#InterviewByBook with Cinnamon Stevens by Pauline Hosking

Title: Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light

Author: Pauline Hosking

Illustrator: Kat Chadwick

Publisher: Lilly Pilly Publishing

Genre: mystery/detective novel

Age Range: 9-12

Book Description:

Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light is a fun, crime/detective novel for readers 9+, written by Pauline Hosking, illustrated by Kat Chadwick and published in partnership with Lilly Pilly Press. It’s the second in a series about a twelve-year-old sleuth who solves crimes in and around Melbourne.

When Cinnamon’s Year 7 class has an excursion to the old gold-mining town of Walhalla in Gippsland, trouble-maker Showy Daniels dares Cinnamon to visit the out-of-bounds graveyard at night. It’s an eerie and dangerous place. Showy has an ‘accident’. His friends blame Meera, one of Cinnamon’s besties. To stop Meera being bullied, Cinnamon must find out exactly what happened to Showy AND solve the mystery of a haunted theatre.

Dear Cinnamon,

It’s an honour to welcome you to our #InterviewByBook questionnaire!

Thank you for the opportunity.

Let’s begin with ‘the plug’! Please tell us a bit about yourself in the most enticing way possible.

I am 12 years old and live in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne. Both my older brother and Dad are members of the Victoria Police. My aim is to be like them and maybe even become a super sleuth. I have two best friends – Cosette who is going to be a famous actress, and Meera who is very clever and wants to study law. This year I started Year 7 at Mount Dandenong Secondary. I am in 7B, which is the accelerated class for clever kids. It’s good because we have lots of excursions.

What makes you so funny, spooky and mystifying?

Cosette and I used to be class clowns in primary school, so I know I’m funny (though not as funny as she is). For Ghost Light, I had to face my fear of dark places. The book starts when I go ghost hunting in a spooky basement underneath an old Theatre. Later I get dared to visit the eerie out-of-bounds graveyard in Walhalla at night. The boy who dares me, Showy Daniels, ends up unconscious on one of the graves. Our teachers think he’s had an accident, but I don’t believe that. It’s up to me to solve the mystery of the cemetery, and discover if the theatre really is haunted.

How do you compare to other books in your approach / themes?

Well, I’ve read some of the Friday Barnes books. I’m not like her really. I don’t use magic to solve crimes, although I do seem to attract coincidences. Also, Friday lives somewhere that doesn’t exist. All my adventures happen in real places near Melbourne. The first one, Crime Buster, started on Phillip Island with the penguins. This one, Ghost Light, mainly happens in Walhalla, an old gold mining town in Gippsland. Because I’m a fairly ordinary kid, I also have the usual problems – like keeping friends, coping with bullying, and being embarrassed by my parents.

Who do you think your author is most similar to in terms of writing style? Why?

Ghost Light is my diary of the case. It has footnotes and pictures as well as text. I think my writing style is a little bit like my favourite authors Jen Storer, Lauren Child and Georgia Nicolson.

What do you think of your illustrations / cover image? Do you have a favourite image? Why?

I like the cover of Ghost Light where I’m discovering a couple of “ghosts”, although I wish the illustrator hadn’t shown my freckles. I have a bazillion freckles. I also like the last illustration in the book, where I’m doing a cheeky thumbs up (though once again you can see those freckles).

What kind of effect have you had on your readers so far? What’s the craziest or most heartwarming thing someone has ever said about you?

The most fun thing was when one of my readers dressed up as me for her school’s fancy dress parade during Book Week last year. She even drew freckles on her face!

Where is the most unusual place you’ve ever visited or been read?

Walhalla was pretty unusual. It used to have thousands of people living there during the Gold Rush, lots of pubs and shops and hotels. Now there are 21 residents doing mainly touristy things – including a Ghost Walk which was not very scary. The really scary stuff came later…

Multiple Choice Question:

Who would you most like to be in the hands of?

a. Some totally famous author like Dr. Suess, Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl
b. Some totally famous Royal like The Queen, Prince William or the Princess of Pop
c. Some other-worldly creature that can spread the joy of your book across the entire universe
d. Some random kid you sat next to at the bus stop
e. Other. Would love to hear it!

I’d like to be in the hands of a random kid so they would read my adventure and see how I manage to (almost) overcome my fear of the dark and handle dangerous situations. I hope it would give them the courage to do the same.

The Nitty Gritty:

Where is your home and where can we buy you?

Both my books are available from the distributor Dennis Jones & Associates www.dennisjones.com.au

And from the online sites The Book Depository and Booktopia. Very soon an ebook will be on Amazon, Apple and Port Campbell Press.

For more information go to: www.paulinehosking.com

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Thanks so much for coming along and spilling all the deets about you! 😊

No problem. Here’s the pic of me from the end of the book.

To pay the bills Pauline’s worked as a teacher, teacher-librarian, journalist, theatre publicist, radio producer, TV script assistant and lecturer in the Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing and
Editing). She’s run creative writing workshops as part of Arts Victoria’s Artist in Schools program and tutored in the G.A.T.E.WAYS programs for talented and gifted children.

Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster (2016), her first novel, was favourably reviewed online and in Magpies magazine. It was added to the Victorian Premiers Reading Challenge booklist in 2017.

Previously Pauline wrote a number of plays for adults and teenagers. Many of these are held at the Australian Script Centre http://australianplays.org/playwright/ASC-472.
Several primary school plays have appeared in the NSW School Magazine.

#InterviewByBook #CinnamonStevens #GhostLight #mystery

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