Monday, October 22, 2012

Saving Halloween by Lisa Ard : Character Interview and Excerpt


When book-smart Anne Parson meets Halloween Spavento, she sees exactly what she wants to see -- a friend. Halloween waves away trouble, magically silences school bullies and offers Anne unfailing friendship. But, when the Spavento family's enchanting exploits are exposed, will Anne face her fears and save Halloween?

A spellbinding tale of outcasts who find acceptance, a girl who discovers the true meaning of family, and characters who are not always what they seem.

2012 Kay Snow Writing Award for Young Readers


Mrs. Dimpsy slept sitting up. The first time it happened, Anne was in the middle of her after-school lessons when her new tutor stopped mid-sentence. Mrs. Dimpsy’s head lolled forward onto her chest, her soft snores filled the formal dining room. Her cup of tea turned cold, abandoned on the dining room table.

That day and the following days, promptly at 4 o’clock, Mrs. Dimpsy took a nap. Sometimes her head rolled backward, which caused her mouth to hang open, rather unflatteringly. Anne studied Mrs. Dimpsy. The middle-aged woman was one of the many interchangeable caregivers assigned to shape her into the image of her parents. The problem, or so it seemed to Anne, was that these people were neither caring nor giving, unless you counted Mrs. Dimpsy’s gift for nasal opera. Anne sighed.


Character interview with Halloween Spavento
Laurie:  Hi, Halloween. Could you tell me a little about your siblings?
Halloween: I don’t have any siblings, at least, none that I know of. I was left on the Spavento family’s doorstep on Halloween night twelve years ago.
Laurie:  Wow. That’s fascinating. I guess I’ll have to read your book to find out the story behind that answer. In my books, one of my characters is known for his insatiable appetite. How about you? What’s your favorite food?
Halloween: That’s a very difficult question to answer because my family is known for their food. My mama’s cookies are tough to beat. But then, Professor makes a great osso buco and risotto. Uncle Fenris roasts lamb to utter perfection.
Laurie:  Sounds delicious. Friendship is also very important to my characters, and I can imagine it must be to you, too. Can you tell me a little about your best friend?
Halloween: Anne Parson is my best, and only, friend. I met Anne in the apple orchard one day. I liked her from the moment I saw her. I don’t think she quite believed me when I said I could turn her nose into a pickle. But, she’s since come around.
Laurie:  A pickle, eh? That’s a handy trick. Okay, Halloween, can you describe for my readers what you look like?
Halloween: Since Uncle Fenris styled my hair for school, my red curls are much tamer. Papa says my creamy, pale skin reminds him of moonlight. I’m pretty active, so I like to wear comfortable, knit clothing – often a black jumper with green tights and black boots or black knit pants with an orange turtleneck.
Laurie:  So how would you spend a typical day?
Halloween: Before I started school with Anne, I studied with Professor at home. Mama likes my help in the kitchen, baking her bewitching cookies. Uncle Fenris tends our flock of sheep, so I’m often out with him in the fields and orchards in the afternoon. Papa rises at night. Our favorite activity is opera night, with lots of singing, dancing and piano playing.
Laurie:  Thank you very much, Halloween. Now I have a question for your author. Lisa, can you tell me something you know about this character that she would never admit?
Lisa Ard: Halloween is much loved by the large, extended Spavento family, but she still needs a friend her own age. It’s a good thing Anne happened along one fall afternoon – or did she just happen along?



Writing is an adventure for me. It's been a long and winding journey to authoring children's books. Here's some of that journey's highlights:

·                                 I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington. Better look it up on the map, because it's the Apple Capital of the World!

·                                 As a kid I played lots of sports, enjoyed art and photography, read lots of books (still do) and dreamed of traveling the world.

·                                 I left home to study at the University of Washington where I earned my B.A. in German. (And yes, my dad asked me "what are you going to do with a degree in German?")

·                                 After a couple years living and working in Seattle, I went back to school. Now, you may be asking why I signed up for MORE school. Actually I've always thought school was pretty fun. I found a really cool school that let me work overseas. I got my Masters in International Business from the University of South Carolina and worked in Germany.

·                                 For the next 15 years, I worked in Finance and Quality departments for some really big companies. In other words, I went to lots of meetings, talked on the phone, traveled all over the country and sat in a cubicle for a lot of that time.

·                                 Then I fell in love, got married and had two wonderful kids. We now live happily ever after in Portland, Oregon.

That's the story so far. I'm on the author journey. How long that will last, I don't know. However, I'm ready to enjoy the adventure.

Follow me on my blog
Adventures in Writing & Publishing:

And find me, like me, follow what I read, on:


Fright Flight is the first installment in the Dream Seeker Adventures series. Being twelve years old can be challenging, but add to that the unusual ability to experience dreams as reality and you begin to understand Patrick's need for a little self-control. A "sweet" dream devouring the world's largest ice cream sundae can end with an enormous stomachache. A fall from a bike means Patrick wakes with a broken arm. Try explaining that to the emergency room doctor! Oh wait - that would be Patrick's mom. She's a dream seeker too, as are Patrick's sister and brother. If Patrick follows the family's dream-seeking rules he can have cool nighttime adventures. But if he forgets...

Dream Team - 

For Patrick, being twelve years old can be challenging. Add to that the unusual ability to experience dreams as reality and you begin to understand, why Patrick never knows what will happen when he falls asleep. When Patrick's voice begins to change, he declares disaster! But one magnificent dream will introduce Patrick to some real-life heroes, who faced far greater adversity. Patrick discovers that his troubles are minor league in comparison. Will Patrick find the courage to face his fears?
Enter for a chance to win a Kindle formatted copy of Saving Halloween.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the Author on Twitter for another bonus entry.


Bec said...

I love hearing about how authors get there - seems like a world apart - kids books and boardrooms!

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