Friday, 5 October 2012

Deborah Abela Ghost Club Blog Tour

What's that noise? I'm sure I heard something? It could be a ghost. There it was again. Oh, phew ... it's Deborah Abela, author of the fun and fabulous Ghost Club stories. Today we welcome Deborah as part of her blog tour. Thank you for dropping by Buzz Words Books to chat about all things ghostly:

BWB: Were you ever part of a club as a kid and would you like to have been a member of the Ghost Club?

DA: I would have LOVED to have been part of the Ghost Club as a kid. All those spooky stories, all that history coming to life in a house, castle or graveyard…I love the fact that wherever we stand there is a history that belonged to that place long before we arrived there. I love thinking about who has been there, what they did, imaging the laughter or even tears. There is a school of philosophy that believes time doesn’t pass by and disappear but somehow still exists somewhere beyond us and I like that idea.


BWB: What was the best bit about imagining the Ghost Club mansion?

DA: I actually scoured the net for this one….I needed an image to work from that would resemble my higgledy crumbling mansion and finally I found it. I also stumbled across a story about a woman who believed her house was haunted by a ghost who told her he would not stop bothering her unless she didn’t keep adding to the house. She built extra rooms, stairs that went nowhere and doors that opened onto brick walls…. apparently he kept bothering her despite his promise and her tireless renovations. My fictionally haunted woman, Emmeline Crump, leaves the house, fittingly, to the Ghost Club after she has died.

BWB: In Ghost Club 2: The Haunted School, Angeline and Edgar and their classmates are having a sleep-over at their school. What’s the scariest place you’ve slept over at?

DA: I drove around Australia after I finished uni and one night while we were camping in the bush, we’d just settled into sleep when we heard a car and headlights stumbled over our tent as the car drove over rough ground, coming closer. It stopped outside, the door opened and boots tramped to our door, before asking us to put out our slightly smouldering campfire. Phew. We did as he asked, but then as we tried to go to sleep again, we heard footsteps around our tent. We were so spooked, we flew out the door, threw the tent in the back of the car and drove off.

BWB: One of the support characters in the book is a man called Gloom, who loves telling poems with bad endings. What would you do if you met someone like Gloom in real life?

DA: I’d ask him to read me some of his gloomy poetry and stories! No matter how cheerful it starts, they always seem to make their way to an unfortunate end. He claims that when a story is going well, you should always be ready for something bad to happen.

BWB: Is it true that although you like writing scary stories, you’re actually a bit of a coward?

DA: Oh a terrible coward…as big as they come. The downside of that is that I love adventure and travelling and when I was younger, I often ended up in scary situations like being thrown in jail twice by heavily armed men in Africa. I also can’t even think about watching scary films…

BWB: Is Grandma Rose at all like your nanna?

DA: Yes, in lots of ways. Feisty and funny but no-nonsense and very fun to be with. Neither of those woman are your cake-baking, cuddly, purple haired nanna, but are brilliant in their own special way.

BWB: Have you read Ghost Club 2 to the students at your school, Stanmore Public School and if so, what was their response?

DA: I began by asking them if they knew the tale of Bloody Mary…and of course they did. In fact it was a Stanmore student who first told me the story. It supposedly originates from Henry VIII’s daughter, Queen Mary, who, during her reign was quite bloodthirsty and tended to do away with people who weren’t of the Catholic faith. The folklore from that time is that if you stand in front of a bathroom mirror and repeat her name three times she’ll appear. Which of course she never does. I always tell the kids it's a story designed to frighten people, which it has done. I read them the chapter where, during the annual year six sleepover, the kids try it out….something, of course, does happen, but I can’t tell you what.

BWB: What are some things teachers can do with classes to help bring this series alive?

DA: Ohhh….I love asking kids to tell a story about the time they were woken at night by a strange noise or by something they saw. Lots of great stories start from something real and something, at least initially, mysterious. I often use this as a story starter exercise. I also look at famous spooky stories like A Christmas Carol by Dickens. I also have teachers notes on my website (http://www.randomhouse.com.au/content/teachers/tr_ghost_club.pdf) which has activities around designing your own ghost catching gadget, acting out a portion of the book and writing spooky stories using all the five sense to really make it come to life.



BWB: What can we look forward to in the next Ghost Club book?

DA: Each year there is the annual Ghost Club convention and I just had to take our catchers to Transylvania, the inspirational home for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was fun reading Stoker’s story again and researching the history of Transylvania and Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian Prince said also to have inspired the story.




BWB: What type of readers would you recommend the Ghost Club series to?

DA: The series is a comedy adventure with some slightly spooky elements to it, but it is largely about facing our fears and that sometimes what we’re afraid of sometimes isn’t that scary after all. Readers who love mystery, action and a good whodunit, may enjoy hanging out with Angeline and Edgar at Ghost Club.

Thanks, Deborah. I can't wait for the next Ghost Club. 




You can read the Buzz Words Books' review of Ghost Club 2: The Haunted School here and Ghost Club 1: The New Kid here.








Check out the book trailer, too: http://deborahabela.com/site/Video_Clips.html


For all the stops on Deborah’s Blog tour, see http://www.deborahabela.com/. For the next stop on the tour visit Fairfieldbooks On Station on 8 October. For the previous stop see Pass It On.

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