Cover Reveal: Surviving Santiago

You’ve heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a village to produce a good book—a literary “child.” And that’s true of Surviving Santiago, a literary child by the awesome Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Feast your eyes on the cover.


You might know Lyn from her blog and from her visits here.


A good book needs a place to call home. Surviving Santiago, a young adult novel, found a home at Running Press. It is a companion book to Gringolandia (Curbstone/Northwestern University Press, 2009) and debuts June 2, 2015. Here’s the synopsis:

To sixteen-year-old Tina Aguilar, love is the center of her world with its warmth and ability to make a place into a home. Thus Tina is less than thrilled to return to her birthplace of Santiago, Chile, for the first time in eight years to visit her father, the man who betrayed her and her mother’s love through his political obsession and alcoholism. Tina is not surprised to find Papá physically disabled from his time as a political prisoner, but she is disappointed and confused by his constant avoidance of her company. So when Frankie, a mysterious, crush-worthy boy, shows interest in her, Tina does not hesitate to embrace his affection.

However, Frankie’s reason for being in Tina’s neighborhood is far from incidental or innocent, and the web of deception surrounding Tina begins to spin out of control. Tina’s heart is already in turmoil, but adding her and her family’s survival into the mix brings her to the edge of truth and discovery.

Romance and intrigue intertwine in Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s coming-of-age story set amidst the tense anticipation at the end of the Pinochet regime in 1989. Fans of Gringolandia will recognize the Aguilar family as they continue their story of survival and redemption.

You know you want this book. I can tell.

A good book needs champions at a publishing house. One of Surviving Santiago‘s champions is the editor, Lisa Cheng, who also edited The Color of Rain by the ever wonderful Cori McCarthy, who was interviewed on this blog. Another champion is the publicist, Val Howlett, who helps spread the word about Lyn’s book.

Last, but not least, a good book needs a good cover. (That’s your cue to take a second look at the cover above.) Surviving Santiago‘s cover was designed T. L. Bonaddio. Click here for her website.

Wondering what Lyn thinks about the cover? Wonder no more:

My reading of Latin American detective fiction influenced Surviving Santiago, which blends history, romance, and suspense. One of my favorite authors for adults is the genre-crossing Chilean-Mexican-Spanish writer Roberto Bolaño. Surviving Santiago’s cover references his Distant Star, a novel that explores truth and revenge at the end of the Pinochet dictatorship.


Looking for a good book? You can preorder Surviving Santiago here:


Curious about Gringolandia (another good book)? Click here.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the author of Gringolandia (a 2010 ALA Best Book for Young Adults) and Rogue. She has an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin. She is the former editor of MultiCultural Review and has taught English, social studies, and Jewish studies. She is the assistant host of Vientos del Pueblo, a bilingual radio show featuring Latin American and Spanish music, poetry, and history. She grew up in Houston and currently lives in New York with her family. You can visit her online at

Lyn is represented by Ellen Geiger at Frances Goldin Literary Agency.

32 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: Surviving Santiago

  1. Yes, I can see the cover reference. I’ve often wondered about the covers-are they created/visualised by the author or the publisher? I know James Herbert ( who used to work in that line) used to design his own covers-titles and everything.

    • Usually the publisher of a traditionally published book comes up with the cover and the author has very little say. That’s why a lot of writers like to self-publish. Authors who work with smaller publishers generally have more input. Both my agent and I had significant input into this cover, though the final design decisions rested with the publisher. (It helped that we were all in agreement as to what the cover would look like!) In the case of Gringolandia, which came from an even smaller publisher, I got to choose the cover designer. Gringolandia takes place three years earlier than Surviving Santiago, at the time when Tina’s father has just been released from prison and rejoins his family in exile. My cover designer for that book, Guillermo Prado, was himself a political prisoner under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.

      • Couldn’t imagine how it would feel, after the toil of writing a book, and the joy of having it accepted, then being given a cover by the publisher, that you hated.

      • Andy, unfortunately a lot of authors end up with covers they hate, or covers that don’t match the content of the book. I’ve been VERY lucky in this respect, but I know authors who had, for instance, African-American protagonists and the publisher put a white person on the cover.

    • I didn’t know that about James Herbert. I remember some of the old covers for the Dune series. Interesting!
      I’m always fascinated by covers and how they came about.

      • Yes, if memory serves me right he went for large, gold or silver embossed lettering. The books were good too 🙂

    • Thank you, Jill! I’m glad that I was able to pay homage to Bolaño’s novel via the cover. My favorite novel of his is a longer one called The Savage Detectives, but Distant Star was his second to be translated into English and the first one to get him notice in the U.S.

  2. Sounds like a fantastic story, Lyn. BTW, I read Bolano’s 2666 a couple of years ago. Had some great bits (loved the last story), but part four was a slog…though I assume that was his intention.

    • Unfortunately, Bolaño died before he finished editing 2666. I know he’d edited the first three parts and didn’t get to edit the fifth one at all, but I don’t know about the fourth. The fourth part read like a documentary, and since he wrote it, there have been several documentaries and nonfiction books on the women of Juárez.

  3. I feel so privileged to have read SURVIVING SANTIAGO in an earlier form. Cannot wait to read it again! Congratulations, Lyn!

  4. Lyn, congratulations on your second book’s birth! I’m a big fan of Bolano (even if I don’t know how to get my keyboard to make the squiggly above the n.) Linda is the best for introducing me to great writers. I look forward to checking out both your books.

    • Thank you, Andra! I have a Mac, and for it and the iPhone/iPad, you hold down the letter and some options for accents, tildes and other diacritical marks come up with little numbers underneath. Press the number corresponding to the mark you want, and it should work (though sometimes it doesn’t). Before I discovered this method, which someone showed me on Instagram, I had to go through the Insert/Symbol menu, and it took forever.

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