I’m thrilled to be giving you an exclusive first look at the cover for Lance Rubin’s upcoming debut Denton Little’s Deathdate, which will be published April 14, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
When asked about his cover, Rubin said, “I seriously love it. The font, the grass, the hearse heading down, down, down. It really captures the offbeat dark humor of the book.”
Compared to the likes of John Green, Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and more, this snarky and outrageous book will make you die laughing. To see what I mean, read the catalog summary below:
Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days-the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle-as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure-see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.
Luckily for us, Lance was able to answer a few questions about Denton Little’s Deathdate and about his thoughts on the cover itself.
Could you tell readers a little bit about Denton Little’s Deathdate?
Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world much like our own, except everyone knows the day they’re going to die. Denton Little, a sweet, funny 17-year-old, is going to die tomorrow, the same day as his senior prom.
As Denton makes his way through his last two days–attending his own funeral and dealing with hangovers, love triangles, jealous exes, mysterious rashes, and shotgun standoffs–he tries to get closure on his life.
I should mention it’s a comedy. I like to think it’s in the same vein as my favorite movie of all time, Back to the Future–a comedic adventure with a splash of sci-fi.
It’s a pretty dark concept…I for one wouldn’t want to know when I was going to die. But, if you did know when you were going to die, what would be three things you’d knock off your bucket list?
It is a pretty dark concept, but I love the idea that if everybody knows when they’re going to die, our approach to death might become more matter of fact and a little less fearful, since it’d be woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.
But back to the bucket list! My list would be highly dependent on when my deathdate was–if it’s 10 years from now, there’s going to be way more urgency than if it’s 50 years from now. That said, I don’t want to make my brain or yours explode with multiple iterations of bucket lists, so let’s consider this one all-purpose:
- Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. (I’d like this to happen ASAP, but it might be cooler to wait until my 5-month-old son is mature enough to appreciate it. We’ll see.)
- Sit within shouting distance of Spike Lee at a Knicks game.
- Build a piece of furniture from scratch, so that when people come over I can say, “Oh, yeah, I built that chair. No big deal.”Fun sidenote: I just knocked an item off my bucket list last week, when I finally met someone whose last name was Pizza.
Your book has been compared to John Green and Matthew Quick, if there was any other author in the world that you would want to be compared to one day, who would it be?
First of all, John Green and Matthew Quick are brilliant writers and interesting people, so it’s really humbling to be compared to them.
As for the second part, Harry Potter is one of my absolute favorite book series of all time, so naturally, JK Rowling comes to mind. But hoping to be compared to her one day feels insane and almost sacrilegious.
So, instead, I will say that her storytelling abilities have had a huge impact on the way I think about narrative. If, one day, someone can have even one-third the amount of fun reading my books that I’ve had reading hers, I’ll feel hugely accomplished.
Now, about your cover that we just revealed, what were your initial thoughts upon first seeing it and were there any other versions than the final?
I believe my initial thought upon seeing the cover was: HOLY CRAP THIS IS A REAL BOOK! After that, I thought: Why can’t I get this file to stop being sideways? Is my phone broken? Once I understood that the cover was intentionally sideways, though, my next thought was: HOLY CRAP THIS COVER IS AMAZING!
I seriously love it. The font, the grass, the hearse heading down, down, down. It really captures the offbeat dark humor of the book.
And, interestingly enough, the version here is almost identical to the very first version I laid my eyes on. Random House designer Angela Carlino totally nailed it right off the bat. The only difference was that the first cover had the title in black. I had always hoped the cover would have some purple in it, as Denton develops a mysterious, purple rash, so I reached out to Angela and my editor Nancy Siscoe and asked if we could try making the hearse purple. They kindly gave it a go, but that made the hearse look too much like a toy. So then they tried the title in purple, and–voila!–we were all totally into it. Hence, the delightful cover that you’re staring at right now.
Lance Rubin is a New Jersey native who has worked as an actor and written sketch comedy, including successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He’s also co-writing a new musical called Annie Golden: Bounty Hunter, Yo! Lance lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. Denton Little’s Deathdate is his first novel. You can follow him online at lancerubin.com and on twitter @lancerubinparty.
Lance has awesomely offered to give away a copy of one of his personal advanced copies as soon as they are available as part of the big cover reveal! If you win, you will be among the FIRST to ever read Denton Little’s Deathdate! So now’s your chance, enter below for a chance to win!
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