Today I am delighted to welcome MuseitUp Publishing author Kay Lalone whose novel ‘Ghostly Clues’ will be released later this month.
- Hello Kay and welcome. Can you tell us a little about Ghostly Clues?
Ghostly Clues is about an almost 13 year old girl, Sarah Kay, who has just lost her grandma. Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, love to read ghost stories and watch scary movies, but never thought they would see a real live ghost. Sarah Kay started to smell lilacs, Grandma’s favorite flower, and they weren’t in bloom at the time so Sarah Kay thought that was strange and weird things start to happen. The girls think Grandma is a ghost and is trying to tell Sarah Kay something. Grandma needs to let Sarah Kay know that her father, who she thought was dead, might be alive. So Grandma’s ghost leaves Sarah Kay with clues to follow to discover the truth.
2. How did you get the idea for the story?
When I was a little girl a little bit younger than Sarah Kay, my grandma died and I had my first encounter with a ghost. It was a ghostly hand and I remember it taking a doll off my bed. The next morning the doll was way under my bed. I believe it was my grandma’s way of telling me I was too old to sleep with dolls. For some reason, that memory has always been with me and helped to inspire this story. Over the years I’ve added to the memory by asking what if questions.
3. What or who inspired you to write?
When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, I read Halloween Party by Agatha Christy. After reading that book, I became inspired to become a writer. Over the years there have been many favorite authors who have inspired me. But what inspires me now to write is life, people and things around me, my family, and especially my three sons.
4. What is the best advice you ever received regarding writing?
Read, read, read, and write, write, write. If you want to call yourself a write, you need to write. I’ve been asked by people who want to write a book, what advice I can give them and I tell them to write. Just sit down and write. I think that is the hardest thing for a writer to do is find the time to write. You can always learn the things you need to write a good story, but unless you have the drive, the discipline to sit down and write, then learning how to write a good story is useless. Reading is entertaining plus gives you a sense of how other authors write.
5. What is your writing environment like? Is music important to you, and what time of the day do you prefer to write?
The best time of day for me to write is in the morning after I have my coffee, of course. I can’t function without coffee. I treat my writing time like a job. I have to be at work at a certain time. Usually, I like the house to be quiet when I write because it helps me focus and I’m able to read my stories out loud. Sometimes I even act out a scene, but I do that when I’m alone otherwise my family would think I’m crazy. I always carry a notebook with me to jot down ideas when they come to me otherwise I lose the idea and maybe a good story. So in my head I’m always writing, working out stories and ideas, and observing the way people act.
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, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.
The smell of lilacs drifted in the air and I held the sneeze in, too afraid of the scene in front of me. My heart beat faster as the glow transformed into the shape of a woman. The lady had snow-white hair pulled back in a bun. A smile formed on her face and her familiar sky-blue eyes twinkled. The springs creaked as she lowered herself to the bed and the smell of lilacs greeted me like a hug.
“Grandma?” I whispered, sitting up and staring.
Grandma looked the same as when she was alive except her hair was grayer than I remembered.
She bent down to pick up the doll. As she handed it to me, her mouth moved but no sound came out.
“Grandma, what are you trying to tell me?” I whispered.
“Kay, darling, don’t cry. Your grandfather will be okay,” Grandma finally said. “It’s not his time to go home yet.”
“Wow.” My jaw dropped open. “I can hear you.” I wanted to wrap my arms around her and squeeze, but fear that any movement would cause Grandma to disappear stopped me. “How do you know Gramps will be okay?”
“He’s too stubborn. He just needs to take it easy. So make sure he does that. It’s not his time to be with me.”
“How can you be here?”
“That’s not important.” Grandma touched my hand.
The touch felt strange like a warm tingling sensation. I sat very still afraid this moment wouldn’t last long.
Grandma stared at me for a moment. Her form seemed to become more transparent. The cluttered dresser behind her started to appear clearer.
“Find your father. There are two sides to a family. I love you, Kay,” she whispered before she vanished along with the sweet flowery aroma
Thank you very much Kay, for coming on the blog today to talk about ‘Ghostly Clues’. I totally agree with what you say about the importance of self discipline and writing every day. I do try to do that too, but with a full-time job and three children, I don’t often get to sit down at my cluttered desk until eight or nine o’clock at night and then I fall asleep!