I'm so pleased to welcome Eva Gates back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Eva writes the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS is the fourth book in the series and was released earlier this week.
Kathy: THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS is set during Halloween. Is this a favorite holiday of yours? Do you do anything special to celebrate?
EG: As I no longer have children living at home, Halloween is a nothing day for me. I live in the country, and I don’t expect any children to call, so I don’t even buy candy to hand out. When my children were young, I did enjoying helping them with their costumes and taking them out trick-or-treating, but it was never anything more than that for us.
It does provide good fodder for a story, however.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
EG: THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Washington Irving. In every book in the Lighthouse Library series, the novel the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Reading Club is reading is reflected in the book. For Halloween I didn’t want a horror novel, per se. Or even anything genuinely supernatural. Many of my readers like to read the book the club is reading, and thus I wanted the mood of the real book to match the mood of mine. Part of the plot of Sleepy Hollow is carried into THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS. As is some of BRACEBRIDGE HALL, also by Washington Irving, which I actually wouldn’t recommend to any but the keenest Irving lover. It’s long and very dense and (frankly) pretty boring. The total opposite to Sleepy Hollow.
Kathy: Strange things are happening at the lighthouse including haunted horses materializing on the marsh. Lucy wonders if the lighthouse could be haunted. Do you believe in spirits? Have you ever had a ghostly encounter?
EG: No and no. But I find the suggestion of the supernatural fun to write about. And in the book, a ghostly horse APPEARS TO BE materializing on the marsh. And only Lucy sees it. The questions is, what is it?
Kathy: People are talking about THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW and the library is hosting a lecture on ghostly legends. I love reading about the haunted and mysterious history of places, especially local stories. Do you enjoy researching ghostly legends as well? Do you have a favorite?
EG: In this series, because it’s set in a real place – the Bodie Island Lighthouse near Nags Head – I’ve done the opposite of researching ghostly legends. I’ve deliberately not even read up on supposedly paranormal stuff around this area. All the stories and legends in my series are totally made up. I should also point out that anything supposedly supernatural in this series is peripheral to the story, only there to add color, and treated humorously. No need to cower under the covers with all the lights on!
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
EG: I’m a plotter. I like to get the hard part out of the way first and then I can enjoy the writing. Having said that, I’m never stuck to my outline. If I come up with another way of doing things, or see a better path, then I’m happy to deviate from the outline.
Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Lucy Richardson?
EG: Lucy, and me, will just take life as it comes. Although I can tell you that wedding bells are in the air for Lucy’s favorite cousin Josie in Something Read, Something Dead, coming Spring 2019.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
EG: Happy to. The fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop book (written by me as Vicki Delany) is coming in November, and it’s titled A SCANDAL IN SCARLET, and the next Lighthouse Library book in the spring. There will be a new Year Round Christmas book, (also by Vicki Delany) but not until fall 2019.
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