Interview with Author Q.L. Pearce

My guest today is author Q.L. Pearce. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Spinechillers: Hair-Raising Tales, is a collection of short stories for tweens to teens. It includes classic ghosts, a monster or two, urban legends and a couple of quirky stories that spring from a childhood spent watching Twilight Zone and reading scary comic books.

The stories are short and perfect for reading aloud at a sleepover, or under the covers with a flashlight.  Spinechillers came out as an ebook just in time for Halloween. It’s on Amazon now and it became available in paperback at the end of November.

How exciting!

So, is there anything that prompted Spine Chillers? Something that inspired you?

I have written more than 120 books including educational, nonfiction, biography, and fiction for all age ranges. My absolute favorite, though, is scary fiction for middle grade to YA readers. My first major series was Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs (Price, Stern, Sloan). Spinechillers is in the tradition of those stories but for a new generation.
Let's try a different question.
When did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I won my first school writing contest in third grade and my first city sponsored contest at age eleven. I actually got into a little trouble when I was a kid for telling scary stories that frightened my friends.
LOL! Well, the muse has a mind of its own, doesn't it? I love to hear about an author's journey. 

So, do you have any favorite authors yourself, Q.L.?

I will read anything by Neil Gaiman, Holly Black or Ransom Riggs.

Ray Bradbury, George Orwell and Roald Dahl are among my favorite masters. I love Bradbury’s accessible writing style and, of course, he was the master when it came to short stories. I had the opportunity to hear him speak once. He was just as wonderful in person. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

That is a lovely quote! I also favor one of his quotes about writing:  

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” you write in a specific place? Time of day? 

When I write I usually sit at my dining room table. I have an actual home office with a desk, but my dogs prefer the main room and I like to work with them close by. I begin my day with meditation even before my first cup of coffee. I have a wonderful husband, two dogs, a bird, a host of fish, and a garden. They get first dibs on my attention after my practice.  I start my reading and research mid-morning then spend two or three hours writing. My dogs take me out for walks a couple of times a day and I use that time to brainstorm. I usually write for another hour or so at the end of the day.
Sounds perfect!

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

The advice I give to working writers is finish what you start. I have several manuscripts that are sitting in a file folder because I didn’t push through when I hit a weak spot. Once that happens I start second-guessing and lose momentum. A prolific writer I respect told me to get the story on paper even if it isn’t exactly what I had in mind, then go back and get it right.

The advice I always give to young writers is to take every opportunity you can to travel, meet new people, learn about new cultures and try new things. Life experience is a wonderful muse.

How true! Thank you for offering those words of wisdom to our readers. 

And thanks so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age. It was wonderful having you!  :)
Readers, here is the blurb for Spine Chillers: Hair-Raising Tales.
The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?

In the house on Beech Street a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?

The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!
Here is an excerpt.

The House on Beech Street

Jason stepped inside. The air within was tainted with an odor that made him gag.
“What is that smell?” he asked, putting his hand to his face.
“What smell?” Mike responded. Thomas just shrugged his shoulders.
“Do you know the story of the Carlson’s?” The woman didn’t wait for an answer before she continued. “They were a typical family. The little girl, Anisa, took ballet lessons. The boy, Junior, played baseball. Some people said he had the talent to go far as an athlete … that is … if he’d lived.”
The group entered the kitchen. The table was set for five as if the family would be sitting down for breakfast any minute. Jason noticed a pitcher’s mitt on one of the chairs.
“He was a lefty,” he said to no one in particular.
“Mr. Carlson’s mother slept in the spare room. She was an invalid and needed a lot of care. Mr. Carlson and his wife had quarreled about it that fateful morning and he’d left early. When he came home he found his wife in that very chair.” She pointed to the one at the end of the table. “He’d brought her flowers and wanted to apologize. It took him a few moments to realize she was dead. It seems she had taken a handful of sleeping pills with her tea. The police found the rest of the family in the basement along with a cracked, bloody baseball bat.”
“What happened to the dad?” Mike asked.
“They found him two days later hanging from the tree in the backyard. He’d left a note that said he wasn’t alone in the house. The neighbors claimed they heard noises late at night … screaming. You’ll notice that the houses on both sides are now empty. No one wants to live near this place.” She paused and looked in the direction of the front entrance. “Sometimes I can’t wait to leave.”
Motioning for the boys to follow, the woman moved from the kitchen into a dimly lit hallway. She opened the first door on the left. “This was the grandmother’s room.” Jason was hit with a wave of a smell like rotting fish.

-Excerpt from Spine Chillers, by Q.L. Pearce
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.

Purchase Links:
Amazon Universal:
Wow! This book sounds riveting! And so apropos for Friday the 13th! ;)

We'll be sure to check out this new adult horror novel!

Author Bio

Q.L. Pearce is the author of more than 120 books for young readers, from picture books to YA, as well as film tie-in books for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time. Red Bird Sings: The Story of  Zitkala Sa (Carolrhoda Books, with co-author and illustrator, Gina Capaldi), received several awards including a Carter G. Woodson Book Award gold medal from NCSS and a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award gold medal. Her fiction includes the popular middle grade series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs (Price, Stern, Sloan). Q believes strongly in the value of scary books for young readers. When asked what credentials she has which qualify her as an expert in this area she replies, "I was a child once. That was very scary."

Author Links: 


Q.L.'s Books:

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