Lee Nichols is the author of Deception.
How did you create the character of Emma? Did you try to base her off of a modern girl, or an old-fashioned one?
I think she's a very contemporary character dealing with a history she didn't know she had.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Not in the way I've imagined them here. But I do feel like places and things can hold the spirits of people who've died, and sometimes that can invoke a spooky feeling.
If you could go back and change one thing about your novel, what would it be?
Whenever I finish a book I always think of a Picasso documentary I watched years ago. He would paint whole paintings and then say, "Okay, now I really know what it is I'm trying to say," and paint a completely different picture. So there's no one particular thing I'd like to change, but I can see whole new directions to go in. And if I were Picasso, I probably would do that.
Can you tell us what to expect from you in the future?
There are two more Haunting Emma books. BETRAYAL comes out March, 2011. Emma's powers really take hold and Bennett turns into more of a bad boy. And POSSESSION, which if I finish writing it, will be out late 2011. Ghosts start to possess kids at Emma's school.
What advice would you give to any aspiring young writers?
Start writing right now. Nobody understands your experience as a teenager, better than you do. I'd love to see more, authentic young voices in YA. I think committing to a writing schedule really helps. Promise yourself you'll write 2500 words a week, and in six to eight months you'll have the first draft of a novel.
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