The path to publication is long and twisty. There are many opportunities along the way to pause and ask yourself, “Is this really happening?”
You may try to convince yourself that you imagined the whole thing: the phone call, the contract, the weeks of revisions fueled by Diet Coke and M&Ms. Maybe someone is playing a huge cosmic joke. Maybe the nice book people will come to their senses and fling your manuscript out a window of the Flatiron Building, exclaiming: “Whew! Glad we dodged that bullet!”
But then the day will come that the nice book people show you a completed cover, and you think to yourself, “Ha! They can’t back out now!”
Okay, maybe you will think that for like a second or two, but then you will be awed and honored and so dang excited! I am thrilled to reveal the cover of MOTHMAN’S CURSE, illustrated by the talented James K. Hindle:
Mr. Hindle has also done interior illustrations, which are fabulous and spooky. I wish I could show them to you right now! His art really captures the flavor of the book, which, if you couldn’t tell by the title, is about Mothman. And a curse. And some other spooky stuff. Here, this might help:
Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. But when she and her brothers discover a Polaroid camera that prints pictures of the ghost of local recluse John Goodrich, they are drawn into a mystery dating back over a hundred years. A desperate spirit, cursed jewelry, natural disasters, and the horrible specter of Mothman all weave in and out of the puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life.
In all seriousness, seeing my cover art has been my favorite step so far, and I’ve heard it only gets better from here! Someday soon there will be actual books out there in the world!
Christine Hayes writes spooky stories for middle grade readers. Her debut novel, MOTHMAN’S CURSE, is due out June 16, 2015 with Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.