Hi Rook, firstly could you introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Rook Hastings, also known as Rowan Coleman. I’m a writer of fiction for women and teens and have written and published a total of sixteen books to date.
Can you tell us more about your new book, Nearly Departed and the inspiration behind it?
About six years ago I started writing a paranormal ghost hunting books for adults – something spooky but gritty and realistic too – its a subject I love, but try as I might I couldn’t get it right. The more I thought about it, the more I pictured the characters as teens, and everything fell into place. My children’s publisher loved the idea, but I was too busy writing Ruby Parker books to be able to get to it until last year. Its about a group of five fifteen year olds who have always suspected that Woodsville isn’t like other towns – and they are about to find out why.
Woodsville is a very spooky, but believable town! Was there anywhere in particular that you had in mind when writing?
I used to live in Hackney in London, surrounded by tall brooding tower blocks, but I didn’t want to set the book in London. I remembered as a child having a reoccurring dream that I was being chased through an estate, like the one in Woodsville by something I couldn’t see, but I knew was very bad – I think Woodsville is the town in my dreams. Big, dark, cold, hard, hiding secrets in every corner.
Your characters also struck me as very real, do you base them on real people?
No, not really. I’m glad you think they seem real, they do take on a life of their own in my head and I work hard to make them believable. For me characterisation is one of the most important parts of writing.
Can you tell us about your research into the paranormal for Nearly Departed?
I did a lot of reading, mainly I was interested in well documented cases that happened recently and in modern setting – ie not your typical haunted house! And also I did speak to a paranormal research group to find out about the equipment and techniques they use. And I have been haunted myself, which was about the best research I could do!
Nearly Departed is the first in a series, with the next installment out in September. Can you tell us anymore about that and what more we can expect from your Weirdsville series?
I can’t tell you too much, because it might give away what happens in Nearly Departed – there are a number of questions raised in this book, some will be answered, some new ones will come up – and there will plenty of ghostly adventure too building to an exciting climax – we will lose some characters and meet some new ones – no-one is safe!.
Before Nearly Departed you had written several other books for teen girls and women as Rowan Coleman. Your latest book seems a lot different from your previous novels, what made you branch out into something so different?
As I mentioned its just a subject I love – I’m so interested in ‘ghosts’ the paranormal, possible scientific explanations as well as spiritual ones. I would have published under Rowan Coleman but I wanted this to be a book that a boy could pick up, and as I’m known for writing for women and girls I thought my own name might put them off!
It’s a very creepy (in a fab way!) book, do you ever creep yourself out writing?
Yes, very much so. I’m constantly scarring myself, its the downside of having an over active imagination!
What’s next for Rook or Rowan?
Well I’m just putting the final touches to IMMORTAL REMAINS the next weirdsville book and my new book for adults THE HAPPY HOME FOR BROKEN HEARTS will be out in August 2010
Thanks Rook for taking the time to answer these questions! I for one will be looking forward to Immortal Remains!
Your Chance To Win!
Rook has very kindly sent me a signed copy of Nearly Departed to giveaway to one lucky winner, who will be chosen by Random.org
To enter please fill out the form below.
Entries close at Midnight 21st March
You can read my review here