Q: How and when did you first become aware of John’s books?
A: In elementary school I despised books. I don’t remember why I did, but I did. When middle school came around I for some reason ventured into the school’s library and found my escape. I read a few teen horror novels and one day, while it was snowing outside I came upon The Lamp from the Warlock’s Tomb by John Bellairs. I was captivated by the cover art by Edward Gorey and after reading the synopsis, I took it to the check-out counter and that, dear readers, was the day I fell in love with John’s books. Fast forward to 2012 and I still reread John’s books and spread the word about my favorite author. No other writer has come close to making me feel the way a Bellairs book can.
A: My first book was A Girl's Guide to Falling in Love with a Zombie - it's YA fiction and it was a blast to write. The Immortalists is my favorite of my books because it's middle grade and I had the most fun writing it. I am currently writing the sequel, Fateful, which is slated for an early 2013 release.
As for John, he had plenty of influence over me and my writing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without reading his books and without him inspiring me writing wise. He is my favorite author and always will be.
Q: If you were going to recommend one of your books to someone, which one, and why?
A: I would recommend The Immortalists because I think I put my entire heart and soul in it when I wrote it. I put my heart and soul into all of my books, but this holds a special place. It also has plenty of adventure and suspense that I think everyone would enjoy.
A: Write what you love! Don’t attempt to write the next Harry Potter or Twilight phenomenon, just be true to yourself while writing and I can guarantee you will never regret a single day you’ve spent on a novel or short story.
To publish my books I use CreateSpace. I love the site because your books are available on Amazon and on AmazonUK and in Europe. When I have my final draft, I always make the book cover first and then upload the final draft to the site and format it for paperback. I also use AmazonKDP which is for publishing eBooks. I love self publishing and I don't I'll ever stop.
Q: You have a blog, a YouTube channel, you write, and surely you have an offline life – how are your time management habits?
A: I always make time to write and read, that is for sure. I tend to write in the middle of the night because for some reason I get a surge of writing energy when two o'clock in the morning comes around. But I prefer to write in the morning, though it never works out that way. I also work in a public library where I work with children and teens who are barely venturing into the world of books and I always sneak a Bellairs recommendation into what I do there. But I make time for writing and when not reading or writing I can be found watching a horror movie with a pint of chocolate chip mint ice cream to keep me good.
Q: What’s next in your writing and online endeavors?
A: I am currently finishing the second book in my middle grade trilogy The Immortalists and writing another middle grade series about a twelve year old witch. I do hope to one day have the type of fans that John has and to be remembered for my books. All of my books and even I can be found on Goodreads.
Q: In this fast paced, high-tech world of ours, do you still think John’s work has a valid place?
A: Yes, I think they do. I have always enjoyed the fact that his books took place in the fifties or earlier and I think that is what makes them extra wonderful. I think if someone were to revamp one of his books with a modern feel it would completely ruin everything and just wouldn’t be the same.
Q: What other author/book(s) would you recommend to a Bellairs fan?
A: I would recommend my middle grade line of books I have written, as well as Harry Potter and Michelle Harrison’s Thirteen Treasures trilogy. I am 24 years old but I still enjoy great middle grade novels.
Q: If you were making a movie based on one of John’s books what’s one thing you would to ensure is included?
A: The 1950s setting would have to be included, and I would love to see The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb become a motion picture.
Q: Just for grins...speaking of movies, being from El Paso, has Manos: The Hands of Fate ever been remotely considered an influence?
A: I have never seen that film so I don't consider it an influence. But I will have to check it out one day.
Q: Compleat this sentence: You know you’ve read too much John Bellairs when –
A: ...you name your cat Professor Childermass.