We are so excited to bring you this cover reveal of One Great Lie by Deb Caletti, as well as a new cover for her amazing novel Girl, Unframed! First, a quick Q&A with Deb Caletti herself.
Aurora: What inspired One Great Lie?
Deb Caletti: One Great Lie is about Charlotte, a young, aspiring writer who wins a spot in a summer writing program in Venice, led by the esteemed and charismatic author, Luca Bruni. While there, she also gets the chance to delve into a long-troubling question about the true author of a very famous poem. The novel was inspired by the whole art-versus-artist debate that caught fire during the MeToo movement, and still continues to blaze. All of my books come from a need to understand my life and the world around me, and One Great Lie gave me the chance to examine my own feelings and the larger issues around female creativity and the history of powerful men that was very much on my mind then. The book is part mystery, and part love story, but wholly and deeply feminist.
What inspires your writing and do you have any rituals that help you get prepared to craft your stories?
All of my books are inspired by the desire to better understand the experiences and big questions in my own life, as I mentioned. Before I begin to craft a plot, or characters, or setting, or anything else, I ask myself what’s on my mind, what’s compelling/infuriating/intriguing/baffling enough to spend a year exploring. So, my own confusion or passionate feelings about something are what motivate me to write. In preparation, I do a lot of reading on the subjects I’ll be writing about. It’s not research necessarily, not at first, but more just a chance to let ideas knock around and develop. I also do a lot of general reading. There’s nothing more inspiring than great writing, and I always believe that some magic alchemy happens when all of those books unfurl and collide in my mind. As far as daily rituals? Strong coffee and a Walker’s shortbread cookie.
Which character do you relate to the most in this book and why?
I’m guessing every writer says this, but you have to relate to – and empathize with – every character, I think, in order to create someone who feels real. So, I can identify with Charlotte’s anxiety, fears, and dreams, and to Avni’s fierce determination, and even to a few of Luca Bruni’s moments of ego and insecurity. But, in One Great Lie, I feel most connected to the characters who I didn’t even know were going to be in the book, who found their way in only after one bit of astonishing research led to more and more of it: the feminist writers of five hundred years ago. I had absolutely no idea that women (many of them teens), were writing and publishing bold and controversial feminist works way back in the 1500s. It was an awful and shocking realization, that we are still writing about the same subjects they were back then, and struggling with the same power dynamics, too. But I also found those women incredibly inspiring. I related to them, definitely. They are standing at the beginning of a long history of female writers, and it feels like a great honor to step in line behind them.
About One Great Lie:
When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Writing is her passion, and going to that romantic and magical sinking city gives her the chance to solve a family mystery about a Venetian poet deep in their lineage, Isabella di Angelo, who just might be the real author of a very famous poem.
Bruni’s villa on the eerie island of La Calamita is lush beyond belief, and the other students are both inspiring and intimidating. Venice itself is beautiful, charming, and seductive, but so is Luca Bruni. As Charlotte begins to unearth the long-lost work of Isabella with the help of a sweet and smart Italian boy named Dante, other things come to light too—secrets about the past, and secrets about the present.
What promised to be a summer filled with romance and mystery becomes something more as Charlotte confronts some deep truths about the history of powerful men—and the determination of creative girls.
About Girl, Unframed:
Sydney Reilly has a bad feeling about going home to San Francisco before she even gets on the plane. How could she not? Her mother is Lila Shore—the Lila Shore—a film star who prizes her beauty and male attention above all else…certainly above her daughter.
But Sydney’s worries multiply when she discovers that Lila is involved with the dangerous Jake, an art dealer with shady connections. Jake loves all beautiful objects, and Sydney can feel his eyes on her whenever he’s around. And he’s not the only one. Sydney is starting to attract attention—good and bad—wherever she goes: from sweet, handsome Nicco Ricci, from the unsettling construction worker next door, and even from Lila. Behaviors that once seemed like misunderstandings begin to feel like threats as the summer grows longer and hotter.
It’s unnerving, how beauty is complicated, and objects have histories, and you can be looked at without ever being seen. But real danger, crimes of passion, the kind of stuff where someone gets killed—it only mostly happens in the movies, Sydney is sure. Until the night something life-changing happens on the stairs that lead to the beach. A thrilling night that goes suddenly very wrong. When loyalties are called into question. And when Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break.
About the Author:
DEB CALETTI is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She lives with her family in Seattle. Visit her at debcaletti.com.