The Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series is set in my neighborhood, where author Leslie Margolis also lives! I used to adore mysteries when I was a Middle Grade reader, and the first book in the series -- which was just released this month -- is so adorable that I had to ask her how it happened (I love illustrated middle-grade covers). Here's Leslie:
"Girl's Best Friend is the first book in the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series, which revolves around a twelve-year-old, dog-walking detective. And I must confess - I've been obsessing over what the cover would look like ever since I came up with the idea.
"My editor did not ask for my input directly quite possibly because I never gave her the chance to. When she asked for physical descriptions of my main character and the dogs she walks, I sent those along with this additional note:
"'Brownstone Brooklyn features prominently in the
book and it would be excellent to have that represented somehow... I don't want to be difficult at all, but I've been thinking about the look of the book a lot and wanted to send some links to some covers I really like. Here's hoping you find this helpful rather than annoying!'
"Reading this again -- over a year later, I'm sure my email was annoying rather than helpful. And maybe I was difficult, too. But oh well. I had to get it out there.
"Harriet the Spy, Knuffle Bunny, and When You Reach Me are three of my favorite books. They are all city stories and they all have striking covers. And Knuffle Bunny act
ually takes place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where Maggie lives.
"Maybe this technique worked, or maybe Bloomsbury was thinking along the same lines, anyway. All I know is that a few months passed with no word about the cover. And then one day my editor told me they were looking at an illustrator named Tuesday Mourning.
"I Googled 'Tuesday Morning' and found a website dedicated to discounted gifts and home accessories based in Dallas, Texas.
Read the rest of Leslie's Cover Story, and see early drafts, at melissacwalker.com.