Sixth-grader Vannie Taylor’s mom has just died. Her father, completely lost without his wife, brings Vannie and her younger brother to live in a dismal cottage on the estate where he manages craft fairs, dinners, and other events. When strange events start happening around the estate, Vannie decides to investigate, and soon discovers a ghost who wants her to help him make amends for something in his past. Vannie’s life is starting to get back to normal, but in a way she’s never imagined.
I have many favorite authors, and try to read their new books as they’re published. I don’t reread books.
3. What YA book are you most looking forward to reading?
Believe it or not, I’ve yet to read The Hunger Games. I’d like to read the series, even though I’ve seen the first movie.
4. You taught high school Spanish for years. How doyou think that impacts your ability or desire to write for teens?
Years ago I probably started writing for kids because my own sons were growing up and I’d taught high school.
5. But wait. You’ve been writing books for the adult audience. What lured you back to writing for kids/teens?
The sleuth in my [work in progress] is twenty-nine and female. Before that I revised a YA about a 15-year-old boy who’s been orphaned and must combat an evil uncle who wants to take over his body. I’ve even written a short novel about a street cat who finds himself living in a house with a family, a sheepdog and a hamster. I suppose I go with the story in my head, regardless of the protagonist’s gender or age. I’ve recently completed a sequel to Rufus and Magic Run Amok. It was fun writing the story from Rufus’s perspective: coping with his magic, his first boy-girl relationship, rescuing someone with his friends.
6. So here’s the million-dollar topic: why we thought Halloween would be a fun day for your guest interview. Your YA debut, Getting Back to Normal, features a ghost. eep! What inspired you to add a ghost to your fiction?
Ghosts “haunt” a few of my books. These are friendly, likable ghosts who have remained here on Earth for specific reasons. I think they add a dimension to my novels. (Forgive the pun:) Archie, the ghost in Getting Back to Normal, helps Vannie adjust to her new home on the estate with her father works. He also wants Vannie to help him with his plan concerning his granddaughter, which conflicts with Vannie’s wishes.There is a big Halloween party at the end of the book.
Now how about you folks? Ghosts! Exist or don't exist? Afraid or unafraid? Let us know!
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