Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz: MRS. MURRAY'S GHOST

Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. 

Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. 

Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca

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Q&A with the Author

1.       When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
My parents and my grandmother were my greatest influences. They inspired me to look at the world around me and find stories there, as well as deep within my imagination. After all, life is a story just waiting to be told (or written), all the story needs in an author to write it, to tell it. My grandmother, Gran as we called her, said I had a vivid imagination. It served me well as the youngest child with the least chance of being heard at the dinner table when stories were being shared, on long car journeys that were cramped, uncomfortable and often hot, in school when the teacher was busy teaching something I already knew, when I was at home, sick (and I was sick a lot as a child). My imagination allowed me to venture to worlds beyond our scope of perception, to create stories to entertain me, to keep me from dwelling on being uncomfortable in that hot car, bored in the classroom or miserable when sick. And I dreamed a lot. “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is a story that digs deep into my childhood memories and the dreams and fantasies I had to keep myself entertained.

2.       Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I always have several writing projects in the works. While I await the edits for book 2 (“Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure”) and book 3 (“Mrs. Murray’s Home”) of “The Piccadilly Street” series (“Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is book 1), I’m working on book 4, “Mr. Murray’s Gun”. I also write a lot of short stories and articles for various print and online publications. And I’m a regular book reviewer for several sites, includinghttps://readersfavorite.com/
But those are just my writing projects. I have other creative passions as well: gardening, painting, needlework, playing and composing music. And, of course, reading. A day without reading a good book would be like a day without air to breathe or light to see.

3.       What is your favorite writing snack?
Chocolate. Anything chocolate. As long as it’s soy and dairy free.

4.       If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?
Mary and Granny. Mary is, sort of, me as a child. And Granny is/was my very special grandmother, my mentor, my inspiration, and my best friend (BFF). I would serve Mary’s and Granny’s favorite foods: Scotch meat pies, cabbage salad made with apples, marshmallows and Granny’s secret dressing. And, for dessert, chocolate cake.

5.       Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m forever learning something new. Since “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is sort of a walk down memory lane for me, I was able to recount so many childhood experiences, dreams and nightmares and, of course, that very elusive ghost that prowled the halls of my childhood home. I guess you could say that I learned a little bit more about myself by delving into my past.

6.       How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Visiting with my adult children, reading, working on my art and needleart, composing or playing music on the piano – everything creative is relaxing. Oh yes, and walking my dog, my muse.

7.       What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
My largest unfulfilled dream is to write a blockbuster, best selling novel. Isn’t that every writer’s dream? I have won awards for my writing, but I’m still aiming for that big prize – the label of ‘best selling author’. And how do I plan to get there? By writing lots, reading lots, and, believe it or not, encouraging others with their writing. I do believe that by helping someone else achieve their dreams, you are also helping yourself.

8.       What do you fear most?
Actually? Ghosts. I was terrified of the ghost that haunted my childhood home. As a child, I often slept with the blankets over my head. I didn’t want to see what I didn’t understand. But she was there. Especially when I was sick. She used to watch over me. And, when my now adult children visited their grandparents as children, if they misbehaved, something weird would happen, like a clock flying off the wall or a picture on the wall suddenly going very crooked. No one was ever hurt, but our ghost wanted her opinion known. I’ve had other ghosts visit me over the years. Whenever someone close to me passes away, they visit me at least once before they move on. And it always terrifies me, even though I understand their presence now better than I did as a child.

9.       What was your favorite Halloween Costume?
I had a few favorites – all creations using whatever we had in the house. No store-bought costumes in the 1960s. It didn’t fit into the family budget. I think my favorite was the one I chose just about every Halloween. I admired Dale Evans and her horse, Buttermilk. (I was a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans fan. It was the 1960s, after all.) So, I would dress up like a cowgirl. I had a cheap straw hat that looked like a cowboy hat (at least to me it did) and I wore pants and a plaid shirt. I tied a kerchief around my neck like a bandana and my rain boots. Dad configured a rope for me to swing over my shoulder as if I were carrying my lasso. It really didn’t matter what my wardrobe was. It was always cold on Halloween and I had to wear a heavy coat over my costume. (So much for dressing up.) The only thing missing was my horse. I didn’t have one. But I could always dream that my Buttermilk was walking along beside me. Or, better yet, giving me a ride to the next house for trick-or-treats.

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