Dec 5, 2016

Blog Blast: Interview with QL Pearce author of Spine Chillers

Hello Readers! Another fun day of Book Content for You!
Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with Q.L. Pearce author of Spine Chillers. I also have an excerpt from the book too...

Welcome to Cover2CoverBlog, thank you for joining us.

Could you first tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m originally from Kitchener, Ontario. Shortly after I was born my family and I moved to Baranquilla, Colombia. We arrived in the United States when I was five and I grew up on an island near the Gulf coast of Florida. When I was a child I wanted to be a storyteller or a mermaid. We eventually moved to Palm Springs in the California desert so I scratched mermaid off the list and focused on storyteller. I have written more than 120 books for young readers including educational, nonfiction, biography, and fiction for all age ranges. Middle grade to YA horror, sci-fi and mystery are my favorites.

Why did you decide to start writing? What was your inspiration for Spine Chillers?
I’ve been writing since I could first scribble a story on paper. I won my first school writing contest in third grade and my first city sponsored contest at age eleven. I actually got into a little trouble when I was a kid for telling scary stories that frightened my friends. My first paid publication was an activity book about dinosaurs. It wasn’t too long before I sold my first collection of scary stories for the series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs. Spinechillers is in that tradition. It’s a collection of short stories for tweens to teens. The tales include ghost stories, a monster or two, and a couple of quirky stories that spring from a childhood spent watching Twilight Zone and reading scary comic books.

How did you come up with the plot for Spine Chillers? And did you do any research before writing your book?
My goal was to write stories that are perfect for reading aloud at a sleep-over, or under the covers with a flashlight. I tried to include something for everyone. I do a lot of research about ghosts, monsters, myths and legends to get ideas for the stories. My dear friend, horror writer Tamara Thorne, and I occasionally go on road trips to stay in haunted hotels, take photographs at spooky locations, or visit locations known for popular urban legends.

Was there anything really challenging about the writing of this story? Any obstacles you might have run into?

The main challenge for me is that I’m easily distracted and I have to work at staying on task. Researching a home with a spooky history might lead me to another story, then another and I have to stop before I go to far down that road.

What is your favorite part about the writing process? Do you have a special writing spot?
I like all of the elements of the process. I enjoy the research, “meeting” my characters for the first time and getting to know them, sketching out the first draft, and shifting the elements like pieces of a puzzle. I belong to a terrific critique group and they are each very generous in sharing their thoughts and expertise to help me shape each story. When I write I usually sit at my dining room table. I have an actual home office with a desk, but my dogs prefer the main room and I like to work with them close by.

Is there anything about you that would surprise your readers – hobbies, likes, dislikes etc?
Years ago I was an assistant SCUBA instructor. It’s how I met my husband. We both love to travel. In the past couple of years we’ve visited Florence, Vancouver, Shanghai, Lhasa, and Cambridge, England. I’m also currently completing my meditation teacher training.

If you could spend time with any author, who would it be and why?
If you mean anyone living or dead, I would want to have dinner with Ray Bradbury. I love his writing style and, of course, he was the master when it came to short stories. I had the opportunity to hear him speak once. He was just as wonderful in person. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorite books. I’ve decided that if I were a character in that book and had to choose a book to personally become, it would be Animal Farm by George Orwell. So George Orwell can also join us for dinner!

What are you reading right now? Do you have any book recommendations for the young adult/ new adult reader?
I’m currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. Jon Mandel. The books on my nightstand that are next up are Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu and The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. For a YA reader who likes a murder mystery with a paranormal twist I would definitely recommend The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. 


Spine Chillers: Hair-Raising Tales by Q.L. Pearce

About the Book

The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?

In the house on Beech Street a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?

The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!

Excerpt from Spine Chillers

 The House on Beech Street

Jason stepped inside. The air within was tainted with an odor that made him gag.
“What is that smell?” he asked putting his hand to his face.
“What smell?” Mike responded. Thomas just shrugged his shoulders.
“Do you know the story of the Carlson’s?” The woman didn’t wait for an answer before she continued. “They were a typical family. The little girl, Anisa, took ballet lessons. The boy, Junior, played baseball. Some people said he had the talent to go far as an athlete … that is … if he’d lived.”
The group entered the kitchen. The table was set for five as if the family would be sitting down for breakfast any minute. Jason noticed a pitcher’s mitt on one of the chairs.
“He was a lefty,” he said to no one in particular.
“Mr. Carlson’s mother slept in the spare room. She was an invalid and needed a lot of care. Mr. Carlson and his wife had quarreled about it that fateful morning and he’d left early. When he came home he found his wife in that very chair.” She pointed to the one at the end of the table. “He’d brought her flowers and wanted to apologize. It took him a few moments to realize she was dead. It seems she had taken a handful of sleeping pills with her tea. The police found the rest of the family in the basement along with a cracked, bloody baseball bat.”
“What happened to the dad?” Mike asked.
“They found him two days later hanging from the tree in the backyard. He’d left a note that said he wasn’t alone in the house. The neighbors claimed they heard noises late at night … screaming. You’ll notice that the houses on both sides are now empty. No one wants to live near this place.” She paused and looked in the direction of the front entrance. “Sometimes I can’t wait to leave.”
Motioning for the boys to follow, the woman moved from the kitchen into a dimly lit hallway. She opened the first door on the left. “This was the grandmother’s room.” Jason was hit with a wave of a smell like rotting fish.
Excerpt from Spine Chillers, by Q.L. Pearce
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.

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