What is DELIVERANCE about, you might wonder? Well, I'll tell you:
From the rooftops of Montreal to the undergrounds of Tehran. In a land where nothing is ever really what it seems, and where everything is steeped in history, Garnier de Rouen chases the demons of the present only to find them lead back to his past, to Nakissa, whom he knows better than she knows herself. What started off as a search for answers turned into much more when the de Rouen’s witch, Aude Vanier, goes missing and the clues all lead to the Gargoyle who Garnier is already chasing: Ramtin.
Things for sixteen-year-old Nakissa didn't used to be so complicated. She lives in a good neighborhood in North Tehran, has a decent relationship with her mother and step-father, a perfect boyfriend, and a fun best friend. But after a series of earthquakes shakes the entire planet, everything changes. First her mother gets injured, and then her best friend goes missing. And the stress must be making her crazy, because she's starting to get impossible memories. Memories that date all the way back to the 6th century during the Sassanid Empire.
And because cover reveals are, of course, all about the cover, here it is!
It's gorgeous, isn't it? And Veronique designed it herself. If you're curious about how, read our interview with her, where she discusses the book, the cover, and writing:
What made you choose Tehran as the setting for this novel, and how tough was the research to get it right?
It was actually while researching Ancient Persia for another novel that I kept on coming across modern Iranian culture and became fascinated. Nothing really formulated itself for me until I watched a movie called “No One Knows About Persian Cats”. It was about the underground music scene in Tehran. It was so urban and it made me think of the feel I had for REDEMPTION, somehow. So I told myself if REDEMPTION ever had a sequel, I’d set it in Tehran. It wasn’t much later that I got a two-book deal with Flux and I started to really research in earnest.
The research was very tough in the aspect that I was very nervous about writing something set somewhere I’ve never been to. (Actually, I considered visiting the Iranian embassy here in Ottawa so I could say I’ve put foot on Iranian ground. Would that count?)
I literally read everything I could get my hands on about Iran. If you look at my Goodreads books, you’ll see how many memoirs I’ve read. I also watched documentaries and movies, and talked to people (both in the country and out). Actually I have even Skyped with an Iranian semi-celebrity in the underground music scene, though the language barrier made it a little difficult.
Eventually I realized that I had to be satisfied that my characters could be real, and not worry about representing every Iranian out there.
What made you decide to self-publish DELIVERANCE?
Well the decision wasn’t mine. DELIVERANCE was dropped due to poor sales on my debut novel. From what I hear, this is a regular occurrence in the publishing industry.
But I have to point out that I am very excited about the opportunity. I did not thrive as a traditionally published author. I was very awkward with the whole process and didn’t know how to promote myself. I constantly had a feeling like I had someone standing behind me judging me (I totally didn’t!) and it made me very timid about promoting myself or talking about myself in any shape or form. I think self-publishing will really suit my personality better and I am very excited about the road ahead!
What's the best YA novel you've read recently?
I was very late to the party but I just recently read Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I loved it and can’t wait to pick up the next ones in the series!
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received?
Just write. I spent decades of my life wanting to write and trying to figure out how to get started doing it. I attempted to plan and organize and outline and research and in all this, I never wrote more than a few lines of actual story. Then once I came across the advice to just write and I wondered if it could really be that simple.
Now it’s the first piece of advice I pass on, and sometimes I’m the one who needs to hear it again.
You designed this cover yourself—for those who might be interested in doing the same, would you mind walking us through your process?
I would love to! I was lucky in a way, because Flux had already designed a great cover for my debut novel REDEMPTION, so I had a direction to go as far as the overall style went. I’d also already had a brainstorming session with my editor about it, so I had a very strong idea of what I wanted. (Such a strong idea, that I’d already had my sister do a photo shoot with one of my friends hoping Flux would use her as a cover model!)
When I realized I would be self-publishing I ran with my ideas. I found royalty free stock photos for all the elements I wanted on the cover. I also found the perfect font and contacted the creator letting him know how I wanted to use it and asking for his permission (He happily gave it to me.) I also made sure I had the right licenses for any of the Photoshop brushes I used.
When I contacted my friend to get her to sign a model-release, she never answered me. I lost contact with her completely, and she never even answered when the friends we used to have in common tried to contact her. So, I had to find a new model, and since my sister was out of town, a new photographer.
Luckily, I know a few professional photographers, and my friend Ewa Krupinska stepped in! A simple request in a Persian Arts and Culture group on Facebook got me Maryam Amiri (the gorgeous girl on the cover) and a Facebook acquaintance (Rashin Maleki) agreed to do the makeup. We set up a makeshift little studio in my living room and did our photo shoot there.
It all came together very nicely and was so much fun that I can’t wait to design my next cover!
If you were to look up random in the dictionary, you might find a picture of Véronique. This Montreal native is a single mother to two adorable young girls and a servant to two feline companions. She is also an avid reader, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. Her somewhat obsessive personality is often the subject of jokes amongst her family and friends, but it has served her well; she would never have written a book without it. She is studying everything Iranian from the language, to the history, to the cuisine -- another side effect to her obsessive personality -- and she likes to dance (usually in the kitchen). You can find DELIVERANCE on Goodreads.
And, as promised, this cover reveal also comes with a giveaway: Veronique has generously offered two eARCs of DELIVERANCE. And because this is a companion novel, you don't need to have read her debut, REDEMPTION, in order to enjoy DELIVERANCE (though after you read it, I bet you'll want to!) All you need to do is fill out the form below before September 24th: