INTERVIEW WITH LUSIA M. PERKINS, AUTHOR OF DISPISITED
BY TERI HARMAN, @TeriHarman
Today I am very pleased to welcome author Luisa M. Perkins, author of young adult novel, DISPIRITED. Click the link for my full review.
Hi, Luisa! Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for being here. I’m so excited to talk about your fabulous book, DISPIRITED, which is a young adult dark fantasy with one of the best ghost story premises I’ve read.
TERI: Briefly tell us the genesis of your ghost story. Where did the idea come from, the characters, etc?
LUISA: I once read an article about astral projection—the process of consciously sending your spirit out of your body—and my first reaction was, “That sounds fun, but what if someone got into your body while you were gone?” My brain couldn’t let the question go until I started writing.
As far as the characters go, Richard is based on a dear friend of mine from high school who had spina bifida. Fawn and Mae are pretty much portraits of two of my younger sisters. The rest are somewhat based on people I know and love in real life.
The story is set in Manhattan and New York’s Hudson Highlands, both places that I’ve lived and that I love. The setting was a crucial part of my imaginative process.
TERI: I loved the old magical house in the story, Holly House, which is shown on the creepy-cool cover. Is it based on a real place?
LUISA: Thanks! I adore the cover, which is Cali Gorevic’s photo of Ireland’s Moore Hall. I saw the photo long ago, and it very much influenced the way I visualized Holly House. I’ve always dreamed of discovering an abandoned house in the woods. What could be better?
TERI: Nothing! I’ve always dreamed of that too. There’s just something about old houses.
If you were a ghost who or where would you haunt?
LUISA: Fun question! I would consider haunting a really good restaurant, since I think I’d miss food the most if I were a ghost. But I wouldn’t want to drive business away. Maybe I’d choose a forgotten corner of an old library instead.
TERI: Oh, library is a good choice!
What are you working on now? Do you have another book coming out soon?
LUISA: The Book of Jer3miah: Premonition is officially coming out March 4th, though I’ve seen it already in stock at some online bookstores. At the moment, I’m revising ZF-360, my fantasy retelling of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, set in modern-day New York among the Irish Travelers.
TERI: Good luck with both projects.
Since we all love to read – What are a few of your all-time favorite books?
LUISA: The Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin—Vivid, glorious writing dealing with universal struggles.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke—An impossibly clever, fabulously evocative neo-Victorian fantasy.
Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott—I adore stories about happy families.
The Diamond in the Window, by Jane Langton—My favorite book from childhood, which features a mysterious, magical house.
TERI: I haven’t read any of those! I’ll have to check them out, especially, The Diamond in the Window.
Thanks so much for being here today, Luisa! And thanks even more for such a wonderful read.
LUISA: Thanks to YOU! It has been a pleasure.