Welcome back Jamieson. I’m glad you decided to pay us another visit.
Cheryl, it's always a pleasure to visit with you. I'm honored you'd have me back once more!
Let’s start off with a bit of a refresher. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
Well, I've been a writer for many years. I mainly write speculative fiction; that seems to be the genre I'm drawn to. Though I do write romantic fiction and non-fiction as well, I keep heading back to the land of fantasy.
I recently had the chance to read The Ghost Mirror. Where did you get the idea for this chilling novel?
I had wanted to write a children's book featuring my cat, Mave. It didn't work out that way though. I was out of work and I wrote what ended up being the Prologue. I didn’t know it at the time I wrote it but it was the beginning of Mave's story. I have to tell you though, Mr. Lavender really freaked me out. He scared the crap out of me. But I knew it was good so, after ignoring the story for two weeks, I started writing and let it flow.
Turns out it was about Mave after all. It's been one of the only times where I can see almost all of the story.
In this story, we are introduced to Mave Mallory, a young girl who is ignored by her parents because of who she is. How did you go about creating Mave? Why will readers care about her?
I certainly hope my readers will care about her. I certainly do! I love Mave like a sister. How did I create her? Well, you know, I'm not sure I did. I think she created herself. I was writing and had to think of an enemy for Mr. Lavender, someone who was strong enough to defeat him.
I thought at first that Mave was too young for the job, but she proved me wrong. I wanted Mave to embody goodness but have darkness in her as well; none of us are truly one or the other and I thought that Mave should represent that.
In the end, she came to me and I told her story. I just hope that readers love her as much as I do.
You’ve made the reader feel sympathetic for Mave and her ability to talk to ghosts because these ghosts are Mave’s only real friends—other than her grandmother. But Mave’s ability also becomes her downfall, because it is her desire to find out what happened to one of her ghost friends that gets her pulled through the ghost mirror. How did you strike this balance between making her ability to talk to ghosts a good thing but also a bit of a problem for Mave?
Well, everything is a balance in life, right?
I knew that Mave would have some special abilities; talking to Ghosts a main one. I needed to mark her as special but not draw a lot of attention to it. I wanted to show that it was normal for her to do this.
But I also needed to show that bad things happen even when something brings you joy. It's hard to explain really. But suffice it to say that I wanted to show the balance of all things in this book.
Think about it: we have Mr. Lavender and Mave. Good Ghosts and bad ones. The Tree Woman and Gabriel. I wanted to show a balance in all things whether they were good or bad for only in learning of the balance can we avoid the darker side of things.
I mentioned Mave’s grandmother (Mona) in my last question. She knows more about Mave and her past than she lets on. What can you tell us about Mona?
Well, Mona is a very secretive woman.
She's also very wise. She cares for Mave as if she is her very own daughter and loves her with all her heart.
Mona is a very powerful woman. She doesn't call herself a Witch, though we don't know quite what she is yet. She tries to guide Mave and tell her what she is without revealing too much.
Mona knows that Mave will understand more if she figures things out on her own. But Mona definitely knows more than she's letting on.
The creepiest character in the entire book to me was the Lavender Man. What kind of inspiration created such a mean and evil being?
I honestly have no idea where he came from.
I wanted to write a children's book that was like the Grimm's Brothers Fairy Tales, only darker. I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope. Mr. Lavender was the result of that.
I started with an idea of a nasty used car salesman (some of the most evil men I know) and went from there. Mr. Lavender popped into my head much like Mave did. I knew he was evil when I first started writing about him. It's one of the reasons I stopped writing the story for a while before I came back to it.
He scared the pants off of me.
The descriptions in this book were phenomenal. I honestly felt like I was right next to Mave as she walked along the Town of Elements. How do you create great descriptions for readers without bogging them down with unnecessary details?
You know, The Ghost Mirror is the first time I used really detailed description and it seems to have worked. I normally work on a less is more approach, letting the reader fill in the blanks. My other works (Hunted, Electric Pink, Garden City) are like this.
With The Ghost Mirror I wanted there to be no guess work because everything that happens, even if it seems insignificant, is important. It was hard to keep writing descriptively when I'm so used to just plowing through.
For me, it was a learning experience, more than any other book I've written, I think. I think it turned out really well. I tried not to focus on too much detail; just enough that the reader would feel as if they were with Mave through every step.
You told me once that this book was a labor of love for you. Care to explain?
It is very much a labor of love for me. I know that The Ghost Mirror is very likely the best book I've written (and I can say this honestly. I think most of the stuff I write is crap). It's also the one I took the most time fleshing out, writing and I took my time with the words because I wanted the book to be as close to perfection as possible.
It's a book that is very close to my heart and I know it will be for some time. It's one of the only times I've been happy with the finished product so that ought to tell you something. LOL
A sequel to The Ghost Mirror is planned. Can you tell us about it?
Sure, though you're getting a good scoop. No one else knows what the sequel is about yet!
The second book in the trilogy is called The Silver Glass. Mave is called upon by the Tree Woman to help the Town of Elements once more. Mr. Lavender has unleashed the Shadows and no one is safe.
But Mave must go through Mr. Lavender's Ghost Mirror, the place where he has stored all of his souls, to get back to Elements. Working her way through what is really an underground labyrinth, Mave confronts the most frightening things imaginable.
All manner of magic is working against her but the most shocking are her parents. Transformed into beings of darkness, all their evil on the inside has been brought out. They are hunting their daughter through the Labyrinth and when they find her, they will kill her.
Mave does have one ally in the maze: young Euwan Opal. When Mave finds him again, she hopes that all hope is not lost. Problems begin to arise, however, when Mave starts having dreams of turning into a Crow. And realizes she isn't dreaming.
Mave Mallory will have to depend on all the Magic she possesses if she is to get through the labyrinth alive.
And face Mr. Lavender once more.
I think that’s all my questions, though you know I could probably ask a dozen more. Anything else you would like to share with us today?
Well, just that if anyone would like to purchase a copy of The Ghost Mirror, you can buy it in ebook or paperback at e Treasures Publishing. You can buy a copy here: