You guys, I am thrilled to have Kristen Kittscher on my blog today for her upcoming release, The Wig in the Window! I’ve been excited for The Wig in the Window for years – and I do mean years! Ever since I saw the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement. And release day is almost here – finally! Although I’m sure it’s seemed like longer for Kristen, hah!
Also, be sure to check back next month for my review of The Wig in the Window – and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the Debut Author Challenge newsletter! I’ll be featuring Kristen and giving away a copy of The Wig in the Window!
Anyway, without further ado, here’s a guest post from Kristen all about her cover! Which is awesome, FYI.
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward).
At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets! But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.
Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. They might solve their case, but will their friendship survive?
Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny middle-grade mystery with a REAR WINDOW twist. – Goodreads
Kristen Kittscher, author of The Wig in the Window
I’m so delighted to be kicking off my first guest post on the blog tour for The Wig in the Window with Hobbitsies!
Given the prying nature of my enterprising tween sleuths, Young & Yang, I thought it would be fun to take you behind-the-scenes for some top secret investigations into how a manuscript is turned into a real, live book. If we’re going undercover, perhaps the cover is the best place to start?
While the cover is really up to the publisher at the end of the day, my editors, Rosemary Brosnan and Andrea Martin, asked for some early input: did I have any strong feelings? Any dislikes? Specific thoughts?
I did have a few thoughts—and as you’ll see, to my delight they very much took them into account. Here’s a peek at our correspondence (don’t you feel sneaky? Well, they did give permission—but let’s pretend we’ve been riffling through desks. Maybe we’re even about to get caught?)
Snippets from my first email (to which I attached this poster of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window):
–I think the Chapter 2 “Rear Window” scene and the Wig in the Window scene are ripe with possibility and perhaps, combination. The nighttime scene is more evocative than the daytime, in my opinion.
–I hate the color pink and am generally not seeing this book as appealing to girly-girls, for lack of a better word.
–If Young & Yang are both pictured, it is important to me that they have equal status, i.e. no Grace hiding behind Sophie’s shoulder. There are few enough characters of color represented in the mainstream, and it is powerful for kids to see someone like themselves represented.
I finished by offering to send pictures of the place that inspired “Luna Vista.”
Click the image to view full size
Associate Editor Andrea Martin’s reply:
I totally agree with all your points. Sophie and Grace are equals and they should be represented as such if they’re on the jacket. A pink girly cover wouldn’t do…and it would completely miss the readership for this book. You know, it would be wonderful if you could send along some pictures of “Luna Vista” and the types of houses that Sophie and Grace would live in (and spy on)—thank you! Photos would absolutely be useful to our art department.
When brilliant cover artist Marcos Calo (http://www.marcoscalo.com) (DANI NOIR, VANISHING ACTS) came back with his first sketches, I was floored! It was Hitchcock—but for kids. Exactly the vibe I hoped for. And the kids’ Converse! What a perfect touch. I especially loved the askew font and the Saul Bass-inspired Vertigo-like horizontal lines in the window. It was such a thrilling moment to see what creative minds had done to transform the spirit of Young & Yang’s adventures into an image.
I did have some concerns: I couldn’t really tell the characters apart—originally one was in silhouette and the other didn’t really look like either character. I certainly didn’t want Grace Yang’s ethnicity to be hidden. Also, I didn’t think it was quite right that one was carrying a teddy bear. I wrote back an email bubbling over with all my debut author enthusiasm, but (nervously) weighed in with my thoughts. I was relieved by their reply:
We agree about the girls…it is too difficult to tell who’s who…We’re going to lose the teddy bear, as well.
Music to my ears. The next time I saw the cover, it was very close to what it is now—and I think it captures the book’s spirit very well. As I believe Hobbitsies’ boyfriend exclaimed when he saw it: “Hijinks are about to happen!”
Yes, they certainly are! Hope you enjoy them…
WIG’s officially out June 18, but you can order wherever books are sold.
Right now, two of my favorite independent children’s stores are running a special pre-order promotion. While supplies last, if you buy from Mrs. Nelson’s or Once Upon A Time, you will get a signed copy and a free SPY PEN for all your top secret communiqués…
P.S. While the “Luna Vista” pictures didn’t turn out useful for the cover, they ended up being very helpful for the artist who worked on the book trailer, as you’ll soon see…
About Kristen Kittscher
Kristen Kittscher was a child neighborhood spy but (allegedly) grew up to be an upstanding citizen and middle school English teacher. A graduate of Brown University, she now works as a writing tutor in Pasadena, California where she lives with her husband, Kai, and their hyperactive lab mix. The Wig in the Window is her first novel. Visit kristenkittscher.com to investigate more about her and Young & Yang’s next adventure, The Tiara on the Terrace.
Other Awesome Links
I’ve got some other awesome links for you! Want to follow the rest of the blog tour? You can do so here! And here’s a hilarious and fun interview with Kristen and two kids! Kristen also has a really cool preorder promotion going on – want a free spy pen? Find out more details here!
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