I am super excited to have Jill Baguchinsky by the blog today for an interview! Feel free to also check out my review of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator which went up today as well :)
Jill Baguchinsky is the author of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator. Spookygirl was awarded the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction. She lives in Florida with her three cats.
Who is your favorite ghost in pop culture today?
I don’t know if it’s possible for me to pick just one! I grew up in the 80s, so most of my favorite pop-culture poltergeists come from that decade — Slimer from Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Sam (Patrick Swayze) from Ghost.
If I’m looking for a scare, though, I’d have to go with ghosts like the old woman in Insidious. As a kid, I had nightmares (I hope they were just nightmares) about a very similar hag, so I could barely watch any scene she was in. Kayako and Toshio from The Grudge also give me chills. I originally scoffed at the American version of that movie and watched it late one night, not expecting much. As soon as it ended, my ceiling fan started making a sound that was a little too close to Kayako’s death rattle, and my black cat began howling like Toshio. I slept with the lights on.
Did you do any research for Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator?
Definitely! I read up on common investigation tools and techniques, I spoke to friends who’ve been on ghost hunts, and I watched several seasons of Ghost Hunters (and developed a bit of a crush on Grant Wilson in the process).
I’ve yet to go on an actual paranormal investigation, although I’d love to. However, I’ve done a bit of informal hunting in areas reputed to be haunted, mostly to gain a better understanding of how Spookygirl’s Violet might trip up during her early investigations. It’s very easy to read too much into a temperature fluctuation or an orb in a photograph, and because Violet has very little guidance, she struggles to figure those things out on her own.
What is your karaoke song of choice?
I have a soft spot for “Hey Soul Sister” by Train because it was the first song I performed. I’m dying to take a stab at “All That Jazz” from Chicago and “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks, and I’ve been told I need to sing Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” at some point. However, my holy karaoke grails would be either “Girl Anachronism” or “Coin-Operated Boy” by The Dresden Dolls. I don’t think karaoke versions of either even exist, but if I ever find them on a night when I’m feeling particularly courageous, look out. It’ll be epic.
What has been one of your favorite moments on the road to publication?
There have been so many! Holding Spookygirl in my hands for the first time, seeing it on bookstore shelves, witnessing my friend’s realization that I’d dedicated it to her — they’ve all been amazing moments.
However, my favorite moment was probably the morning of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award announcement in Seattle. The entire trip was so lovely, with one unforgettable experience after another, but that morning . . . Not to get too trite and Disney-ish about it, but a dream I’d had for a very long time finally came true. That day is a haze of overwhelming joy in my memory. The award ceremony happened on my dad’s birthday — he says my win was the best birthday present he’s ever gotten.
Emily Brontë. She and her siblings created incredibly detailed imaginary worlds as children, and most accounts suggest Emily’s fantasy life remained an important part of her overall existence right up until her death. One documentary — I saw it years ago and wish I could find it again — even claimed she used to wander the moors for hours, having long talks with Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Whether or not she truly felt she could converse with her characters, I adore the idea of it. I tend to be similarly eccentric about my own characters, so I like to imagine sharing a pot of tea with Emily while we complain about our various muses — who has been difficult to write lately, who has been impatient or demanding, who has kept us up at night with the details of this or that scene. And I want to ask if she really took those walks with Heathcliff! (I love the guy, I do, but I wouldn’t want to hang out with him. He’s a horrible person.)
Thanks Jill for stopping by!
About Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator – Violet doesn’t remember much about her late mother, but she is certain of one thing: she too can see ghosts and communicate with the dead. But when Violet discovers paranormal activity in the girls’ locker room, she finds herself ill-equipped for handling the school’s ghostly echoes. Through Violet’s own investigation and with the help of some unlikely allies, Violet discovers there is a lot she doesn’t know about her special skill–and more still that can stand in the way of its power. With sharp wit and determination, Violet sets out to uncover the truth behind her school’s haunting, to finish the investigation that led to her mother’s sudden death, and to learn why the only ghost she has ever wanted to see is the one that has eluded her forever.