The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name Blog Tour: Author Interview with Reece Carter

Hello everybody! Today, I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Reece Carter’s debut the Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name, which is on my Halloween tbr for sure. Onto the post!


1. Hi Reece, thanks so much for being here today! First off, can you describe the Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name for us in 5 words?

Spooky, sinister, sea-soaked, strange… and silly!

2. I’m very much looking forward to reading your book, particularly now we’re getting properly into spooky season. What’s on your 2022 seasonal TBR, if you’ve got one? What are some of your favourite books that you would recommend to others as Halloween-inspired reading?

Firstly, thank you! I really hope you enjoy your first outing in Elston-Fright (oops – I might have given something away there). My Halloween TBR has two very exciting titles on it – Fear Ground by Jennifer Killick, and Dead Good Detectives by Jenny McLachlan – and I can’t wait to dive into both.

As for my own Halloween recommendations, I don’t think there is a better season to sink your teeth into Thomas Taylor’s Eerie-on-Sea books. In particular, the third instalment, Shadowghast, is set during Halloween (or ‘Ghastly Night’, as it’s called in the book), but really the whole series is packed with monsters and mystery, making it perfect reading for spooky season. And, of course, I can never go past my favourite middle-grade book of all time: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

3. I remember the book being announced just a couple of days before I wrote one of my debut spotlight posts, before I’d decided to do a few instalments, and being thrilled I could sneak it in there. What would you say is the most exciting thing about your debut year, and what are you most excited about it when it comes out? And do you want to give any shoutouts to fellow 2022 debuts that you’ve enjoyed?

I remember that post! The book had just been announced – which, for a debut author, is such a ‘pinch me’ moment because suddenly something that has been very personal is being seen by actual people. Thank you so much for including me in your list. It’s really hard to pin down a single exciting thing about this year, so I’ll give you three: firstly, just the satisfaction of achieving something I set out to do nearly twenty years ago! I’ve been writing since I was in high school, and I had a number of failed attempts at being published along the way, so that alone was huge.

Secondly, seeing other creatives – in particular, illustrators and designers – work their magic on my story was wild fun. I have no skill at all with visual arts, and I’m in total awe of those who do. It’s so amazing to see people bring Corpse and her world to life (pun not intended) in a way that I never could. Eleonora Asparuhova, who illustrated The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name, is an outstanding talent – and a lovely person too! Lastly, I’ve loved reading early reviews and knowing that people are enjoying reading my spooky, strange imaginings as much as I enjoyed writing them down.

Next up, the part I’m most looking forward to is undoubtedly meeting young readers. A lot of grown-up eyes have read my story now, which is lovely, but I’m really eager to hear from my child readers. School and library visits are something I can’t wait to start doing.

As for shout outs, I adored Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna (I mean, the magic!) and I can’t wait to read The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings once it’s released in a few weeks.

4. As well, several authors I really like have been RAVING about your book on social media and in cover quotes. So, a bit of a hypothetical one here: if you could pick one author and/or famous figure to read your book, who would it be and why?

Ha – this probably sounds a bit corny, but I sort of feel like I hit the jackpot with Jessica Townsend. I actually had no idea she had read my book until she tweeted about it ages ago. As a huge Nevermoor fan, you can imagine I just about fell off my chair when I saw it, and it was so kind of her to provide a quote for the cover too. As you point out, I’ve been lucky in that my book has found its way into the hands of lots of talented authors. I appreciate all of them.

If I was asked to pick somebody who hadn’t read the book so far, though, it would be Neil Gaiman. Ooh… and maybe Cressida Cowell! I adore her books, and how engaging and child-friendly her writing is. I want to add more, but I’ll stop now.

5. In your author biography, it mentions that you’ve been both reading and writing from a young age. Which book would you say sparked your love of stories? Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

The first book I read over and over and over was Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. I remember doing a read-a-thon challenge when I was eight or nine years old, where I had to record the names of all the books I’d read over the course of the month. It was to raise money for a very good cause, but I feel like I need to come clean with my donors: I listed a lot of books, but when nobody was looking, I would secretly just read Fantastic Mr Fox over and over again.

As for my own story, I remember it was about two boys on Rottnest Island (a small island off Perth in Western Australia) who uncovered a lost scroll on the beach. There was something about an emerald – I think? – but I can’t for the life of me remember what happened. I do remember, though, that I printed it out, stained its pages with tea and burned their edges, then bound them like a real book.

6. I’ve only read the start of your book so far, in an online extract (I don’t want to call it the first chapter given it’s labelled zero, of course!), and it is so instantly engaging. What would you say some of your favourite book openings are?

Ah yes… Chapter Zero. I could recite those pages by heart at this stage, I think. You’ve got me stumped here! Opening lines are so important to grab the reader, but for the life of me I can’t think of any other than the C.S. Lewis classic: ‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.’

7. Along similar line, what tips would you give other writers trying to create an opening that hooks readers immediately?

I love surprising openings. Ones that leave me asking: ‘Why?’ My tip for crafting an opening that hooks readers is to lead with something surprising. Something completely unexpected. I think, especially as a new writer, it can be tempting to ease readers into the story. Don’t. Instead, you should aim for an opening that demands the reader keep reading in order to answer a question. Intrigue them – confuse them, even – with something that will have them needing to know more.

8. Also on the theme of writing, what’s your writing routine like, if you have one? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?

The strangest writing habit I have is that I can only write in the morning – very early, I’ve found. I used to set my alarm for 4am so that I could write for three hours before beginning my day. It made sense when I had a day job, but for some reason I still wake up early to write even now that I’m writing full time. I think it has to do with the fact that the world is still quiet in the morning, before text messages and emails start, and my brain is fresh.

9. Last, but not least, before our quickfire round, can you give us any hints about what’s coming next in the series?

I have just finished writing the sequel, so without giving away too many spoilers I can tell you that after a character goes missing (this character might be a favourite for some readers), Corpse and her friends are forced to face a new magical foe – one that we didn’t meet in the first book. To do that, they’ll need to dive deep into the history of Elston-Fright, and of the lighthouse which watches over it, guarding the town from evil.


QUICKFIRE

TV game show/quiz you’d most like to take part in? Who Wants to be a Millionaire because I know lots of useless trivia. (And also, I would very much like to be a millionaire.)

Autumn activity you enjoy most? Cooking! I am a summer person, but when the weather changes, the silver lining is all the yummy food. Favourite thing about Australia? The beaches. No doubt about it.

Top 3 books of 2022 so far?

Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee and Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor were both 2021 releases, but I only got around to reading to them this year so hopefully that counts. And of course, Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna.

3 2022 releases you’re excited for?

(I went with 2023 releases here, since 2022 is almost over. Hopefully that still works?) Silverborn – I can’t wait for Jess Townsend’s fourth instalment! And of course, then there’s Angie Thomas’ first middle grade novel, Nic Blake and the Remarkables; and Jeremy Lachlan’s Jane Doe and the Quill of All Tales.

2023 is set to be a very good year for middle grade books!


Thank you so much for reading! Are you planning to pick up Reece’s book, once it’s out? What books are you looking forward to in 2023, would you say? I’d love to chat in the comments!

Amy xx

Advertisement

Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: