The Kidliterati team is so excited to welcome Erin Petti, MG author of THE PECULIAR HAUNTING OF THELMA BEE!
Ghost-story lover and debut author Erin Petti has written a quirky story for fans of The Goonies, Goosebumps, and Coraline.
Eleven-year-old budding scientist Thelma Bee has adventure in her blood. But she gets more than she bargained for when a ghost kidnaps her father. Now her only clues are a strange jewelry box and the word "Return," whispered to her by the ghost. It's up to Thelma to get her dad back, and it might be more dangerous than she thought--there's someone wielding dark magic, and they're coming after her next.
We got a chance to talk to Erin about all things creepy. Here's what she had to say!
Why did you want to write a ghost story?
I'm fascinated with folklore, legends, and ghosts - I always have been. The world has a historical treasure trove of totally inspiring creepy crawlies that's never exhausted. Almost every town has a spooky story to tell if you dig a little. Also, in a weird way I think that there's something alternately mundane and exhilarating about the idea that spirits could be all around us every day, and that there's a veil that can be lifted.
Who came first - the ghost or the other characters in Thelma Bee?
Thelma came first, then her friends, then the otherworldly characters! I knew I wanted her to go on an adventure, but the type of adventure it would be unfolded as I created the world.
Do you have any advice for writers who want to write a spooky story?
Think about what scares you. Like, what really gives you the chills? Something I've been unreasonably frightened of since childhood is a mirror in a darkened room. Probably has to do with some awful story a first grade classmate told about Bloody Mary. But that root of fear provided some great inspiration for one of the major scenes early on in the book.
What are some of your favorite ghost stories?
I'm reading the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud now and am in LOVE. L.O.V.E. He's done such a fantastic job building a richly drawn alternate London with a serious "visitor" problem. I'm on the edge of my seat every other page. Strongly recommend!!
What are you working on next?
Editing up Thelma's book 2 and outlining book 3!
Do you believe in ghosts?
Yes! Or I think so. I'm a little like Fox Mulder on this - I want to believe. What about you, Abby? :)
I'm not sure - but I hope if they exist, they're the nice kind!