Emily Posts: Cover Reveal and Q&A with Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Ericka Lugo

Tundra is excited to be publishing Emily Posts on February 6, 2024! We hope you enjoy this exclusive cover reveal, and keep scrolling to read our Q&As with author Tanya Lloyd Kyi and cover illustrator Ericka Lugo!

Cover Illustrator: Ericka Lugo

Emily Posts
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774882047 | Tundra Books
Release Date: February 6, 2024
Emily is the ringleader for her school podcast, Cedarview Speaks — Sponsored by CoastFresh! But her plans for middle-school fame and social media influence are derailed when Amelie joins her eighth-grade class. The new arrival has a seemingly endless supply of confidence and a gift for leading people. Or leading them astray, as far as Emily’s concerned. Emily puts her old-fashioned sense of etiquette into practice. Rather than confronting Amelie, she focuses her energy on creating a podcast story about an upcoming climate march. But her story is censored by the school principal. When she protests, Emily gets cut from the podcast crew . . . and Amelie takes her place! Can Emily use her influence to spread the news of the climate march, reclaim her place on the podcast team and expose the flaws of CoastFresh? Can she balance her impeccable manners with twenty-first century activism? And how will she ever manage to work alongside Amelie? With a light touch and plenty of humor, Emily Posts explores issues of social media, influence, corporate sponsorship . . . and the fraught waters of middle-school friendship.

Q&A with Tanya Lloyd Kyi

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I read a news story about a high school journalist whose story about a protest march was censored. The principal said her piece didn’t represent the views of all students within the school. This raised an assortment of questions for me – about why a principal might really censor a student journalist, about how many viewpoints you need to represent in order for a story to be valid, and about the slightly fuzzy position of students in the world of journalism. (They don’t always get much control over their work.) But all of that makes it sound like this is a super-serious book, and it’s definitely not. I had a lot of fun exploring these issues through the slightly skewed (and maybe a teensy bit self-centered?) worldview of my main character. 

Without spoiling anything, what was your favorite moment to write in Emily Posts?

One of my favourite characters is Emily’s pseudo-brother, Ocean. As soon as he appears in any scene, chaos follows. At one point, Emily finds Ocean with licorice stuffed up his nose. He and his best friend are surrounded by a sea of candy, and she tries to decide whether she could be held in any way responsible for the mess. Then she finds out they didn’t exactly buy the candy with their own money…

Which character is the most like you or the most like someone you know?

Emily spends much of this book trying to juggle varying responsibilities. Some of them, like running her school podcast, are legitimate. Others, like arranging the social connections of the entire eighth grade, are really none of her business. I have been accused of being controlling when I’m stressed, although – like Emily – I’m quite sure this is an exaggeration and my organizational talents are entirely necessary.  

What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

I hope Emily inspires readers to raise their voices when they see injustices. And maybe to raise their voices in creative, unexpected ways. 

What have you been reading lately?

I’ve been rereading Judy Blume, of course, along with the rest of the world! I’ve also been reading the latest in Michael Hutchinson’s Mighty Muskrat series (I’m a fan), and Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster by Rachelle Delaney. Oh, and I’ve recently discovered the wonderfully weird books of British author Frances Hardinge. Hmmm… apparently I’ve been reading a bit of everything!

Q&A with Ericka Lugo

Did you read Emily Posts before starting on the cover? If so, what stuck out to you the most?

I sadly didn’t get to read the book before I started working on the cover but the art director did a great job at providing me with the tools I needed to work on it confidently.

Were you given any guidance from the author/editor?

Yes! Art director Gigi Lau sent me a very detailed brief with lots of info like the book description, synopsis, character details and key words to describe the feel the cover should have. She also sent thumbnails and rough sketches of what she had in mind, alongside a description and passages from the book that inspired that idea. 

How did you create the cover? What tools or programs did you use?

I started with a rough sketch, then created separate layers on top of that, with the lineart and colors. I worked from start to finish in the Procreate app on iPad using custom-made brushes. 

How many drafts/designs did you go through before you got to the final version?

I did quite a bit! I focused on making rough sketches of the main four cover ideas that were proposed first. Then, once the team decided which of those ideas they wanted to go with, I made a separate round of sketches with different variations of the same cover. Little changes can sometimes make a big difference in the feeling of the cover so I wanted to give them as many options as possible.

What are some other book covers you’ve worked on? Do you have any coming up?

Some of the covers I have worked on include Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado, Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera and the upcoming middle grade novel North of Supernova by Lindsey Leavitt, which comes out this summer!