Behind the Book is an exclusive feature at Muggle-Born that gives readers an inside look into the editorial process of some of our favorite books. Plot changes, lost characters, and many more interesting topics are tackled in an interview with the author.
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
I’m still definitely fan-girlying over Alona and Will so I’m so excited to share this interview with you guys. If you haven’t already, check out my reviews for The Ghost and the Goth and its sequel, Queen of the Dead.
Did You Know?
- Leisel’s boyfriend was originally named Dan (see ARC) but was changed to Eric in the final draft!
- The prologue of Alona’s accident did not exist in the original draft of the manuscript
- Read on to find out more Behind the Book info about THE GHOST AND THE GOTH!
How many months did it take for you to write the original draft of THE GHOST AND THE GOTH?
The original draft took between two and three months. But that was a really, really rough draft! As in, it didn’t have an ending.
How long did the overall production of your book take from the moment you got your agent to the final publication date?
I got my agent–the awesome Laura Bradford–in April of 2008 and the book came out in June 2010.
Throughout the editorial process were there any significant changes to your story in terms of plot?
We didn’t have any massive changes to the plot, but there were a lot of points that needed to be further clarified, especially in regard to how the world worked. My editor, Christian Trimmer, is brilliant and asked lots of questions that really helped me refine the world and its rules.
Did you lose any characters along the way or go through any name changes?
Liesel’s boyfriend/fellow ghost was originally named Dan. In fact, if you read the ARC, it was still Dan! But by the time we were going through the last copy edits, I realized that Will’s father (named Daniel) would have a much larger role in the next book, so I asked if I could change her boyfriend’s name. I didn’t want to have two Dan/Danny characters playing fairly prominent roles! And thus, Liesel’s boyfriend became Eric, which, actually, I like better anyway!
What was the most challenging part of writing and the editorial process?
It’s always a little scary when it becomes REAL, you know? I was very worried–and still am!–about doing a good job, for the story itself and for the people who put their trust in me as a writer. So, to me, that was the hardest part, keeping the faith that I would do my best and that my best would be enough.
Did THE GHOST AND THE GOTH go through any title changes?
Nope, that’s the title I submitted.
What did it feel like to have the final copy of the book in your hands?
Not quite real! It felt so strange to open the cover and see words that I’d written, you know? But it was so amazing and rewarding to hold in my hands a tangible result of years of work.
Is there anything else that you could tell us about THE GHOST AND THE GOTH that we wouldn’t know unless we were part of the editorial team at Hyperion?
The prologue, in which Alona sneaks out of school and “meets” the bus, didn’t exist in the original draft. That was Christian’s suggestion, and I love it! I think it adds some important context and depth to Alona’s life, immediately pre-death.
Summary: Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.
I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?
Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.
I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?
- A light, entertaining and refreshing paranormal read
- Romance and banter lived up to my expectations
- The other paranormal elements (other ghosts) were interesting but not fully captivating
I admit, I’m guilty: I read this book because I heard of the awesome banter between Alona and Will. I’m a sucker for these love/hate kind of romances and THE GHOST AND THE GOTH did not disappoint.
As far as the high school setting goes, it is very cliché but I didn’t take it to seriously depict a normal high school setting, so it didn’t really bother me that much. Alona is the queen bee, the homecoming queen, the cheerleader – she’s pretty, she’s popular, and now – she’s dead. I absolutely loved the fact that this wasn’t a dark paranormal book. Though Alona and Will clearly do not have perfect lives, Kade still manages to keep the book light with the super funny voices of the main characters.
The alternating view points of the main characters was very refreshing. Maybe it’s just the paranormal books I tend to pick up – but for the most part, my experience with paranormal novels is that they are told from the point of view of the girl. I loved that in this case, it is Will who has the special power and Alona is the supernatural person.
A weekly meme on the books on the top of my list to read and books recently acquired, borrowed, or bought. Inspired by the Story Siren’s In My Mailbox.
Top of the Shelf / Currently Reading
What’s next on my to-read list for the upcoming week. I’m still reading Wildefire by Karsten Knight. I hope to finish it by the end of the weekend.
I accidentally was sent two copies of this one. I will probably post the extra as a giveaway.
I don’t get paid. I reimburse myself with free books. Here are just a few of the books I got.
Super thank you to fabulous best friends Loreal and Caitlin. <3 Loreal got me a signed copy of ANNA!!! And I swapped with her to get Jane, another big favorite.