This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared in the September 2021 edition of my newsletter Readiculous Musings. You can subscribe for it HERE.
Love love love the cover for my newest Young Adult Rom Com, Once Upon a K-Prom (Out May 17, 2022 with Disney-Hyperion). My first foray into contemporary romance, it’s about a Korean-American girl who made a pact to go to prom with her childhood best friend. But when he moved away and became one of the biggest K-pop stars in the world, she thought that promise would never be fulfilled…until he shows up on her doorstep, cameras and all, to ask her to prom. ✨PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom✨
Fun fact, we originally discussed doing a photoshoot to have real people on the cover, but the ideas we had for the design ultimately seemed like it would fit better with an illustrated style. And I’m so glad we went that route because…I mean, look at this gorgeous art!
The artist hit it out of the park. My publisher asked me to send them my thoughts on what I dreamed of for my cover and I immediately sent in the aesthetic board of my visual inspirations and some covers I loved for recent contemporary romances. And when they sent me Xiao Tong Kong’s first draft, I knew immediately I was in good hands.
I love all the details that the artist brought in from the book, including Robbie’s pink hair, Elena’s casual and comfortable style, and the butterfly corsage! You might notice that there are two different backgrounds, which represents that our two main characters, Elena and Robbie, are coming together from two different worlds. This cover is everything I could have dreamed of to represent K-Prom and more and I am so grateful for the entire team.
What would you do if the world’s biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school. Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged. So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven year ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love. Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?
I had so much fun writing this contemporary romcom, but I definitely had to kind of start from the beginning to discover my contemporary voice while staying true to my natural author voice that I’d found for Wicked Fox and Vicious Spirits. One of the things that helped me write this new kind of story was by incorporating a lot of things I love in the story. Including, but not limited to, K-Pop, Childhood Friends-to-Lovers, and complicated family dynamics! I hope you all enjoy Elena and Robbie and their budding romance!
Learn more about K-Prom HERE