It really shouldn’t be so unnerving. I’ve seen roughs. I’ve seen a photo on my computer.
But it’s just not the same thing as when you actually hold your book in your hands for the first time!
A big, padded envelope was sitting in the porch and I just knew my Chloe copies were inside! My heart was pounding as I pulled them out. (I didn’t even have to cut open the envelope. It had come undone. Luckily all the books were there – they hadn’t ended up scattered all over the street!)
I stared at the cover. I ran my finger over the shiny bits (you probably can’t see from the the photo, but there is shiny, silver foil on the cover). I flicked through the book and admired the weight of it, the way it felt in my hands. And – thank goodness – I loved it!
Firstly, I love Chloe on the cover. She looks fun, and light-hearted and just a bit accident- prone (see the way that cupcake is about to fly through the air? And how that wand is a teeny bit crooked?) You can also tell that although this is a princess series – it’s right there in the title – Chloe is not some kind of fairytale princess but a real breathing, ordinary, flesh-and-blood girl. (See those jeans she’s wearing? And the mismatched socks?) And that’s important because the whole point about this book is it’s about real life, and what happens when Chloe’s princess fantasies come up against the everyday stuff of grumpy parents (who won’t pay for ballroom dancing), unhelpful teachers (who don’t understand that the frog in the school playground might be a prince) and twin brothers who would die laughing if they ever found out you thought you were a princess.
Then there are her best friends, Aisha and Eliza, who are also part of the Secret Princess Club.
They look just right too – you can tell that Aisha is shy, while Eliza can be quite fierce if she doesn’t agree with somebody.
I also like the little details – like the frog, which comes into the story, and Chloe’s hamster, Hammy (if you see a copy of the book, then have a look at the cover and see if you can find him).
I like the inside of the book too. As well as the wonderful illustrations by Monique Dong, I really like the way some of the text is printed. At certain parts of the story the girls write things down (in their special Secret Club notebook) and this is printed in special lettering to represent each girl’s handwriting. Details like that make such a difference.
So I’m delighted…and I can’t wait for publication day – September 1st!
I just hope readers love my book too.
Emma Barnes writes funny, contemporary fiction for children
Find out more about Emma Barnes’s books at her web-site
Chloe’s Secret Princess Club is the first of a series for 7+ from Scholastic