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.)

http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Pebble-Brook-Lodge-Whisperer/dp/1517762545/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444769465&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Ghost+of+Pebble+Brook+LodgeIn 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/.

Ooh...love a good ghost story! And how apropos it is since we're so close to Halloween!

So, when did you know you wanted to write, Linda?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

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.

All right.

So, do you write in a specific place? Or time of day? 

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!

I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Linda.
And thank you for stopping by! It was such a pleasure to have you here.  :)

Readers, here is the blurb for book one, The Castle Blues Quake.

12-year-old Pepper Connelly leaves her best friend, Chrissie, behind when her family moves from New York City to Santa Cruz, CA. Pepper discovers a boy, Corey, hiding in her backyard shed. Unknown to Pepper, Corey is a ghost trying to contact his grandfather, Boppie, before he crosses over. He tells Pepper he must locate Boppie before Social Services finds him. Pepper agrees to help.

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.

Here is an excerpt from the novel.   

Dad crept away. I still didn’t want to leave him alone. What if something happened? What if he was attacked and we couldn’t hear from upstairs? He’d said the kitchen was safe, so I went in there and leaned against the counter, ready with my lamp just in case the lunatic who liked to slam doors suddenly made an appearance. If I weren’t so shaken up, I would’ve laughed—Dad with his frying pan, me with my lamp…

In a blinding flash, the lights burst on along with the whirring of the food processor, the high-speed whop-whop-whop of the ceiling fan, and a blaring commercial on the TV. The power was back.

The TV snapped off and Dad walked into the kitchen, the pan hanging at his side. He stopped for a second when he saw I was still there. With his lips tight, he yanked the chain to stop the fan, and I got the food processor.

“No sign of forced entry,” he said. “The front door’s unlocked, though.” Then he muttered, “Could’ve sworn I locked up before bed. And who left these things on?” He checked the back door to make sure it was locked. “Whoever it was had something else in mind besides robbery,” he said. “The question is what? I’m going to call the police. Go check on your mother and Sage.”

He went to get his cell phone—we didn’t have a land line yet—and before going back upstairs, I got a drink of water. As I headed out of the kitchen, a loud thud hit the back door.

My heart started its wild thumping. Still, I walked toward the door and turned the lock. I knew Dad would be mad, but I had to look, and I opened the door.

Dad walked in, holding his cell phone against his ear. “Pepper,” he said. “What’re you doing? Shut the door—” He turned his back and said into the phone, “Yes, I want to report an intruder…”

As I started to close the door, I looked down and gagged. On the doorstep lay a stiff dead rat, so big I pictured it running around the house slamming doors with its pointy nose or long tail. Its tiny black eyes stared at nothing, and its legs, stretched straight out, ended in open claws as if it had fought whoever or whatever had taken its life. The insides of my stomach were about to erupt when Dad looked over my shoulder and made me jump.

“Someone has a sick sense of humor,” he said. “The police are on their way. Now please, let’s go tell your mother and Sage everything’s okay.” He headed out of the kitchen.

Before shutting the door, I peered into the back yard. The fog had thinned a little. I could just make out the thick trunk of the tree and the swing hanging next to it. Then I froze. A face. A white face with black holes for eyes. Staring at me from behind the tree. I tried to call Dad, but my mouth and throat were dry. My voice wouldn’t work. I gripped the doorknob. Don’t run, I told myself. Don’t be afraid. Afraid, bade, fade…fade, fade, please go away whoever you are. Whatever you are. It hadn’t budged an inch. Maybe I was seeing things. Maybe it wasn’t a face. I squinted, then blinked. And it was gone. Just the fog and the tree and the swing.

Then the hairs on the back of my neck prickled when I noticed the ropes and the seat swaying as if from a breeze.

The only thing was, the air was as still as could be. There was no breeze.


Readers, don't forget to check out this book as well as its new sequel! 


Purchase Links
Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00LZBI7QC
Purchase Links
Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/1517762545  
Author Bio 
Linda Covella's varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children's magazines ("Games and Toys in Ancient Rome" and "Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan," in Learning Through History magazine, and "Barry's Very Grown Up Day" in Zootles magazine), she realized she'd found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books: the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali's Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake, published by Beau Coup Publishing, are her first novels.
She's a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

Linda's Books:





  1. Marie, thanks so much for having me! May I add that I just found out this morning that The Castle Blues Quake has won a Silver Medal for Preteen Fiction from Literary Classics! Between being featured on your blog and the award, it's a great day. :-D

    1. Oh, that's awesome, Linda! Congrats! :) And it's my pleasure to have you on the blog. Maybe we can have you back sometime! ;)


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