When Scholastic book designer Maeve Norton heard the title Bad Princess, she knew she wanted in. The nonfiction title by Kris Waldherr presents the tales of more than 30 real-life princesses, beginning in the Dark Ages and ending with Britain's current Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
"I've always been fascinated by the history of strong women and one of the reasons I got into publishing was to make great covers that tell those stories," Norton told Spine. With Bad Princess, Norton aimed for a fairytale feel with a modern twist, a cover that would suggest not only the public's perception of these women, but also the behind-the-scenes realities. Her concept: "A cover that looks like a classic, glamorous and delicate object with the word BAD splattered across the front in thick, black, messy paint."
Norton, who makes a regular habit of looking at artists online, found British illustrator/letterer/designer/mural artist Tobias Hall and knew his style was perfect for the project. He immediately grasped her concept and got to work. "I sent him a rough sketch and some reference photos and he basically nailed it on his first try," she said. "To all the artists out there reading this, that does not happen often!"
“The cover design is exactly what I hoped it would be," said Waldherr, "a subversive take on an old fashioned fairy tale book.”
Scholastic releases Bad Princess: True Tales from Behind the Tiara on November 28th, 2017.
Spine Authors Editor Susanna Baird grew up inhaling paperbacks in Central Massachusetts, and now lives and works in Salem. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Boston Magazine, BANG!, Failbetter, and Publishers Weekly. She's the founder of the Salem Longform Writers' Group, and serves on the Salem Literary Festival committee. When not wrangling words, she spends time with her family, mostly trying to pry the cat's head out of the dog's mouth, and helps lead The Clothing Connection, a small Salem-based nonprofit dedicated to getting clothes to kids who need them. Online, you can find her at susannabaird.com and on Twitter @SusannaBaird.