Happy Halloween! Today a quick interview and a giveaway with Kelly Hashway as she celebrates the release of her MG mystery CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE. Pretty much anything Kelly writes (including her works under her pen name Ashelyn Drake) is an automatic add to my TBR pile. Welcome, Kelly!
What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve loved books since before I could read. I still remember the first time I read a book on my own and how powerful it made me feel. From that moment on I knew I not only wanted to read books but wanted to write them, too.
What was the hardest part of writing CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTURNE? And on the flip side what was the easiest?
When I started this book I couldn’t get the first chapter right. I actually had to write the ending first and then backtrack. So oddly enough the climax and the ending were the easy parts. Once I had those in place, I was able to tackle the start of the story and work my way to the middle. It was definitely a different process than what I’m used to.
What other books are like CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE that readers might enjoy?
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Growing up, what books have had the most influence on you?
I grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street books. I loved them. They were scary, suspenseful, and fast paced. I devoured that series.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring two books and one movie, what would you bring?
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
What’s up next for you and your writing?
Well, there are more books in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series, plus I have a bunch of YA titles coming out over the next few years. And of course, I’m writing new titles too.
And finally can you share something funny/weird/exceptional about yourself that you don’t normally talk about in an interview?
I have a weird phobia of the number three. I think that’s why I use it so much in my books. It just freaks me out, and I associate it with bad luck. No idea why though. It’s strange.
Find the fortune, break the curse!
The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.’s family history. He’s been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entirely family will suffer.
To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he’s not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he’ll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it’s too late.
Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.