Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
While I’m not the biggest ever fan of middle grade books, give me a spooky ghost story with children as protagonists and I’m all in. Plus, the genre is so perfect for autumn – you can’t have an October without a middle grade horror or two.
If you are still looking for your perfect atmospheric haunting read to spook up your autumn evenings while still getting all the cozy vibes, The Girl in White might be just what you need. It came out recently, and I really, really enjoyed it.
The author, Lindsay Currie, was already well known when it comes to this book category (what bookworm hasn’t at least heard of Scritch Scratch?). And now I know why her books are loved so much. I for sure plan to check out the ones I haven’t already read, as well as whatever she comes up with next.
Currie kindly accepted to be a guest on NovelOnMyMind and answer my questions…
Author Q&A with Lindsay Currie
Did you always know you were going to write spooky middle grades when you grow up or did it just happen?
Ha! Nope! I wish it had been easy for me to find my place, but it was a pretty long road. I actually started out co-authoring young adult fiction but never really felt like I found my stride there. It just didn’t feel as organic to write in that voice as I thought it should.
When I decided to take a stab at writing a middle-grade story, I knew I was going to make it spooky because I personally LOVE ghost stories. That experience was so fun and felt so natural that I knew my future was in middle-grade!
What part of The Girl in White was the most fun to write?
Is it cheating to say all of it, haha?
Truthfully, THE GIRL IN WHITE was a blast to write. I had the freedom to imagine this fictional town where everyone is more obsessed with Halloween than I am (and that’s saying something!). I enjoyed coming up with the various legends that Eastport celebrates, and bringing the streets of this little seaside town to life with the most cozy Fall vibes possible.
What does the research for your books usually look like?
My research is pretty intense, to be honest. Most of my books have at least some connection to a historical person, place, or legend, and finding the connection that feels organic to the story takes time.
In THE GIRL IN WHITE, the main character’s parents own a restaurant called The Hill which is actually based on a real restaurant that existed in Salem, MA years ago. Unraveling the stories about that restaurant and figuring out which bits I wanted to incorporate was fun, but time consuming!
What is the most impactful moment you experienced as an author?
There have been SO many. I think most authors suffer from imposter syndrome from time to time, so when anything happens to validate me or my books, I’m always shocked.
Going to school visits and having students cheer for me, getting fan mail from readers, seeing good trade reviews… all those things are just incredible and so surreal. I’d have to say that having R.L. Stine read SCRITCH SCRATCH and like it enough to blurb it was a big wow moment and one I’ll never forget!
If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?
Oh! There are so many! I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Mary Downing Hahn but I’d sure love to hear how she creates so many incredible spine-tingling stories year after year. She has built an entire career out frightening children and I’m in awe!
How do you celebrate when you finish a book?
I’m usually working on more than one book at a time, so I often celebrate by sliding into a different project. I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a celebration but since I love writing and I’m doing my dream job, it is!
Which superpower would you choose? And why?
Invisibility. I think it would be incredibly fun to experience the world unseen. I’d sneak into so many places for research that I haven’t been able to get into!
When was the last time you Googled yourself? What did you find?
I don’t! I think I’ve always just assumed my website and some other miscellaneous things will come up. Now you’ve piqued my interest though so maybe I will 😀
What are you currently working on? What can we expect next?
Well, I just turned in edits to my Fall 2023 book, IT FOUND US. I’m SO excited about this book and can’t wait for readers to meet my amateur sleuth, Hazel Woods!
I’m also finishing up the draft of my Spring 2024 book which is … wait for it … NOT spooky! It’s an adventure/treasure hunt story about a group of kids who decide to use their awesome escape room skills to sneak into an abandoned funhouse so they can try to find a rumored hidden treasure. It’s currently titled THE DELTA GAME, but this could change, so stay tuned!
#MyFavoriteBookish Tag with Lindsay Currie
Favorite trope: Tough question! Maybe the feeling of being watched? That freaks me out EVERY time!
Favorite character: Impossible question. I love too many of them!
Favorite movie adaptation: Harry Potter. Those movies are magical.
Favorite book ending: Where the Red Fern Grows. So sad but so hopeful.
Favorite time of the day to read/write: I love writing in the morning when possible, and I love reading at bedtime. It’s really a fantastic way to calm down and escape the trials of the day!
Favorite place to read/write: Anywhere! I write a lot in my home office and I love to read curled up on the couch where I can occasionally watch people outside, too.
Favorite snacks while reading/writing: I try not to snack while I’m doing either of these things, haha. Crumbs in keyboards are a big no-no for me and I don’t like fingerprints in my books!
Favorite bookish drink: Coffee! Pumpkin spice, please!
Hardcovers or paperbacks? Hardcovers, though I do love the price point of paperbacks!
Buying or borrowing books? I do both!
Bookmarks or dog-ears? Bookmarks all the way!
Audiobooks – yay or nay? Big YAY!
TBR or mood reading? Both! I have a TBR but I don’t necessarily read through it based on when I added the book. That’s where the mood comes in 😀
I’m currently reading: Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer