Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Q & A with Tonya Hurley!

The author of Ghostgirl, Tonya Hurley has many talents. Aside from being an author, she is a writer and director in television and film. To find out more about Tonya's work just visit her website at

With a creditable portfolio and the sequel to Ghostgirl on the way, you can tell Tonya is versatile, edgy and all about standing out, even if she doesn't have purple hair anymore.

TP: How did you come up with the idea for Ghostgirl?

TH: I was working on a TV show in LA and I started thinking invisibility. A lot of time people who are talking to you are shoulder surfing to see if there's
anyone more important that they feel they 'should' be talking to. Anyway, it got me thinking about high school and how everyone is pretty much invisible - not just the outcasts and the rebels, but even the popular are being judged and can't be themselves. Then I got to thinking about how it's not just high school where people feel invisible, but life. Everyone from a person stuck in a dead-end job to a hot, young celebrity. It's something that we all deal with at one point or another in our lives. I loved the John Hughes comedies and of course the Tim Burton films, Heathers, so I drew from my inspirations and tried to write a book that was heartfelt and funny. I love satire.

TP: I must say the cover of Ghostgirl looks amazing, what was your reaction when you first saw it?

TH: My editor Nancy Conescu and the designer Alison Impey did a fabulous job! They took my web art to the next level, no doubt. I actually cried when I saw it. It was unbelievable. I still can't believe it's real. They are a very talented bunch over there. My team at Little, Brown and Company are definitely the rockstars of publishing.

TP: The characters Scarlet and Damen are big music fans, are you a big music fan? If so, what music do you listen to?
TH: Oh, my, YES. I love music. I love all kinds of music. I was in a punk band in high school and I studied music in college. I was a music publicist when I first moved to New York - most of the bands used in the book were clients and have remained friends of mine. Music is a big part of my life.

TP: Ghostgirl had a hard time in High School, how was your High School experience?
TH: I think everyone has a hard time in high school. I was pretty popular, in the popular crowd and I got so fed up with it that I came to school one day - at the age of 15 - with purple hair. It was a shock to everyone
because back then, no one colored their hair, especially in my small town. I had enough and I never looked back. I think coloring my hair and changing the way I dressed made me even more popular, so it back fired a little. It was always inside of me, I just started living it.

TP: You've done scripts for T.V shows, so let's say Ghostgirl was being turned into a T.V show, who would you cast to play your characters?
TH: I used to dream about Zooey Deschanel
playing the role, but time has passed since then. I would love for her to read the audio book, if there is one! I guess I'd want an unknown. I think that would be fitting.

TP: What can we expect next from you?

TH: The second ghostgirl book comes out next July! I really love the second book and it's equally beautiful.

TP: Who is your favorite author and what strikes you about their work?
TH: I love lots of authors. I love fantasy, but right now I am on a satire kick. I love David Sedaris. He really cracks me up. I think I am most influenced by Edward Gorey. He is a real hero of mine.

TP: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

TH: Learn to take rejection and move on. Don't let it stop you and try not to internalize it. Stay true to your story because if you don't believe in it, no one else will.

TP: What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
TH: I bird watch.
I would like to thank Tonya Hurley for allowing me to interview her.

Be sure to fulfill your Ghostgirl needs by visiting Ghostgirl's website:, where you can play Ghostgirl games, print Ghostgirl bookmarks and even write a message on the bathroom walls. So go and live it up on


mari said...

This book looks and sounds great. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Liviania said...

I love Zooey Deschamel's voice - she'd be a great narrator.

Looks like a fun book!

Mrs. Magoo said...

Nice interview!

Lenore said...

What a fun interview. Bird watching can be a great way to pass the time - not that I am any big expert or anything, but my cat sure enjoys it :)

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