stoned, about 6.1″ and will probably have a home birth one day. I am waiting to see the next Dutch covers. If anyone can find them, shoot them my way.
Polish covers are incredibly damn stylish. Especially the first one, with the girl looking out of the cab. She’s adorable.
German covers are a little kooky. Why is she chasing men with a butterfly net? Why is the Indian protagonist suddenly white? Why are there boys in a tree and why is she wearing red rainboots? Why not. Don’t ever change, Germany.
Spanish covers are a little surreal. As though Bridget Jones wandered into a Pedro Almodovar movie.
And… we shall have to wait for Italian, Lithuanian and Slovak covers, as I don’t have them yet. Can’t wait. I hope the Italian cover is all bunga-bunga-esque.
I am tres overdue for a post. Not least because I have some exciting news (COUGH MOVIE DEAL COUGH) and stuff. But I just went to Hong Kong (family reunion) and now I have like 400 deadlines and anyway, Little GemGem is busy. And yup, I just called myself Little GemGem. I have to live with that, now so do you.
So, in the interest of all that is shallow, let me introduce you to an impulse buy that I will never regret, and if you choose to blow $33 on a lipstick, then my loves, blow this. (I know. Leave it.)
Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude.
The perfect nude lipstick. Doesn’t give you corpse face, doesn’t sit on your lips like a 60s dollybird wearing Liquid Paper (or White Out or whatever you choose to call it, though if you were born in the 90s you’ll probably call it ‘Huh?’), doesn’t flash baby pink or peach or grey, not too matte or too shiny. It’s just… perfect.
Okay. Gotta run. Back soon. Promise.
If you’re not watching this yet, WATCH IT. It’s so good. I’m officially in love with Ellie Kempner. Though, if we’re being honest, I fell for her a couple of years ago in The Office. She’s one of those actresses that I have in my head when I’m writing funny women. She can pretty much do anything and I will crack up and adore her.
Fun fact: the theme song makes me shimmy in my seat.
Last summer, the incredibly inspiring Yoko Shimada invited me to be involved in the launch of Mitera Collection, a collection of beautiful, functional and stylish dresses for mothers and mothers-to-be…
The truth is: finding lovely clothes to wear when preggers or breastfeeding is hard and stressful. Most maternity brands suck. I’m not wearing something in clownish red or purple for the first time in my life just because I’m knocked up, I’m absolutely not going to start wearing prints that will make me look even MORE like a sofa, and I’m sure as hell not wearing a tight wrap dress when I’m 50 pounds heavier with boobs like giant melons and a stomach that precedes me around corners by several seconds. It’s just not going to happen. (Even talking about pregnancy clothing choices makes me crabby. Can you tell?)
But I’m also not one of those women who says ‘oh, I just bought my normal clothes in one size bigger and it was fine!’ When I hear someone say that, I immediately assume they are lying. I am a moose when I’m pregnant. It’s just the way it is.
As for after the baby is born… the choice is even worse. I loathe those silly breastfeeding tops with the weird folds that you’re supposed to wrench your nipples through, I hate silly floaty empire dresses that make me look like Queen Victoria dressed as Miss Havisham, and I really don’t want anything that hugs my tummy and emphasizes my baby flab in the first months after the baby is born. During pregnancy and breastfeeding with Ned, I relied heavily on sweatpants from H&M and white men’s shirts and cardigans from Uniqlo. But I never felt stylish. Ever.
I wish Mitera had launched a year ago, because it really is the answer.
The dresses are truly beautifully made. There are careful, flat little zips so you can whip your boobs out if you need to, or even pump. The waists go out and in, according to what stage of pregnancy or post-pregnancy you’re at. And they make you feel great. These photos were taken last summer when Ned was about seven months old, and I still had a little post-baby bulge, but the dress minimizes the hell out of it. (When I look at these photos I think 1. Ned is SO CUTE! and 2. Thank God I just cut seven inches off my hair, because that is some post-pregnancy baldy scraggly hair right there. Why didn’t someone TELL ME? But the point isn’t my hair, or Ned, the point is THE DRESS.)
Anyway, the brand was launched THIS WEEK! So if you’re preggers or breastfeeding and just want a knockout dress that you can wear every day, to work events and weddings and everything in between, and always look and feel amazing, look no further. I loved the dress I wore, and I’m also obsessed with this one and this one.
By the way, I’m not being paid to say this stuff, I really just wanted to share the brand with you. I love Yoko. Her background is in global public health, and she’s truly passionate about improving global maternal and child healthcare. With every dress sold, Mitera donates money and time to their partner, D-Rev, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing life-changing healthcare technology to people around the world living on less than $4 a day. D-Rev was founded by a wonderful woman called Krista Donaldson, a Stanford PhD engineer and mother of two.
And the dresses are genuinely gorgeous. I swear I might get knocked up again just so I can wear them for the duration of my pregnancy. (Kidding. Two is enough.) (For now.) (That sound is Fox screaming.) (No, really, if I even say it as a joke he goes into a flop sweat.)
We tried to get Errol to take some photos, by the way, but he decided he’s camera-shy last summer. In most of my photos of him, he’s holding up a hand to the camera, like a starlet running from paparazzi.
EDIT – someone just asked via email, and: those are the sequined Converses I wore to our wedding, I bought them on Ebay so I don’t think they’re officially a thing but you can probably hunt them down, if that’s your bag. And the sunglasses are these ones. And the lipstick… urgh, I can’t remember. Probably this one.
“Come Together” by Spac3man & DJ Suspence.
My favorite song today. Have listened to it seventeen times. It’s 9.42am.
My sister just saw this and said it was AMAZING. So now I desperately want to see it. Anyone want to babysit tonight?
I’m watching the shit out of this, I can tell you that.