Today's guest is Anne E. Johnson, who wrote Ebenezer's Locker.
A hundred years ago, Corbin Elementary School's building housed Dr. Ebenezer Corbin's School for Psychical Research. It seems that a couple of old spirits are still wandering the halls. It's up to Rhonda Zymler to find out what they want.
Ebenezer's Locker follows the adventures of Rhonda, a sassy sixth-grader who's having trouble finding her place and identity. Getting to know these spirits becomes Rhonda's quest. The more she digs, the more perilous her task becomes, and to complete it she must take two trips back in time. This story blends the realities of an economically-challenged modern American town with supernatural elements. What Rhonda finds not only gives her life a sense of purpose, but changes the fortunes of her entire town.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I'd just finished a historical novel (Trouble at the Scriptorium), so I wanted to try something contemporary. And I wanted to try including a touch of the supernatural for a change. I started with the idea of a girl finding something extraordinary in her locker. That's not quite what the plot turned out to be, but it was a fertile seed for the story to grow from. And I liked the idea of spirits being associated with a particular building, in this case a school.
Q) How long did it take you to write?
It's hard to give a clear answer to this, since I'm always working on more than one thing at a time. But I'd say it took about six months, all told, to write Ebenezer's Locker, including a round of edits after my beta readers saw it.
Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love the challenge of storytelling. I love crafting language into something meaningful: it's a powerful feeling to make a story appear on a blank page. I love tapping into all my education and life experience to come up with unusual ideas.
Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
My least favorite thing is having to write even when I'm uninspired. Any experienced writer knows that you can't wait for the muse to stop by. You have to treat it like a desk job: write a certain amount, even if your creativity seems to be taking the day off. You can always fix your work later if it stinks. But I must admit, it's painful for me to push out words on days like that.
Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Oh, gosh, there are all sorts of people I'd love to be. Limiting myself only to living people, I'd like to be Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Until this spring, I taught music history and theory, but I have never conducted an orchestra. Dudamel is not only a gifted conductor, but he has also worked tirelessly to help underprivileged kids get a music education. Both of those aspects of his job must be quite a thrill!
Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I know it's a bore, but I'm a very efficient food shopper and cook. It's my ridiculous, nearly obsessive, organizational skills at work (they sure help in plotting a novel!). So the only things that sit in my fridge for a long time are condiments. Go ahead, people. You may throw things at me now.
Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have the inkling of an idea for a sequel to Ebenezer's Locker, so that will get written at some point. In the very near future, my adult noir-inspired science fiction novel, Green Light Delivery, comes out in both print and e-book from Candlemark & Gleam on June 19. And my tween medieval mystery, Trouble at the Scriptorium, will be published as print only by Royal Fireworks Press in August. Both of those have sequels in the works, as well.
Find out all about what I'm doing on my website: http://anneejohnson.com/
Get updates about my activities by liking my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/anne.e.johnson.9
You can purchase Ebenezer's Locker from MuseItUp Publishing: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=317&category_id=197&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1