Hypable has an exclusive look at the ominous cover art for the YA thriller Sweet, and an interview with author Emmy Laybourne!
Emmy Laybourne is no stranger to cultivating the creepy in young adult fiction. In her critically acclaimed debut Monument 14, Laybourne brought the savage unpredictability of the apocalypse to a seemingly-innocuous superstore. Now her new novel, titled Sweet, animates our societal demon of obesity against the backdrop of a sun-drenched celebrity cruise.
The cover art for Sweet, revealed exclusively here, keeps both of these elements at the forefront – and promises blood.
People would kill to be thin.
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised — dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days — it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
But will they die for it, too?
Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.
Interview with Emmy Laybourne
1) I am a doting owner of eight backyard chickens.
2) I once served John Travolta a legal summons. (Okay, I was acting in a movie – but still!)
3) I had a fishbone embedded in my foot for a short while as a child.
4) I like to eat the same thing for breakfast every day.
5) I went on a real luxury cruise to do research for my Sweet. (My Dad took me!)
What is your favorite element of the cover for Sweet?
It’s the element… of SURPRISE!!! I find the cover really, really intriguing!
Why did you most want to write this story?
I think the idea for Sweet came from my own experience with sugar. I’ve been addicted, I mean truly addicted, to it as long as I can remember. I lied, cheated and stole to get my hands on sugar. (In first grade I used to swipe money off my Dad’s dresser then sneak out of my gritty, downscale NY public school to walk, alone, up to Broadway and buy penny candy at lunch.)
Sweet, of course, is not about sugar – it’s about a luxury cruise to promote a new diet sweetener that makes you lose weight. But my experience with sugar is the basis for how the passengers react to the sweetener.
(Hint: they love it… They can’t get enough of it… They would KILL to get it!)
Which is easier to write: The first line, or the last line?
Last line. There’s so much work that goes into finding the tone and rhythm of a new book. By the time I get to the end, I’m really in the flow of the project. The last line usually presents itself in my mind quite fully formed.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently consulting with Strange Weather Films on the screenplay for Monument 14! It’s been terrifically exciting to collaborate with Andrew Adamson (director of Shrek, Shrek 2, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, to name a few) and his partners Jeff Fierson and Aron Warner. It’s so much fun to engage with the characters and plot of my debut novel in an entirely new way.
For more information…
Sweet by Emmy Laybourne will hit shelves in 2015.