Thursday, May 29, 2008

Interview with LINDA DeMEULEMEESTER : The Secret of Grim Hill

We wanted to know Linda's thoughts about winning the Silver Birch for her first novel, The Secret of Grim Hill. Here you have a chance to find out what she had to say about the award and the next installment in the Grim Hill series!

The Secret of Grim Hill

Cat Peters just transferred to Darkmont High and is already desperate to get out. When she hears that Grimoire, the private school nearby, is offering scholarships to the winners of a Halloween soccer match, Cat jumps at the chance. Her little sister, Sookie, and their bookworm neighbor try to tell her there’s something ... just not right about the old school on the hill, and their worries are confirmed when they uncover a mystery about an entire soccer team that disappeared many years ago.

Further investigation leads Cat to a book about ancient Celtic myth and fairy lore, and she soon realizes that there is something truly wicked at work inside the walls of Grimoire.

Read the first chapter of the award-winning novel!

Congratulations on winning the Silver Birch award for The Secret of Grim Hill! Is this your first book award?
This is my first book so everything is new. Grim Hill was selected as the Canadian Toy Testing Council Great Books of 2008, which is also a big delight because it is also a readers' choice award.

How did it feel when they announced your name at the ceremonies?
Actually, that whole part is a blur. When I walked onto the stage at the beginning, the kids roared - I was so shocked, I just stood there and laughed. From what I hear, the other authors beside me had to hold me up

How does it feel to know that so many kids read your book - and voted for it as the best of the year?
This is beyond description. I write for this age group because I'm writing about what I love. By that I mean I think of the books I felt the most passionate about when I was ten or eleven and that influences my writing today. That was the age when reading opened up whole new worlds of imagination and fun for me, as well as a life-long appreciation of all things literary. Also, to write for this age is a complete delight and to know that they really liked the book is so exciting; it's like going full circle and giving back something!!!

The protagonist in The Secret of Grim Hill, Cat Peters, is a female character and yet - as evidenced by the Silver Birch voting - boys enjoy the book as much as girls. What is it about Cat that makes her appeal to both genders?
Cat doesn't have it easy but she doesn't give up. Also, she makes mistakes and isn't one bit perfect, but she does try and do something about her mistakes. I think there's something about that we all can identify with.

Why did you choose to incorporate Celtic mythology into your first novel?
I had the basic idea of a soccer match that was going to be diabolical in some way. I had done some research on darker fairy lore and found it wonderfully spooky, but I needed something more - so I extended the research to fairy lore's earlier links in Celtic mythology. Then the fun began!

You're currently working on Grim Hill: The Secret Deepens, which is the sequel to The Secret of Grim Hill. Will all our favorite characters return in the next installment?
Yes, all the characters will be returning, and Cat will also be meeting a new rival.

Can you let us in on any...secrets?
Well, maybe there are still more adventures to come...


Monika said...

Secret of the Grim Hill is my favourite book!!!I was in the Silver Birch reading program at my school and i had voted for this book in the fiction category and this book actually won!!!I was so happy!!I would encourage all the kids and teens to read this book because it has a really interesting idea.I hope everyone likes this book as much as i liked it when i read it!!!
Yashvi Shah

Lobster Press said...

Thanks for supporting our book! We're happy that you enjoyed it!

Keep reading!

Lobster Press