Exclusive Cover Reveal: Seeing Strangers by Sebastian J. Plata

You may have noticed that a few books in the post of my Most Anticipated Adult Fiction of January-June 2022 lacked covers, including this particularly compelling thriller by Sebastian J. Plata, author of Freak ‘N’ Gorgeous. Well, I’m delighted to help fix that today! We’ve got the cover for Seeing Strangers, Plata’s adult debut, which releases from Polis Books on May 3, 2022, and it’s got a great story behind it (more on that below from the author). But first, the actual story!

Life is going well for Greg Kelly. He’s married to the handsome and kind Cristian, a Spanish-born artist who is also a talented cook. Greg’s work as a translator for an IT startup allows them to live comfortably in a stylish Bushwick two bedroom and enjoy just about all NYC has to offer—including sleeping with other men, since Greg and Cristian’s marriage has been open for the past few years. This arrangement has been particularly appealing to Greg and his exceptional sexual appetite. Now approaching their mid-thirties, fatherhood calls and they enlist a friend to act as surrogate.

In order to focus on building a family, Greg and Cristian decide to close up the marriage when the baby arrives. Greg is going to miss his hookups, but at least he has the summer for one last hurrah. He methodically plans his hookups via Grindr and Tinder, carefully coordinates train routes for quick lunchtime hookups, and scouts potential candidates anywhere, anytime, like an old time Hollywood casting director.

As their baby’s due date draws closer, anxiety sets in over Greg’s impending parental responsibilities, the loss of his sexual freedom, and even his marriage to Cristian. But before he can sort out his feelings, a spurned hook-up reappears—Russell, an arrogant tv producer, who had wanted a relationship with Greg. And the problem is, Russell just won’t go away, infiltrating himself into Greg’s life in the worst ways possible, threatening his marriage and sanity. Greg is left asking, what does it mean to find happiness but still crave more?

And here’s the appropriately unsettling cover by Kristie of 2Faced Design!

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

A note from Sebastian J. Plata!

I always wanted the cover to be an intriguing mixture of sexy and creepy.
Since hook-up culture is so integral to the story, and since shirtless mirror photos are so integral to hook-up culture, I envisioned a mysterious figure reflected in a foggy mirror—an image I thought might just deliver both of the elements I wanted perfectly. Fortunately, when I shared my idea, my editor and publisher agreed.
Less fortunately, our designer couldn’t quite find the right photo to use. So what did she do? She steamed up her own mirror at home, asked her husband to strip, and snapped a photo of him standing in front of it herself.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of how some designers are more badass than others, and how Seeing Strangers ended up with a perfect cover I absolutely love.
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(c) Miri Matsufuji

Sebastian J. Plata was born in Poland, grew up in Chicago, and spent most of his twenties living in Tokyo. He is now based in Brooklyn,
NY. In addition to writing, he also works as a Japanese/English translator. He is the author of the YA novel FREAK ‘N’ GORGEOUS,
this is his first thriller. Find him online @sebastianjplata.