The 'Eleanor & Park' author previews her Halloween-themed new book and talks its beautiful cover

By David Canfield
September 14, 2018 at 01:24 PM EDT
Courtesy of Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Rainbow Rowell is moving into new territory.

The star YA author of Eleanor & Park and others is prepping for the release of her debut graphic novel, Pumpkinheads, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl), a veteran of the comics world. Together they’ve crafted a rom-com about two high-school coworkers finding love on their last night of working the local pumpkin patch, set to be published in fall 2019.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1st. But this Halloween is different — Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye. Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if, instead of moping, and instead of the usual — slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years.”

Rowell and Hicks have exclusively shared the book’s cover with EW, which you can see at the bottom of this post. It gets at the book’s dreamy, romantic tone. “I wrote Pumpkinheads during a very difficult time in my life, and maybe because of that struggle, it’s the most joyful and reassuring book I’ve written,” Rowell tells EW. “Faith really captures that joy. She’s an uncommonly kind and generous person — and that kindness shines through in her artwork. I fell in love with Josie and Deja all over again when I saw Faith’s pencils.”

She adds of the cover, “I love the way [it] shows how close Deja and Josie’s friendship is — always together, even though they’re not together. And I love that it features the very important third main character of the book: the pumpkin patch itself!”

For Hicks, there was a clear intent in the way the cover was designed. “I love the story that Rainbow wrote for our graphic novel, and I especially love the two stars of that story, Deja and Josiah, two funny, brave, emotional teenagers,” she begins. “I knew I wanted them to be front and centre on the cover, so that potential readers could fall in love with them as well, and I’m really happy with the cover design we ended up with! I can’t wait for readers to meet Deja and Josiah next year when Pumpkinheads comes out.”

Check out the cover below. Pumpkinheads publishes on Aug. 27, 2019.

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