Cliches are cliches for a reason - because people seem to love the familiar. In the cinema, we see variations of the same storyline all the time, but a vast majority still enjoy the predictability so we keep coming back. Well before there were movies there were books, and people who love literature know writers have been telling variations of the same story since they first put pen to paper. Writers’ HQ, an organization that runs writing retreats and online writing courses 'for bada*s writers with no time or money,' released an image series of 'Accurately Titled Novels,' - that are all too familiar.
The hilarious series of fake books perfectly parody our favorite book genres from murder mysteries to vampire-romances to period pieces, these covers take a witty stab at some of our favorite literary tropes. The idea originated from the mind of Writers' HQ co-founder, Sarah Lewis, "I made the original Disaffected Working Mother With Awful Husband cover and sent it to Jo to take the piss out of my own writing as I was utterly sick of myself," she explained to Bored Panda, "It also happened at the same time we had both read a lot of stories about sad men and people drowning, so we made a couple more."
For a while, the creative covers were more of a public inside joke than anything else. "We posted them on Facebook and no one paid any attention, so we forgot about it and occasionally made more covers to send to each other as a joke."
Their book art was busted out of anonymity when it caught the attention of Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, Wil Wheaton, "I went on holiday and Jo decided to post them all on Tumblr, when Wil Wheaton of all people came across them. I turned on my phone to like a billion notifications. That was two years ago and people are still commenting on them. P.S I was a teenage TNG nerd and I fangirled for MONTHS."
As book-lovers and authors, Lewis-Hammond says the jokes are all in good fun. "We're not being b*tchy about any particular book or genre, but it is funny that you can punt out a generic idea and get a flood of comments saying, 'Oh, that must be XYZ or ABC," when we didn't necessarily have a specific book in mind," adding, "We both read and write a lot and were trying to make each other laugh by pissing about with tropes. It escalated A LOT."
Writers' HQ was set up to run writing retreats and online courses for badass writers with no time or money. As two smol writers we felt the literary establishment was entirely aimed at rich Boomers who take themselves far too seriously and wear way too many scarves, so we created a place where we get to talk about the writing we love at the same time as helping writers who need help with time, space, money and general support, and where we also get to make each other snort tea out of our noses.