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Behind the Scenes of Reality Check by Jen Calonita

Jen Calonita just celebrated the release of Broadway Lights, the fifth book in her popular YA series Secrets of My Hollywood Life.

Jen has another new book on the horizon, a stand-alone novel called Reality Check, in which the friendships, integrity, and patience of four high school girls is tested when a national television show starts broadcasting their lives. Though this book is separate from the Secrets line, it has the same target audience and will no doubt be enjoyed by teens, especially Calonita's faithful readers.

But I'll save the rest of my thoughts about the book for my review, which I'll share in a separate post. Right now, I want to share the story behind the cover of Reality Check with you, which Jen and I just posted at her website. Without any further ado, here's Jen:

People always ask, "Do you have any say in the covers of your books?"

I'm lucky to work with a wonderful publisher that always shares their ideas with me, but I can't take any credit for the fabulous ideas and designs. It's all them! Thankfully I always adore what they do. I'm particularly excited about the cover for my upcoming novel, Reality Check, which is about four best friends whose lives change dramatically when they get their own reality TV show. The book's designer, Erin McMahon, and my editors, Kate Sullivan and Cindy Eagan, came up with the look for each doll, and they did an amazing job. The clothes the dolls wear were all designed by Erin! I wish she'd make clothes for me. Aren't the outfits cute?

I love, love, love the idea of dolls on the cover of this book. Each doll looks like one of the four best friends in the novel, which is great, but when you dig further, and think about the story, having dolls represent the girls says something else about the book as well. I don't want to give too much away, but you'll know what I'm talking about when you read the book.

My editor and designers were nice enough to let me tag along to the photo shoot in New York City for the cover where I got to hang out with all the dolls for the day. And I do mean the day -- you'd think photographing dolls would be quick, but it's not. So much goes into the dolls' positioning, the backgrounds, their hair, their outfits (some of the dolls had costume changes), everything! It was so cool to watch photographer Dan Saelinger at work.

When the dolls were through with their modeling the Poppy team was nice enough to gift me the Keiran doll. She now sits on my desk. (She is staring at me as I type this, actually.)

Reality Check by Jen Calonita will be released in June 2010.

Many thanks to Melissa Walker for posting this cover story at her blog as well!
Tags: articles, books, covers, interviews, websites

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