I am very pleased to welcome the wonderful author of the Haunting Emma trilogy, Lee Nichols! The first ghostly paranormal book I had read, the first Deception really took my breath away. It is fantastically written and rather unique in the paranormal genre, I think.
The last in the series, Surrender, is out in the USA on the 6th of December, and in line with that is a blog tour. I asked Lee five questions in general about the trilogy (seeing as I have only read the first one);
1) Why did you choose to write in the paranormal genre, specifically ghosts? Were you inclined towards it because of an event or are you particularly interested in ghosts?
I had this idea for an adult novel that was this sort of contemporary gothic mystery and as I started working on it, I thought wouldn’t it be much cooler if she could actually talk to ghosts. I think I chose ghosts because I love history and old houses.
2) The concept of the ghosts and how Emma and other ghost keepers is a bit different than the majority of otherworldly novels – and especially the large number of powers Emma has compared to Bennett, for example – what inspired you to create this concept, and why?
I didn’t want it to be the stereotypical ghost-whisperer kind of theme, where she helps someone right a wrong and they’re able to move on. So the whole world of ghost keepers stemmed from trying to create something fresh. I liked the idea that she was pulled into this whole new plane of existence, and that her parents had been masquerading the truth to protect her. And the villain, Neos, came from the idea that some ghosts don’t want to move on, they just want to become more powerful ghosts.
3) Who is your favorite character to write about and why?
I love Emma. She’s the kind of girl I’d want as a best friend. But the most fun is probably writing the ghost jocks who mercilessly tease her.
4) In Book One, the strange “moments” Emma has to an older era as a different person is very intriguing – why did you choose to include these moments to be (around) the 19th century?
It just kind of fit into the Colonial history of Massachusetts where the book is set. Plus I wanted to create this idea that ghosts and ghostkeepers had been around for centuries.
5) The “will they or won’t they” relationship between Emma and Bennett is so intense to read in Book One! Do you like them as a couple, and was it fun to write their interactions with each other?
I very much do believe they belong together. They were tricky to write as a couple. In some ways, I think she’s a much better match with Coby, but one of the themes throughout the series is that you can’t always control who you’re attracted to, who you’re going to fall in love with. It’s part of what makes love so magical. I hope readers will be as happy with the conclusion in Surrender as I am.
When Emma Vaile’s parents leave on a mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. But then her best friend stops talking to her, the police crash her party and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian, Bennett Stern, and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England. After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular crowd. She has memories of Thatcher she can’t explain and strange visions are haunting her. Emma doesn’t trust anyone any more – except maybe Bennett. But he’s about to reveal a ghostly secret to her. One that will explain the visions …and make Emma fear for her life.
Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she’s battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she’s flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and love interest) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that’s something Bennett is not willing to accept. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school. A new team of ghostkeepers has arrived – one a snarky teen boy, the other a visiting scholar – and Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.
After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it’s not going to be easy. Bennett’s parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won’t be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the “ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love” curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?