Squee! Another fabulous middle grade book. I love MG!
The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee
by Erin Petti
Publication: September 6th 2016
by Mighty Press
Category: Middle Grade
Eleven-year-old Thelma Bee is never bored. In fact, she has curiosity and adventure in her blood. She spends her time running science experiments, practicing Spanish, and daydreaming about exotic landscapes. But Thelma gets more than she bargained for when a strange woman sells a jewelry box at her father’s antique shop. That night, a ghost kidnaps her father, and the only clues are the jewelry box and a word the ghost whispered in her ear: “Return.” Now it’s up to Thelma to get her dad back, and it might be harder than she thought—there’s someone wielding dark magic, and they’re coming after her next.
Hi Erin! So glad to have you here today. Where did the story idea come from for The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee?
Hi Toni! Thank you so much for having me on your blog!!
One summer evening, I was sitting by a river and became fascinated with these large rocks that looked like the head and shoulders of some sort of monster lurking under the water. That was the very first idea that led me to this story. Then, once I imagined the character of Thelma – this totally brave, adventurous, sometimes hot-tempered girl with a serious love of all things scientific — the story took off from there.
I love Middle Grade and Ghost Stories. Can you tell me why I will love your story beyond those two things?
As I discovered these characters and their town, a real feeling of friendship and love began to form. I feel like Riverfish, MA is a second home to me now, and it’s quirky citizens feel like my neighbors. Also, this is a story about what is possible when we try our hardest. How sometimes when you’ve got nothing left to give, you can still find strength with help from friends. Thelma’s not perfect, but she tries her best.
What do you consider a fun activity?
I love reading and writing, of course – but one of my favorite all time things ever is scoping out obscure fairs and festivals in the Summer and Fall. If there’s a Blueberry Festival, an Apple Pie Bake-Off, or a Herring Run Fish Fry (there is in my town) I want to be there.
Will your future work be in the same age category and genre, or do you plan to try your hand at other types of stories?
I love love love Middle Grade and will continue to write in the category – but I also have some YA ideas that are in development.
My 9 year old daughter loves ghost stories and can’t wait to read your debut novel. What other books might you recommend for her?
Thank you for asking this question! Natalie Lloyd’s Key to Extraordinary is gorgeous. Paul Durham’s The Luck Uglies trilogy is one of my recent faves (it has the best monsters ever). Andrew Brumbauch’s The Eye of Midnight is SUCH a page turner. No ghosts to speak of in that one, but plenty of creepy stuff and a wild adventure!
Your bio on your website doesn’t reveal a whole lot. Can you tell us something unique and interesting about yourself?
I guess that depends on what you’d consider interesting! Here’s a short list of fun facts:
I was a morning radio DJ in college
I’ve performed comedy around the country
I got to sit down with Kurt Vonnegut a number of times while he was still with us, and he gave me the best advice ever: “You’re crazy. But everyone’s some kind of crazy. Your kind of crazy is that you want to do everything all at once. You can do everything, but you’ve got to do it one thing at a time.” 🙂
That’s awesome, Erin! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you a little here during this short time. I look forward to reading The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee with my daughter… and anything else you write in the future. I’m already hooked and it hasn’t even come out yet! I hope to have you on the blog again soon.
~About the Author~
Erin Petti lives by the ocean in Massachusetts and loves to read about magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. She has a Masters in Education and a background in improvisational comedy.
Erin lives with her husband, excellent toddler, and cat (who she suspects likes her better than she’s letting on).
Her debut novel, The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee, publishes from Mighty Media Press September 2016.
Erin’s Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
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