Today on the Observation Desk I have fellow Muse author Kay Lalone talking about her writing life and her new middle grade mystery “Ghostly Clues.” Welcome, Kay!
The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom. Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another to discover if Dad is alive or not. Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave.
What made you want to become a writer?
I always liked to read and write. I remember as a kid writing stories in school, my mom helping me spell, but my first memory of wanting to become a writer was when I was a teenager and read Halloween Party by Agatha Christie. After reading that book was when I decided I wanted to be a writer. So reading good books inspired me to become a writer.
What inspired you to write this book?
I would have to say my grandma Tufts. I was about the same age as Sarah Kay, the main character in Ghostly Clues, maybe a little younger when I had my first encounter with a ghost. One night shortly after my grandma passed away, I saw a ghost hand. The hand moved across my bed and then was gone. The next morning my doll I had slept with was gone and was found way under the bed. I believe it was my grandma telling me I was too old to sleep with dolls. So from that memory I just asked what if questions and those answers developed into Ghostly Clues.
What one book do you wish you had written?
I can’t think of one book I wish I had written. I have a lot of stories running through my head and a lot of stories that are half done. So I have many more books to write.
At what moment did you truly begin to feel like an author?
I would have to say the moment I got the email from MuseItUp, saying that Ghostly Clues was accepted. My first book would be published. That was very exciting. I had finally become a published author.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part of the writing process is when the story just flows out of me (which doesn’t happen as often as I would like) and everything just comes together. When I get that ‘ah, that’s it’ moment. My least favorite part is staring at a blank screen and I can’t think of anything to type. When nothing comes to together. When I can’t figure out the scene or the ending.
What is the single best piece of advice you have for aspiring authors?
I would have to say the best advice I ever received and that is to write and read. You can’t call yourself a writer unless you sit down to write. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do is find the time to write. Life happens and things get in the way of your writing time, but unless you have the discipline to write, knowledge of how to write a good story is useless.
What is next for you in your writing career?
I am currently finishing up two YA novels that I’ll be sending to MuseItUp and hopefully they will enjoy those stories as much as they enjoyed Ghostly Clues. So look for more books by Kay LaLone.
What is something funny/weird/exceptional about yourself that you don’t normally share with others in an interview?
I like weird things. I think it would be cool to be able to see ghosts and the spirits that are all around us. This is reflected in my stories when my characters can see things that normal people can’t.
And here’s the fun part…select words from the magnetic refrigerator poetry set. Please write up a little piece of poetry or prose from these words.
A ghost can be mean
Not when they find
My future dream