Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Scandalous Celebration

Today is the release date for the paperback edition of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, released by the SquareFish imprint of Macmillan, so I thought a scandalous celebration was in order. Cue the ginger beer and the shortbread biscuits! But whatever you do, beware the veal.

First of all, the cover deserves some love. This artistic gem by Italian illustrator Iacopo Bruno has been a gift to the book. But look! The paperback gets a new treatment in blue, as compared to the amber color of the hardback original. I think it makes the girls' faces pop, don't you?

Writing The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place was too much fun. It was my first novel set during the Victorian era, so it was an homage to All Things Victorian: Dickens and shoulder puffs, manners and murder. Their fascination with the macabre took the shape of Dour Elinor, one of my favorites among the girls, who plays the 19th Century version of a goth girl. Their rigid but evolving rules for women created the backdrop for the story: what if seven spry young ladies saw a chance at independence, and seized it?

The book also celebrates my lifelong infatuation with Agatha Christie. The youngest of the girls, Pocked Louise, wins the Hercule Poirot award for this story. She's neither Belgian nor fussy, but she's got enough spunk to stand up to the older girls and solve the mystery.

I can't talk about Scandalous and not show you its animated trailer. Huzzah for illustrator Sally Gardner, animator Chris Becker of Becker Studio, and composer/performer Andrus Madsen who helped make this tasty little morsel. (To see how we made it, click here.)

Scandalous has friends around the globe, with a lovely version illustrated by Nicola Kinnear published by Piccadilly Press in the UK, and this toothsome cover from the German edition, Lasst Uns Schweigen Wie Ein Grab, which, if I'm not mistaken, means something like "Let's be a silent as the grave." The cover is a view from the grave. Super fun. There are also editions of Scandalous in Brazil and Japan. Hope to see them someday. 

The audiobook for Scandalous, performed by the inimitable Jayne Entwistle, won an Odyssey Honor from the ALA, and gained this shiny sticker. Here also is a picture of Jayne celebrating her well-deserved accolades. (Click here to hear a sample.) 

Reviewers & committees brought gifts to the party: a star from Publisher's Weekly, a best of 2014 nod from the Wall Street Journal, inclusion in the Dorothy Canfield Fisher list, the Amelia Bloomer project, and the Whitney Award. Best of all, bookstores, book clubs, and readers got on board and came along for the nutty farcical ride.

I'm thrilled to see the novel find a new readership in paperback, and can't wait to hear from more readers about it. Till next time, sleuths!