Exclusive Interview with Author Linda Covella
Today, we're doing something a little different. This is our 12th guest author interview on the Marie Lavender's Books! blog, and fellow author Linda Covella is visiting us.
Hello, Linda! It’s such a pleasure to have you here. :)
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it
come out and where can we get it?
My latest book is called The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge, Book Two in the Ghost Whisperer Series. (Book one is called The Castle Blues Quake.)
In The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge, 13-year-old Pepper Connelly, previously living near the beach in Santa Cruz, moves to the rainy forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the small town of Brookdale and the long-uninhabited Pebble Brook Lodge.
Uninhabited, that is, except for four ghosts, each with his or her own haunting agenda. One of the ghosts is 13-year-old Karen who drowned in 1966 in the creek that runs through the lodge dining room. Her 10-year-old brother, Willie Hullett, was accused of killing her. Now middle-aged, Willie lives with his mother in a cabin in the woods. Mrs. Hullett has never forgiven Willie for killing her beloved daughter.
As Pepper secretly becomes acquainted with Willie, she's convinced he did not kill his sister and vows to prove his innocence. With Ouija board sessions, hauntings, and time travel to 1939 and 1966, Pepper discovers there's more to Karen's death than she—or anyone in Brookdale—would have ever guessed.
Is there anything that prompted your book? Something that inspired you?
I live in Santa Cruz and the “real” Pebble Brook Lodge (actually the Brookdale Lodge) and stories of ghost sightings there inspired my story. One of the unique features of the lodge is a creek running through the large dining room. In the 1950s, a six-year-old girl fell into the creek, struck her head on a rock, and drowned. Her ghost, and others, have been sighted at the lodge. You can read more about the lodge and see pictures I took there while researching the book on my website http://lindacovella.com/the-ghosts-of-pebble-brook-lodge/.
I’ve always loved writing, and even won a writing contest in second grade! I continued writing my entire life more as a pastime, and didn’t consider it as a profession until later in my adult life. I began freelance writing, and then grew more serious about my fiction writing, took more classes, formed a critique group, joined the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and began submitting to publishers.
Wow, that's great!
Do you have any favorite authors?
It’s always tough to narrow it down, and I have very eclectic taste: I read all genres for both adults and children. That said, here are some of my favorites:
Adult: Louise Erdrich, Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Kostova, Doris Lessing, and Paula McLain
Children and teens: Markus Zusak, Melissa Marr, Donna Jo Napoli, Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Mary Hahn Downing, and Edgar Allan Poe.
My husband and I have a small business, so I work at home. I have a spare bedroom set aside for my office, and I write whenever I’m not working on the business!
I hear you on that...
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?
My road to publication has been a long one, and I’m so excited to finally have made it to “published author.” I want to tell any aspiring writers out there to Never Give Up. Though this might be a cliché and something you’ve heard many times before, I really mean it. I’ve gone through the tears and depression of many, many rejections. But I kept at it. I never gave up. So that’s my advice to you: keep writing, keep revising, keep improving, and you’ll find your dream will come true!
While Pepper’s communication with Chrissie dwindles, her friendship with Corey grows. She tells Corey about her passion for writing songs, and throughout the story, she composes a song about Corey. Corey teaches Pepper to play the harmonica. Soon, she’s torn between finding Boppie and knowing when she does, Corey will certainly go back on the road with his traveling-musician grandfather.
Other characters help her on her quest: new classmate Ally Cressman, who dresses in an odd-ball, non-mall style; Sawtooth Sam, the mysterious saw-playing street musician; and Madame Mchumba, who performs her psychic readings at the Boardwalk amusement park. Earthquakes, haunted house rides, poltergeists, and crystal ball readings propel Pepper toward the end of her search as she learns about the give and take, the heartache and joy, of true friendship.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Covella/e/B00MBR9II0/