I’m thrilled to welcome Pauline Hosking back to the blog as she launches the second book in her Cinnamon Stevens series, ‘Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light.’ Here’s a little about the story and how it came to life. Enjoy!
About the Book
Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light* is the second in the series about a twelve-year-old sleuth who lives near Melbourne. When her Year 7 class has an excursion to Walhalla, the old gold-mining town in Gippsland, Cinnamon is dared to visit the out-of-bounds graveyard at night. What happens next is truly scary. There are more eerie happenings in a haunted theatre. A sub-plot deals with bullying. Although the outcome is sometimes in doubt, Cinnamon and her friends manage to defeat the bullies and solve the crime.
Once again the book is illustrated by talented and witty Kat Chadwick. The paperback is available from Dennis Jones, The Book Depository and Booktopia. An ebook can be downloaded from Amazon, Apple and Port Campbell Press.
On Writing the Series
Before starting these books I decided that the main character (Cinnamon) would be a girl with normal tween anxieties – like growing up, keeping friends, becoming aware of boys, being embarrassed by parents – and that her investigations would happen in real locations. Some publishers believe that middle grade readers (9-12 years) prefer books set in imaginary places. I’ve always liked reading about somewhere I’ve visited or lived in. The first book, Crime Buster, featured Phillip Island and the famous penguin parade. Almost every school kid in Victoria has been there! I wanted the second book to be full of spooky happenings. The spookiest place I knew was the graveyard at Walhalla, ‘the valley of the ghosts.’ When I was teaching I took several school camps to Walhalla. Then you could visit the cemetery in the dark – which made it even more scary. Nowadays the cemetery is closed at night because it’s so dangerous. Unfortunately this doesn’t stop Cinnamon…
One of Cinnamon’s besties is Cosette, a fledging actor. She hadn’t appeared much in the first book and I wanted to give her more exposure. Linking with the ghost-graveyard theme, the perfect play for Cosette was Macbeth. So the book opens with Cosette auditioning for two small parts in The Scottish Play… and seeing the theatre ghost.
* A “ghost-light” is the light left on in an empty theatre so the theatre ghost won’t feel forgotten. It’s one of many theatrical superstitions mentioned in the book.
For more about Pauline and her books you can visit her website.