Do you like spooky ghost stories? Well, Wendy Webb, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight this month on Booksnob has answered some questions about her book, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, that will interest you. Readers, I am wondering, Do you believe in ghosts? Be sure to read Wendy Webb's answer.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Minneapolis and currently live in Duluth with my husband and our 100-pound Malamute, Molly. My son, Ben, is off to college this year. We also have a cabin on the Gunflint Trail, where we love to spend time.
- What inspired you to write The Tale of Halcyon Crane?
We took a trip to Mackinac Island, which I find to be a very lovely place that’s also extremely eerie. Old, Victorian mansions, an ancient, crumbling cemetery, horse-drawn carriages clopping through the streets — it’s the perfect setting for a ghost story.
- Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book. Did you do that? Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I put my two dogs, Tundra and Tika, into the book as Madlyn’s dogs. They never met in life, Tika died before we got Tundra, and now both of them have passed away, but they’ll live together forever in the pages of my book.
- This is your first book. Can you tell us why or when you decided to become a writer?
I’ve been a writer my whole life and I’ve spent my career as a journalist (I’m currently the editor of Duluth~Superior Magazine), but I’ve wanted to be an author since I was about 13 years old. To have that lifelong dream come true is quite a thrill for me.
- Do you like to read? What authors or books influence you?
I’m reading all the time. Currently, it’s Louise Penney’s series of mysteries set in Quebec featuring the elegant and courtly chief inspector Armand Gamache. I highly recommend them! The book that has had the greatest influence on me is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. I read it when I was a child, and it made me realize that I wanted to be a writer.
- Are you currently working on a second novel and will you share part of the plot with us?
I just finished it! It’s similar in tone to Halcyon — it’s a mystery set in a big old house that’s filled with all sorts of secrets and strangeness.
- Do you believe that ghosts are real or are they the work of a creative imagination?
- Your book contains the discovery of old family secrets. Do you feel some secrets are best kept silent or do you feel the truth must be told regardless the consequences?
This is an interesting question. I believe that some things are best left hidden, especially if there is nothing to gain and much to lose by bringing them to light. In a case like that, truth for truth’s sake is harmful.
- The Tale of Halcyon Crane won the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction this year. Can you describe your initial reaction when they called your name at the awards ceremony?
I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. My parents, my husband, my son and my closest friends were there with me, and when the presenter announced my name, they all erupted in shrieks and applause and more than a few tears. I’m truly grateful to have received such a prestigious honor for my first book, and the fact that the most important people in my life were there to experience it with me made it all the more special.
- In one sentence tell readers why they should read The Tale of Halcyon Crane?
People should read it if they enjoy the chills that come from an eerie mystery, old family secrets long buried, and ghosts.
Booksnob followers if you are interested in winning a copy of Webb's book The Tale of Halcyon Crane please click here: The Tale of Halcyon Crane Contest