Today debut author Jill Baguchinsky is guest blogging! Her debut novel, SPOOKYGIRL: Paranormal Investigator, was released by Dutton last month. Before that, the manuscript won the 2001 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Now it's a good choice for a fun read as Halloween grows ever closer. (It's also less fattening than gorging on candy corn and the Reese's shaped like pumpkins. Not that any of us ever do that.)
Without any further ado, here's Jill!
I knew publishing a novel would lead to being asked plenty of questions, but
I never could have predicted the one I get most frequently about SPOOKYGIRL:
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR. Is it something to do with where I got a particular
idea, or how long it took me to write the book?
Nope. Over and over I'm asked if that's me on the cover.
The answer: It's definitely not, but thank you. I'm flattered.
I adore SPOOKYGIRL's cover. The first time I saw it was right after the 2011
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award ceremony in
Seattle . SPOOKYGIRL had just won in the
young adult fiction category. As soon as the winners were announced, Amazon
listed our novels for pre-order -- but I didn't know that at the time. I was
on the shuttle back to the hotel when I got a message from my brother's
friend, who said he'd just ordered my book.
I brought up Amazon on my phone's browser and did a search, and there it was
-- my book, complete with cover art. The design wasn't finalized, but I
approved of what I saw -- a long-haired teenage girl smirking and posing
boldly in front of a foreboding bank of stormclouds. I liked that the girl's
face was only partially visible; that choice left some of her appearance up
to the reader's imagination. More importantly, what I could see of her looked almost eerily
like the image of Violet I've had in my head since I wrote SPOOKYGIRL's first
My publisher eventually decided to finalize the design with a few small
tweaks. The colors were adjusted a bit. Violet's hair was darkened, and the
original green necklace was replaced with a purple one to match her favorite
color. (Personally, I would have gone with a black tourmaline stone instead
to match the one Violet carries, but that's my only quibble.)
Never once did I expect to be mistaken for the girl on the cover. Okay, there
are a few similarities. The hair, for one -- I do have long dark hair that I
often straighten. And I guess there's something similar about her smile.
Maybe the cover art's version of Violet could be my niece.
She's not me, though. My only spot on the cover is in the author photo on the
dust jacket flap.
But I'll never get tired of fielding that question.