When I started writing Young-hee & the Pullocho, it was originally conceived of as a very different book. For one, it wasn’t not a book at all; it was a movie. Also, it was much more about contemporary Korea than it was about spirit worlds. I think it was called something abstract and lame like Lost Apartments.
But as I realized the movie wasn’t going anywhere, I decided it was a good time to turn the idea into a novel. It was an odd period for me professionally, and I figured if I wasn’t going to get a novel finished that year, I was never going to write one. So for a year, I ground it out, writing a bit more every day until the first draft was finally finished. I assumed that I was going to have to self-publish, which didn’t bother me given the changes in publishing in recent years. In fact, with books like Wool doing so well, I found the concept kind of exciting. And over that year, the story began to change, eventually becoming something much closer to the finished story.
Also, at this point, the title was The Pullocho.
Then in 2013, Tuttle Books offered to publish the book. It was much more of a traditional route, but I’m old fashioned, so I said “yes”. They asked for some re-writes and made some edits and eventually the book ended up as the Young-hee & the Pullocho that is on shelves now.
Now, I really like the cover the Tuttle came up with for the book. But back when I thought I was going to self-publish, I decided to put together a cover of my own. I commissioned an excellent Korean artist (who is also a friend of mine) who goes by the name THZTLR to make me a drawing, then I hired a designer to turn it into a book cover. The end result was something a lot darker and scratchier, but the original version that I wrote was probably darker and scratchier, too.
Anyhow, I thought I would post that original cover here, to give people a sense of what might have been…