Interview with QL Pearce
What genre do you write and why?
I have written more than 120 books for young readers including educational, nonfiction, biography, and fiction for all age ranges. Middle grade to YA horror, sci-fi and mystery are my favorites. I enjoy the world building and the suspension of disbelief required in a ghost story and I get a kick out of researching creepy tales and urban legends. My first short story series was Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs. It did very well.
Tell us about your latest book.
Spine chillers is a collection of short stories for a new generation of tweens to teens. It includes classic ghosts, a monster or two, urban legends and one tale that is an homage to The Twilight Zone. Because the stories are short, they are perfect for reading aloud at a sleep-over, or under the covers with a flashlight. I try to include something for everyone and hope that each reader will find a favorite among them.
Who are your favourite authors?
There are so many! Ray Bradbury, George Orwell and Roald Dahl are among my favorite masters. Modern masters include Neil Gaiman and Holly Black. My favorite book is always changing but Something Wicked This Way Comes, Coraline and The Graveyard Book are on the list of classics.
What advice do you have for other writers?
The advice I give to working writers is finish what you start. I have several manuscripts that are sitting in a file folder because I didn’t push through when I hit a weak spot. Once that happens I start second-guessing and lose momentum. Philip Roth said that the road to hell is paved with works-in-progress. A prolific writer I respect told me to get the story on paper even if it isn’t exactly what I had in mind, then go back and get it right.
The advice I always give to young writers is to take every opportunity you can to travel, meet new people, learn about new cultures and try new things. Life experience is a wonderful muse.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
I love this quote by Mark Twain, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.”
How do you research your books?
I enjoy prowling through antique stores for curious objects or photographs that might spark an idea, or hiking around in new environments to use as settings. My dear friend, author Tamara Thorne, and I sometimes take road trips. We visit haunted hotels, abandoned buildings and ghost towns, all for inspiration.
How long did it take you to write your book?
It took about eight months to write the individual stories and another four or five to rewrite. I’m fortunate to have a terrific critique group to help with the process. I usually write for a couple of hours a day, and I work on several projects at a time.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
They can find it on Amazon now and it will be available in paperback by the end of the year.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m working on a few things including the next volume of Spinechillers. I have two fact fiction picture books in work with coauthor/illustrator Gina Capaldi, a middle grade mystery adventure with coauthor Francesca Rusackas, and a YA horror novel. I’m also thrilled to be joining Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross as co-host for YA nights on Thorne and Cross Haunted Nights LIVE, part of the Authors on the Air: Radio Network.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
They can go to my website at www.qlpearce.com