Today’s #middlegrademonday brings you an interview with author Cynthia Reeg.
3 Questions about From the Grave
What three words would you use to describe your book?
Horror, humor, heart
Your previous books are such different genres, how did you step into the fantasy/monster writing genre?
I have many writerly interests from picture books to middle grade, from poetry to short stories, from fiction to nonfiction. I love luring readers in with action, adventure, and quirky characters. As a former school librarian, I know that students can never get enough spooky stories. So a monsterly MG seemed a perfect fit for both me and my readers.
There are a lot of interesting monster names and words in the book, how did you come up with the vocabulary for this book?
I say I create magic one word at a time, and I truly mean it! Words are my delight. Again, in my experience with young readers, I know how much they delight in words too. For my monster world, I wanted words that appealed to the five senses; creepy and kooky. Words that were fun to read out loud. I would make lists of vocabulary words. Often, I’d play with a word to make it a monster word–like taking the name “Gilbert” and making it into “Ghoulbert” for the main character’s brother. Or switching the word “cafeteria” to “barfeteria,” or “horrorcane” for “hurricane.”
3 Questions about You
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?
I was a librarian before I started writing seriously for children, and I loved doing that. If I couldn’t work in a library, I would work in a bookstore. I can’t imagine a life without books or without sharing books with others.
What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?
I am a great fan of Kate Di Camillo. When I read her book, “Because of Winn Dixie,” I thought it was a perfect combination of heart, interesting characters, and compelling story. It’s a book that leaves a sweet spot in your heart. I hope I can write some books like that.
What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?
Hot Fudge sauce. I do need a little chocolate on a fairly regular basis to keep the words coming! 🙂