Monday, February 9, 2009

On The Outside: Suzanne Supplee

Suzanne Supplee is the author of Artichoke Hearts, She has also written a book for the Students Across the Seven Seas series called When Irish Guys Are Smiling. You can visit her at

A great big ole thank you to Kelsey for inviting me here. Reading really does keep me sane! And another big ole thank you to Natalie C. Sousa for her brilliant cover design for Artichoke’s Heart! If Natalie has a fan club, could someone please let me know? I definitely want to sign up. I know I’m biased, but I think Artichoke’s Heart has one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. It’s like Natalie Sousa climbed into the heart of my story and then translated it onto the cover. I vividly remember the day that Julie Strauss-Gabel, my wonderful editor at Dutton, emailed the cover. I think my reply must’ve been something really profound, like, “Oh my God!!!! Oh, my God!!!! I just love it!!! Oh, my God!!” And I did love it. I loved the chocolates and the icons on each one—the little hair dryer and the bluebird and the hearts and the artichokes, of course. I loved the frosty pink and chocolate brown colors and the swirly font, and I especially loved the empty candy wrapper with “A novel” written inside it. Honestly, I sat at my computer that day and cried. Silly as it sounds, I’m getting a little misty-eyed writing this. The cover means your book is really happening, and when you love the design the way I do…let’s just say it’s icing on the cake. As for the quirky title, I came up with Artichoke’s Heart even before I had a main character. You could say the entire story started with the title. I love extended metaphors, and I love artichoke hearts, and I started thinking about what a beautiful metaphor the artichoke is—so prickly on the outside, yet tender inside, like a lot of people. Rosemary, the protagonist, came later, and the artichoke was fitting for her because she was peeling away those layers physically, but she was also peeling away the emotional layers, too. It takes a whole team of people to make a book, and the writer is only a part of that team, which is why you so often see acknowledgement pages that go on forever. Rosemary’s story isn’t just for girls who are struggling with the whole weight thing; it’s for girls who have let insecurity and self-doubt stand in the way of happiness. I will be forever grateful to Natalie for creating a cover that makes readers want to dig in. Artichoke’s Heart will be released in paperback this May. And, yippeee! The cover will stay the same.


Thanks Suzanne!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!


  1. Awesome On The Outside, Kelsey!

    I love the cover too! It was really neat to read about Suzanne's reaction when she first saw the cover. Congrats on being published! :)


  2. The cover is really gorgeous. It was a great book. I got an ARC awhile ago, but now I'm thinking I want a paperback to go along with it!

  3. I want to eat those chocolates so bad.... They look so good !!!!


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