Cover Reveal: The Art of Insanity, with guest post by Christine Webb
Living with a mental illness can be difficult, it can be ridiculous, and it can even be inspiring. This book seeks to capture all three of those descriptors with the story of Natalie, a high schooler who has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As she navigates the day to day life of someone living with this illness, she learns a lot about her friends, her family, and herself along the way.
This story sort of fell into my lap one day. I should have been revising a book I wrote about a bank robbery (which, in retrospect, wasn’t very good anyway), but on a whim I opened a document and started writing this one. I had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I was sick of the bleak statistics and tragic stories that frequently accompany that diagnosis. I wanted to see a story where someone could struggle with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder, and still be okay. I needed that kind of story, so I decided to write one. Writing became a way for me to process my own diagnosis through Natalie’s eyes.
The main thing I hope readers can take away from this book is that living with a mental illness can be difficult, but it is possible to succeed in living a fulfilling and happy life. I also hope readers can take away a little bit about what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder, as many of them may have friends or family members who are diagnosed with this illness. It doesn’t have to be as scary as people make it seem.
One of my favorite parts of the story is Petunia the ridiculous pug. Natalie doesn’t want to adopt Petunia, but she ends up with this dog. I have loved pugs for a long time, but at the time when I started drafting the story I didn’t have one. I based the dog in the story off of my friend’s pug Missy, who is the weirdest little dog you ever did see. In the first ever behind-the-scenes picture from the book, here’s Missy the pug, the inspiration for the character of Petunia
I’m so thankful to Teen Librarian Toolbox for hosting the cover reveal for this book. I’m also thankful to Maggie Edkins Willis, who designed this fantastic cover. It captures Natalie’s love for art, and I love that it connotes a bit of chaos as well. Natalie’s life spirals a bit out of control at times, but there’s beauty in her struggle. I also like the white background, as it feels symbolic of life being a blank canvas that we are filling in as we go. All in all, it’s a great cover that I can take exactly zero credit for, but I’m grateful to Maggie for designing it!
Look for The Art of Insanity from Peachtree Teen/Peachtree on shelves this October, and I hope you enjoy Natalie’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Meet the author
Christine Webb is a middle school teacher from Kalamazoo, Michigan. When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys hanging out with her zoo (three goofy dogs, an evil cat, twenty nameless pigeons, and a friendly rat) or traveling with her husband. She also loves studying British history and laments the fact that she will never be Queen. Follow her on Twitter @cwebbwrites.
Author website: ChristineWebbAuthor.com
Author Twitter: @CWebbWrites
Cover designer website: MaggieMadeThis.com
Cover designer Twitter: @MaggieMadeThis
Cover designer Instagram: @Maggie.Made.This
Publisher website: PeachtreeBooks.com/PeachtreeTeen/
Publisher socials: @PeachtreeTeen (on all platforms)
About The Art of Insanity
High schooler Natalie Cordova has just been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Her mom insists she keep it secret.
Putting up a front and hiding her mental illness from her classmates is going to be the hardest thing high schooler Natalie Cordova has ever done. It’s her senior year, and she’s just been selected to present her artwork at a prestigious show. With the stress of performing on her shoulders, it doesn’t help when Natalie notices a boy who makes her heart leap. And then there’s fellow student Ella, who confronts Natalie about her summer car “accident” and pressures her into caring for the world’s ugliest dog. Now Natalie finds herself juggling all kinds of feels and responsibilities. Surely her newly prescribed medication is to blame for the funk she finds herself in. But as Natalie’s plan to self-treat unravels, so does the perfect façade she’s been painting for everyone else.
Written from experience, this heartfelt and candid contemporary YA novel explores the stigma surrounding mental illness and offers an uplifting narrative of resilience.
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication date: 10/11/2022
Age Range: 14 Years
Filed under: Cover Reveal
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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