Haunted byTessa Buckley #AuthorInterview


Today I am happy to welcome Tessa Buckley to the blog to talk about her writing life. First, here's a little about her novel, Haunted which is a middle grade detective / ghost story. It is the second in her Eye Spy series and can be read as a standalone.

Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…

When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.

Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…

Welcome to Cat and Mouse Reading, Tessa!

What are you working on at present?

I’m halfway through a Young Adult thriller set in contemporary London, which was inspired by a Dickens novel. I’m looking forward to the end of restrictions, when I’ll be able finally to visit the locations I’m writing about, instead of relying on You Tube videos. There’s a lot of research involved, which I really enjoy, but you have to know when to put the research aside and get on with the writing.

When starting a new novel, what do you begin with – characters, plot or location?

With the Eye Spy series, the first decision I made was to set the books in a seaside town, because I live by the sea myself. Then an image of teen detective, Alex, popped into my head, talking about his eccentric dad and strict Nan. The plot and the other characters evolved as I wrote. So for the last novel, Lady in Red, I already had the setting and the main characters, and I got the idea for the missing painting from part of the degree course I’d just completed, which covered the Pre-Raphaelites. I love their paintings, so it was a pleasure to create an imaginary Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Animals always play an important part in your books. Is this deliberate?

I don’t think I could write a children’s book which didn’t contain some sort of creature – either a real animal like a dog or cat, or an imaginary one like a dragon. Most children love books about animals, I know I did. Who could forget Toad in The Wind in the Willows, or Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? The very first fan letter I had from a child said that she loved Eye Spy because the two dogs in the book reminded her of her own dogs.  

Do you write non-fiction as well as fiction?

My first published book was about nutritional therapy, and I’ve written a lot of articles about nutrition and healthy eating over the years. I also write articles about family history, which is my favourite hobby. Family history often involve solving mysteries, just like the novels I read and write, which is probably why I enjoy it so much.  

What’s the best thing about being an author?

For me it has been meeting and getting to know all the other talented people who live nearby. I belong to Southend Writers and Artists Network, which is full of creative people such as writers, artists, film makers and poets, who I get to meet at the many cultural events that take place regularly in the town. I’ve also had the chance to take part in the Essex Book Festival for several years, which I really enjoyed.


Is there one type of book you love reading above all else?

Not really. I have very eclectic tastes and read historical novels, detective stories, true crime, biographies and contemporary fiction. Once I find an author I like, I devour everything they have written.  My latest discovery is an author called Mary Kingswood, who writes historical mystery/romances. I’m also reading a lot of YA fiction at present.    

Thanks for dropping by and good luck with the writing! 

About the Author

Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of  Eye Spy, the first in a series of detective stories for 9-12 year olds, designed to encourage reluctant readers. The second book in the series, Haunted, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017. 

Tessa lives with her husband and a large white cat called Pippa. in a town on the Thames estuary, which inspired the seaside setting for the novels. She also writes about health and nutrition, and family history, which has been her passion for many years. 

You can follow Tessa here: Facebook

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US   |  Troubador 





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