N-am mai postat de ceva vreme un nou interviu asa ca am spus ca trebuie sa ma revansez. De data aceasta cea care mi-a răspuns la întrebări a fost Dianne Salerni, autoarea romanului The Caged Garves care mi-a atras atentia prin descrierea foarte interesanta
„17-year-old Verity Boone expects a warm homecoming when she returns to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867, pledged to marry a man she has never met. Instead, she finds a father she barely knows and a future husband with whom she apparently has nothing in common. One truly horrifying surprise awaits her: the graves of her mother and aunt are enclosed in iron cages outside the local cemetery. Nobody in town will explain why, but Verity hears rumors of buried treasure and witchcraft. Perhaps the cages were built to keep grave robbers out . . . or to keep the women in. Determined to understand, Verity finds herself in a life-and-death struggle with people she trusted.
Inspired by a pair of real caged graves in present-day Catawissa, this historical YA novel weaves mystery, romance, and action into a suspenseful drama with human greed and passion at its core.”
1. First of all, thank you very much for granting me this interview. I was wondering whether you would like to tell us something about yourself.
Thank you, Niahara! I’m a wife, mother, and school teacher. I’m also a lover of mystery, history, spookiness, and the bizarre. I’ve been writing since I was a child, although I never tried to get anything published until my husband pushed me to submit my work. My first book was WE HEAR THE DEAD (Sourcebooks 2010). THE CAGED GRAVES (Clarion/HMH 2013) will be my second book.
2. Can you tell us what inspired you to write The Caged Graves?
I was researching legends in the Pocono Mountains when I came across an online article about a grave surrounded by an iron cage in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. There was a photo of the grave, and when I realized the cemetery was only an hour away from the place my family goes skiing every year, I decided I wanted to go see the grave.
My husband used clues in the article and Google Earth to pinpoint the location of the cemetery. We found the cemetery, but imagine our surprise when we discovered not one, but TWO caged graves!
Then I found out the graves belonged to sisters-in-law who died two days apart in 1852 – and the local historical society didn’t know why their family built the cages. I was determined to write a mystery about them.
3. What can you share about your novel?
For my novel, I kept the real names of the women – Sarah Ann Boone and Asenath Thomas – and made up a romantic mystery centering around Sarah Ann’s fictional daughter, Verity Boone.
In my story, 17-year-old Verity returns to her hometown of Catawissa after being raised by distant relatives after the death of her mother. Her father would like her to marry Nate McClure, the boy next door, so that Nate can help him run his farm. Verity agreed to the betrothal after being won over by Nate’s letters, but when they meet in person, they don’t get along. Worse, Verity discovers that her mother and an aunt she never knew are buried in graves surrounded by iron cages and banished outside the church cemetery grounds. Her father’s explanation doesn’t satisfy her, especially after she hears rumors of witchcraft and buried treasure. Verity wants to solve the mystery, but the more she pursues the truth, the more it seems she’ll end up in a grave beside her mother!
4. I believe all readers and perhaps the writers as well imagine what would happen if they were granted a few hours with a character of their choosing. If you were to spend some time with your characters where would you go and what would you do?
If I were to travel to Catawissa as Verity Boone’s companion, I would be leaving a bustling city – where even in 1867 there were sidewalks and street lamps – for a remote town on a mountainside. It would be eerily quiet and incredibly dark at night. Even searching for Verity’s lost kitten means a perilous walk downhill toward the graveyard with only a lantern in hand and the chance of encountering … almost anything.
I’d also see Verity face off against townsfolk who make a lot of snide comments about her mother, even hinting that she was a witch – although not one of them has the guts to tell Verity what happened. Mostly they seem to resent that she’s snagged the most eligible bachelor in town. I’d be proud of my friend for standing up to them, but I’d also sympathize with her dilemma. Because Verity’s fiancé, Nate, isn’t as charming as he was in his letters – while the young doctor’s apprentice, Hadley Jones, is delightful and seems very interested in her!
5. Do you have a favorite author?
In high school and college, I read a lot of gothic/romantic mystery, science fiction, and fantasy. Then I developed a taste for historical fiction and murder mysteries. Now, I read a lot of YA books – especially science fiction, dystopia, mystery, and suspense. It would be hard to pick a favorite author, but in writing a romantic mystery like THE CAGED GRAVES, I was influenced by gothic mystery writers I read as a teen – Mary Stewart, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Phyllis Whitney.
6. You have a time capsule and the possibility to preserve three books for the people of the future. What books would you choose?
Oh, this is almost impossible! What would I choose? Something I personally enjoy? Or something considered “great literature?” I suppose a compilation of the best works of Shakespeare would have to go into the capsule. And I really ought to include Norton’s Anthology of Poetry which I still have from AP English in high school. So that covers drama and poetry. Clearly, I need to put in a novel – but which one? I don’t think I dare try to decide what’s the greatest novel ever written!
7. A genie appears in front of you one day and promises to take you to a place of your choosing. Where would you go?
I’d ask the genie to take me 100 years into the future. When you remember that 100 years in the past, telephones, radios, and automobiles were still new, I can hardly imagine what sort of technology the people of the future might be using a century from now. Could someone in 1913 imagine the daily use of cell phones? Texts? The internet?
8. You have a mirror that shows you a person of your choosing from the past and/or present. That person can be anyone: a president, a king, a queen, a writer etc. You can ask him or her only one question. Who would it be and what would you ask that person?
I’ve always been intrigued with Anne Boleyn, who infatuated Henry VIII so much that the old womanizer waited 6 years to marry her, supposedly remaining chaste the whole time. (Which was not his normal behavior …) And supposedly it was her wit and conversation even more than her looks that held him in such thrall. I don’t have a question for her. I’d just like to watch her at court, captivating the king.
9. An enchanted lake can give you a glimpse of the past. Which year/period would you like to discover?
Last summer, as part of my research for an upcoming MG novel, THE EIGHTH DAY (HarperCollins 2014), I visited the ruins of Teotihuacan, Mexico and climbed to the top of the Sun Pyramid. This amazing site was once a thriving city, but by the time the Aztecs came to power, it had been in ruins for 700 years. Even the Aztecs didn’t know who lived there, but when Hernando Cortez arrived in the 1500s, the Aztecs took him out to see the ruins and told him it was the City of the Gods – (Teotihuacan in their language).
I would love to see this city at the height of its power and glimpse the people who lived there – people the Aztecs called “the gods.”
10. Would you like to add anything else?
First of all, I’d like to thank Niahara again for inviting me! Secondly, anyone who is interested in my books can learn more at my blog (http://diannesalerni.blogspot.com ) or my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/DianneKSalerni) . For example, my first book was recently turned into a 10 minute movie by a Canadian film company! There are film clips of The Spirit Game on both sites.