Author Interview: Lindsay Currie








Author Interview


Q: Tell us about your book, specifically the story behind the title?
A:
Hello! Thanks for hosting me, Andrea! My upcoming release WHISPERS FROM THE DARK (Fall 2020)  follows the story of Claire Koster, a 7th grader in Chicago who adores science, but does not adore her father’s obsession with ghost stories. Thomas Koster is a historian and novelist with a budding ghost-tour bus profession on the side, which Claire wants nothing to do with. After all, scientists don’t believe in ghosts, right? Unfortunately, when her father’s regular driver becomes ill and there’s no one else to help out on the bus one evening, Claire is asked to ride along and assist the passengers.

*cue creepy happenings*

Unfortunately for Claire, surviving the tour bus is more complicated than pulling a baseball cap over her face and hoping no one from school recognizes her. The stories her father weaves at each location are darker. . . scarier than she anticipated.

When a mysterious boy shows up on the bus, then vanishes with nothing but a tattered piece of paper bearing the number 396 found lying on his empty seat, it sets off a chain of bone-chilling events in her house. Maybe Claire brought back more than chilled fingers and numb toes from the tour that night.

Maybe she brought back a ghost.
Q; What is your inspiration behind The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street storyline?
A;

Ahhh, PECULIAR INCIDENT is inspired by a specific ghost legend - a legend buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago! If you’re not familiar with Graceland, it’s over one-hundred acres in the middle of the city (about five minutes from Wrigley Field) and filled to the brim with history. While on a walk through the cemetery several years ago, I spotted an absolutely mesmerizing grave. While I don’t want to give anything away (authors hate spoilers!), I will say this: the grave is unusual, creepy, and most importantly - mysterious. The second I got home, I started researching and uncovered an equally mysterious legend! Voila! Tessa Woodward’s story ignited in my mind and the journey to writing PECULIAR INCIDENT began!

Q; What are some challenges unique to writing mystery fiction?
A; Great question! I love reading and writing mysteries, but there are some specific challenges associated with this genre. For one, I truly feel that setting is a critical element to my books. I want my readers to feel as though they are standing in that spooky house, or darkened graveyard. I want them to be in the moment, and I can’t do that unless I’ve set a properly eerie tone! Pacing is also important. Without good pacing, you’ll lose your reader before they even begin unraveling the mystery. Finally, knowing how many hints/clues to drop is important. Sometimes it’s a trial and error thing for me where I write a few scenes and then run them by my critique partners before moving on. I want my readers to be able to sort through the clues and get close to solving the mystery (with the help of some external research, too!), but I don’t want to give it away.

Q; What makes this book a perfect fit for middle grade classrooms?
A: I think both WHISPERS and PECULIAR INCIDENT are great fits for middle-grade classrooms because they’re a fun blend of mystery and history! I love to incorporate little bits of actual Chicago history in my books, and all the settings I represent are real places in my city. Plus, I think the pacing and mystery aspect makes them a good choice for reluctant readers.

Q: What made you want to become a writer and what’s the best thing about being a writer?
A:  I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. When I was young, I tried writing everything. Poems, short stories, songs, fake commercials . . . you name it and I wrote it. Not well, mind you. But that’s not the point. The point is that I knew I loved to write even before I knew I’d pursue publishing. It’s a part of me and I can’t imagine my life without that creative outlet.

Beyond childhood though, I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with friends and family who support me and my craft! Publishing is a challenging industry filled with a lot of ups and downs, so having a supportive inner circle is a must. And as for the question regarding what the best thing about being a writer is? SO HARD. I love pretty much everything about my job, but especially the opportunity to do what I love for a living, and connect with readers all over the world! Hearing from readers that my story or character resonated with them is so special. Magical, really. This year I’ve been lucky. PECULIAR INCIDENT is nominated for a Children’s Book Award in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Rhode Island and China (!!!). The only thing I can say to that, is thank-you. Thank you for making this author heart very happy.

Q: What does your daily writing life look like? (Do you set a word count for yourself daily? Or a page goal? Where do you write? How often if not daily?)


A:
Ooh, tricky question! My schedule varies and rarely looks the same from one day to the nextI have three kids, so my home life is busy! I don’t set a word count for myself, or even a page goal because I actually find that a little stifling. Instead, I try to work for at least two hours. That two hours might not be writing, though. It might be pre-writing activities like brainstorming, researching, or plotting. It’s all part of the big picture, so it’s all productive.
Q: Future projects you are working on?
A: Currently, I’m finishing up the proposal for book two for Sourcebooks. That book should get a green light soon-ish, then I should be able to dive further into writing the actual book, which will release in Fall 2021! I’m SO excited about the concept, guys. I can’t wait to share! After that, I’ll begin working on a proposal for the option book - hopefully something that would be acquired for release in Fall 2022.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for more details about WHISPERS FROM THE DARK, including a cover in early 2020. I haven’t seen any mock-ups yet, but the team at Sourcebooks is extremely talented so I have high hopes that it will blow us all away!

Q: What else would you like us know?
A:
For one, I’m a huge fan of school visits (both in-person and Skype), so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any interest in bringing me to your school! Also, I’m very approachable online. I’m happy to make connections with teachers, librarians, and readers on any platform you can find me on! Lastly, I’m so grateful to all of my readers, friends, colleagues and of course, my agent/editors for all their support. This is not a job you can do on your own. It truly takes a village and every one of you is part of mine! Thank you!



Looking forward to seeing more by Lindsay Currie!!!!!

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