Laura Whitcomb Interview + Light Series giveaway!

May 23, 2013 2013, author interview, ghosts, giveaway, laura whitcomb 110

I’m so pleased to welcome one of my favorite authors to blog today! Laura Whitcomb’s writing is so gorgeous you can practically feel your soul lifting out of your body.  We reviewed her latest book Under the Light last week, which is the thoughtfully rendered sequel to A Certain Slant of Light.

Today, Laura chats with us about how this sequel evolved, as well as the unusual way the story came to her. We’re also giving away two sets of both books in the series, so that readers who haven’t discovered these books yet will have a chance to read them!

Please help us welcome Laura to The Midnight Garden.

~ Wendy

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Q & A with Laura Whitcomb

How would you describe your Light series to someone who’s never read it? 

In book one, ghosts fall in love and borrow the abandoned bodies of two teenagers so they can be together. In book two, the boy and girl, returned to their lives, unravel the mystery of what happened while they were out-of-body and fall in love in the process.

It’s been 8 years since A Certain Slant of Light was published. I don’t think most readers expected that there would be a sequel, since Helen’s story at least was pretty definitively wrapped up. And yet, there was Jenny. Did you always intend to write a follow-up book? I have to confess, the one qualm I had about the first book was that Helen’s choices left Jenny in such an untenable situation.

I never thought I’d write a sequel to ACSOL. Like all good ghost stories, it resolves a haunting. But then I gradually started to wonder what it would be like to be Jenny and to come back to my body after being away for weeks, not knowing anything I’d said or done. and to have the first thing that happens to me when I come back be that a boy I hardly know breaks down my door and shows me a photo of us together, in bed, looking happy. I also wondered where Jenny’s and Billy’s spirits went when they escaped their lives for a while. Eventually I had to write about them.

What took so long with Under the Light? We’ve been dying for it since it was first announced a few years ago!
 
Well, I wrote one version of the book, then I adopted a premature baby boy and had my hands full for a while, then, when he started sleeping longer than two hours at a stretch, I wrote a different version of the book, a much better one.

I won’t lie–the wait was agonizing, but it was worth the torment! What kind of research did you do for this series? Are there real places and anecdotes that you borrowed from your own life? 

I didn’t need to do much research. A little on WWI for James’s flashback in ACSOL. I did loosely base the character of Mr. Brown on my best buddy during my teaching credential program – we were learning to be English teachers together. In ACSOL the character of Helen’s first host, The Saint, was a combination of Emily Dickinson and my grandmother who (among other things) wrote lovely poetry. 

Also, in the first book I stole a conversation I had with some missionary friends in 1982 (in which I was trying to understand a much more conservative viewpoint than my own) and morphed it into the scene where Helen loses her temper at the women’s group meeting. In Under the Light I borrowed an incident from my girlhood—the boy I had a crush on from second grade through eighth grade came to my aid once when we were thirteen – I was waiting for the bus with my cardboard model of a house. Another boy said it looked stupid and my guy said, “No, it doesn’t!” Be still my heart! I changed it up a bit and let Billy defend Jenny in a remembered moment from their junior high years.

I loved The Saint–it’s lovely to hear the inspiration behind that character. How did such an unusual ghost story come about? Do you have your own Helen as a Muse to your Mr. Brown? 

I don’t know if I have a Muse–sometimes things do come into my head as if from somewhere else. But I remember exactly how I came to start writing ACSOL. I was doing housework while listening to an audio book of an Anne Rice novel in which a vampire who lived in a previous century was commenting on the modern world in an antiquated voice. I thought, “I like that. I’d like to do that. But you don’t have to be a vampire to be displaced in time. You could be a ghost.” I started writing the opening scene of my book not knowing whether it would be a novel or a short story. I had no plan at first. But a voice in me, whenever I was tempted to doubt myself, kept saying, “Just write this story. Don’t worry about anything else.” Maybe that was my Muse!

Wow, that’s quite a way for a book to begin! I can see the connective thread, with Helen’s voice being so present and strong, even though she starts out the story with no physical form.

Your writing is so beautiful–it’s subtle and strong, witty and serious, gentle and fierce, deep and light, with lovely shading in between all that. I’m curious if you have a background in literature or education? There is a measured quality to your words that is unusual, particularly in young adult fiction.

Thank you for those kind words about my writing style. I do have an English degree and was a language arts teacher for a bit, but my writing voice was probably formed, for the most part, before I became an English major. I’m sure I was influenced by the books I read, and the ones read to me, when I was young. My mother read me British children’s novels like Peter Pan, the Chronicles of Narnia, George MacDonald stories of goblins and princesses, and E. Nesbit’s books about sand fairies and flying carpets. My grandmother read me The Secret Garden, A Child’s Garden of Verses, and fairytales from around the world. And so I graduated to authors like Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Daphne du Maurier. Later the Bronte sisters and Austen. Oh, yes, I almost forgot that it was probably not a coincidence that after seeing my first live Shakespeare play (“As You Like It”) and falling in love with Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, I started my first attempt at a novel during the summer between ninth and tenth grades. I would be thrilled if I thought my writing was in any way a reflection of the works of these beloved writers.

It’s very heartening that a publisher was bold enough to take a chance on this story. There are many mature themes, and it’s definitely not the typical ghost story, in terms of plot or mood. Was ACSOL always intended as a young adult novel? Did you worry about whether teens would connect with it? Of course, there are now a lot of adult readers of YA fiction, too.

I didn’t know whether ACSOL was an adult book or not. At first I assumed it would be like Janet Fitch’s White Oleander, an adult novel with a young adult protagonist. And my agent wasn’t sure whether it was YA or not either. She sent it to editors of both adult and young adult lit and it sold to YA. I asked her, when I heard of Houghton Mifflin’s offer, “Is it okay that it has sex and some language in it?” And she assured me that yes, YA fiction was different “now” than when she and I were in high school. And the sex and the four letters word were not the things my editor had me change. I would not give the first book to a 12-year-old. Or at least not most 12-year-olds. I’d say 14 and up would be safer.

Definitely depends on the YA reader, I think. What are some of your favorite young adult books? 

I’m embarrassed to say that I have had very little time to read since my son was born so I’m dreadfully behind on current YA fiction, but some of my favorites overall are:

To Kill a Mockingbird*
Catcher in the Rye*
A Separate Peace*
The Crystal Cave*
The Princess Bride*
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy*
A Wrinkle in Time
Shadow Spinner

and more recently read . . .

The Harry Potter series
The Alphabet of Dreams
The Dark Materials trilogy
A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Giver
One for Sorrow
Skellig

(*didn’t used to be considered YA but have been re-classified in some circles)

I love the way the romantic relationships are written in your books, too. There’s a certain courtly, perhaps old-fashioned manner, coupled with very passionate, joyous feelings. Did you deliberately set out to write a love story that was so different from others on the market?

Again I am embarrassed to say that I was completely out of touch with what was/is in the YA market. I hadn’t been reading much YA fiction since the early 80s when I discovered the Wrinkle in Time books and the Austin series by Madeleine L’Engle. I just let the love story between Helen and James develop the way I thought it would if a young woman who died in the 1870s or so and a young man who’d died in WWI, and who were gifted with young bodies, were thrown together. I guess it was a bit unusual. I am lucky that my agent and ACSOL’s editor clicked with the story and that its fans have been so enthusiastic.
 
Well, there’s something to be said for writing in your own world and not paying attention to market trends, I think. There’s a reflective quality of your books that’s very appealing, and they seem timeless and somehow untouched by the modern world, even though the passions and intellect in them are very strong. What do you find romantic yourself?

If the attraction is just physical, I’m not interested. It’s when people fall in love because of what they observe in the other person—the way that person treats other people, the way he or she thinks, believes, stands up for what is right—that kind of glimpse into a character’s soul is what interests me. And when the lovers see the flaws and wounds in each other and they love all the deeper for it, that’s what excites me.

Ahhh. And you’ve just described exactly what’s so appealing about the romance in your own books–and what’s most appealing about romance in real life, too. Is there any further news on the ACSOL film? I know the rights were sold to one of the producers of The Departed awhile back. I’d be interested in seeing what they do with such an unusual story.

Kristin Hahn optioned ACSOL and wrote her own script for it, then sold her screenplay, In the Flesh, to Summit Entertainment (of the Twilight movies) and they picked up my option. That’s all I know at the moment. I would love them to make a great film out of my story.


Are you working on any future projects that you’re able to share with us?

I am now writing the first book in a trilogy, a love story with fairy lore content. I hope it turns out as good as it is in my head.


Oh, that sounds lovely! We’re looking forward to hearing more about that when you’re ready. Thanks so much for joining us here today, Laura. Do come back and visit anytime!

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Win A Certain Slant of Light + Under the Light!

Thanks to our friends at Houghton Mifflin, we’re giving away TWO sets of the Light series to our readers.  (A Certain Slant of Light in paperback, Under the Light in hardback.) Please, please be sure you’ve read reviews of the novels–we want to make sure they go to appreciative readers.

If you think that’s you (heh!), please leave a thoughtful comment below telling us what interests you about this series, and fill out the Rafflecopter form. (Note: the unfeeling Rafflecopter gods randomly pick the winners, but we do check comments to see what was written and have final say.) You may also earn additional entries for tweeting about the contest, etc. as usual. 

This contest is now open internationally to readers aged 18 and up, or 13 and up with parental permission.; complete rules are on entry form. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author
 

Laura Whitcomb grew up in Pasadena, California in a mildly haunted house. She received her English degree at California State University at Northridge in 1993. She has taught Language Arts in California and Hawaii. She has won three Kay Snow Awards and was once runner up in the Bulwer-Lytton writing contest for the best first sentence of the worst Science Fiction novel never written. In her spare time she sings madrigals with the Sherwood Renaissance Singers and is the props mistress for the Portland Christmas Revels. She lives in Wilsonville, Oregon, with her son Robinson.

Visit her on her website, blog, GoodReads, and Twitter. Both A Certain Slant of Light and Under the Light are available in stores now; our reviews are linked are linked at the top of the post.

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Our thanks to HMH Kids for providing the books for this giveaway. Photos appear courtesy of the author.
 

110 Responses to “Laura Whitcomb Interview + Light Series giveaway!”

  1. Christine

    I love how the series shows the aftermath in 2nd book with the ‘bodies’ characters. It’s interesting, like I get to see something ‘behind the scenes’.

  2. pymette

    I’m in such a ghost-story mood right now!! haha :) I’ve been wanting to read ACSOL for a while now, and even more so now that the sequel is out! They sound like a good pair to read one after the other, to really get the connections between both stories. Thanks for the giveaway!! xo leanna

  3. mary ann(RunOnce828)

    Seriously, I really have a thing for ghosts when it comes to book They just seems so intriguing and it really captivates me. And I think this book will be one of my faves in the future :)

  4. Alexa Y.

    I loved the way that Laura’s writing is described, as that makes it sound like her book is going to be beautiful and dreamy. I also think it’s interesting that it’s a “ghost story” but very different from anything I’ve ever really heard of. I’d honestly never heard of this series before, but am happy that it was brought to my attention because of this post!

  5. bforbethany

    Hadn’t heard of this series before stumbling upon it here, but love the interview back-and-forth… and sometimes it’s my love for an author that compels me to read their work :)

  6. elie_3173

    My cousin read Certain Slant of Light, the first time that I saw it, the cover and synopsis already captivates me. Main thing that I’m very much interested is how can a girl and a boy can see or feel each other despite their indifferences. I love those kind of things in a book.

  7. elie_3173

    My cousin read Certain Slant of Light, the first time that I saw it, the cover and synopsis already captivates me. Main thing that I’m very much interested is how can a girl and a boy can see or feel each other despite their indifferences. I love those kind of things in a book.

  8. Jessica Taylor

    I’ve heard wonderful things about this book! One of my friends regards it as her absolute favorite book, in fact.

  9. Galena

    I’m really interested in the sequel – the body-snatched teenagers tracing back what happened seems really original to me.

  10. Holly Letson

    At first, I was drawn in by how the covers seem so different, but still share the one element….water. But, after reading the author’s description, and it involving ghosts that borrow human bodies to get a second chance at their lives, I am very curious about it.

  11. Elicia

    The story sounds intriguing and I would really love to read it! Great interview with great questions!

  12. Elicia

    The story sounds so intriguing and the title really makes you wanna read it! The element of mystery is certainly evident in the book!

  13. Angie

    The whole romance and ghost aspect is so mysterious. Mysteries are always a delight to read, so I’m quite interested in reading this.

  14. Katherine Ivan

    Great interview! I’ve only just recently learned of “ACSOL” and “Under the Light,” having become active on Goodreads and begun following a few blogs. Spending a weekend engrossed in a couple of beautifully written “romantic ghost stories” would be a nice treat. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  15. Katherine Ivan

    Great interview! I’ve only recently learned of ACSOL and Under the Light after having become more active on Goodreads and following different blogs. Reading a couple of beautifully written “ghost stories” would be the perfect way to spend a weekend! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  16. Kristina Vallaste

    Paranormal. Ghosts. Beautiful cover. A BOOK! What else do I need to want to read it! :D I haven’t heard about this one before, but I’m definitely interested now.

  17. Melissas Midnight Musings

    I’m interested in this series because I haven’t read a good ghost story in a while and this one seems like it has some unique twists and turns to it. And I’m a sucker for a sweet romance between two MC’s

  18. Stacy Renee

    I’ve been wanting to read ‘A Certain Slant of Light’ for YEARS! I read a ghost story (Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen) years ago that recommended I read it and it’s been on my to-read list every since. I absolutely LOVE ghost stories! :)

  19. Tina

    I’ve had ACSOL in my wishlist for a looong time now but I never got around to buying it when I see it because I’m not sure if I’d like it. I’m not a huge fan of ghost stories. But the reviews and this interview has me sold! I love what the author had to say about how two people fall in love. <3

  20. Tina

    I’ve hard ACSOL in my wishlist since forever but I never got around to getting myself a copy because I’m not a big fan of ghost stories. But this seems to be something interesting! Plus I love what the author had to say about how two people fall in love — sigh. <3

  21. Nikki Vanderhoof

    I added the first to my To Read list a while ago and haven’t even looked into it before I see there is a 2nd one! Usually I won’t add a sequel unless I’ve read the first one but these look so freaking interesting I had to add them both.

  22. Nikki Vanderhoof

    I added the first to my To Read list a while ago and haven’t even looked into it before I see there is a 2nd one! Usually I won’t add a sequel unless I’ve read the first one but these look so freaking interesting I had to add them both.

  23. Shannelle Chua

    The synopsis of the book just got me tingling a little! I mean, how romantic could the sequel be?

    And I’m curious to how the write will be able to pull the story off, in the first book.

  24. Rachel Hoyt

    What a great interview! I read A Certain Slant of Light ages ago and adored it, but I remember so little!

    I’m so excited to read about the real Jenny and Billy and see how Helen and James’ relationship brings them together. :)

  25. Stephanie

    I’m a huge fan of anything paranormal and these book sounds completely different from ther ghost stories I have read and it sounds fantastic, can’t wait to read both books!

  26. Adrianne Russell

    A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT is on my list of must-reads. I recommend it to everyone I can. It was great learning more about how it was written!

  27. Ashley

    Oh my goodness, I am SO excited for this book! I loved the interview and getting to hear a little more about this book and why she decided to write a sequel. I was taken completely by surprise with how much I LOVED this book and just cannot WAIT for the sequel, especially since I’ve heard now from several places that it more than lives up to the first book. Win! :D

  28. Book Whales

    Lovely review! I also enjoyed the interview :D About the books, I like the paranormal and romance theme. I enjoy those kinds of books

    -Dannielle

  29. Steph

    Great interview!! I haven’t read either of these yet, but after the interview and reading more about them, they are definitely on my wishlist!! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  30. Sunny Duvall

    What a great interview! I agree with Rachel ^ I’m not big on those (except for Stacey Kade), but this sounds great and while serious, like an amazing read.

  31. ginnygutsell

    I read the first book ages ago, and didn’t realise there was a sequel. Awesome! I did wonder what would happen when you woke up and realised you’d basically been possessed.

  32. Sam

    That’s quite some wait between the books! I’m glad to hear that it was worth it though. I haven’t picked up A Certain Slant of Light yet, or even heard much about it, in fact, but I’m definitely hoping I can give it a try one day. Thanks for sharing the interview! I also can’t wait to hear more about Laura’s upcoming series.

  33. Rachel

    I’m not a huge fan of ghost romance stories, but this sounds like it’s very different from the typical. After reading this interview I think I would enjoy this story. I have the second book of this series, so I won’t enter the giveaway. Thanks for the insightful interview, it was lovely, Wendy! :)

  34. Maria

    its the first time i hear about this series, i went and check them on GR and it sounds like my kind of book :)

  35. Natasha D

    I have been wanting to start this series for awhile now! I love ghost stories and these sound really good!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  36. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    I love ghost stories and these sound amazing.
    Thanks for a thoughtful and interesting interview. While I love that authors are on social media, etc., it’s heartening to hear that a great book will stand on its own and find an appreciative audience!

  37. Tricia C.

    I am entranced by the way the romance is developed by getting to know the what the other person is like on the inside, not being taken in by physical beauty. Physical beauty seems to dominate our society. Love that there’s another perspective being shown.

    Definitely putting these two on my summer reading list.

  38. Reem Ibrahim

    I’ve heard from Emily May at the bookgeek that the writing is superb! Good writing is not appreciated enough, and is hard to come by, so that’s why I want to read this. Plus the synopsis is interesting.

  39. Andrea Aviles

    I read A Certain Slant of Light and I loved it! This is a very original ghost story and I loved the characters.

  40. krysfoss

    Yay! I read A Certain Slant of Light years ago, I think in ’08, and I just LOVED it! I had no idea there was going to be a sequel and I am ecstatic! I can not wait for this one!

  41. krysfoss

    Yay! I read A Certain Slant of Light years ago, I think in ’08, and I just LOVED it! I had no idea there was going to be a sequel and I am ecstatic! I can not wait for this one!

  42. krysfoss

    Yay! I read A Certain Slant of Light years ago, I think in ’08, and I just LOVED it! I had no idea there was going to be a sequel and I am ecstatic! I can not wait for this one!

  43. Sesana

    I’ve wanted to read A Certain Slant of Light for… Let’s just say for awhile. The curses of a long TBR! The premise sounds right up my alley, and the synopsis gave me a little chill the first time I read it. And you put the magic words (“intelligent YA”!) in your Goodreads review, Wendy. Not to mention that any author who loves both The Princess Bride and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deserves my support!

  44. Sesana

    I’ve been wanting to read A Certain Slant of Light for… Let’s just say for awhile. The curses of a long TBR. The synopsis gave me a little chill, and you put the magic words in your Goodreads review, Wendy. (“intelligent YA”!) And any author who loves both The Princess Bride and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deserves my support!

  45. Jasprit

    Ahhh this is such a beautiful post Wendy! I admit I first became intrigued with this series when you wrote your gorgeous review of Under the Light. I didn’t even know that A Certain Slant of Light was published 8 years ago, I love how Laura waited so long, but sill managed to provide a wonderful follow up. Just goes to show how talented you are Laura. Thanks for sharing another insightful post with us :)

  46. Melanie

    That cover. That synopsis. That genre. Sounds just like something I need to read at the moment. I’ve never been a huge fan of ghost stories but I feel like nothing has been capturing my attention too well lately- I fell asleep reading a book and woke up to find the book right there on my face. Lol.

    Anywho, I check out your review and I’m glad to see you enjoying it! Thanks for sharing, Wendy! <33

  47. Lynsey Newton

    I read and LOVED the first book and so I cannot wait to read the second one! Thank you for the opportunity to win :)

  48. Salma

    These books sound like a good mix of sad and hopeful, which I think is lovely. Meaningful, well-developed connections along with beautiful writing make my reading experience that much more enjoyable and your review makes me believe I’ll find that in these books.

    Thank you for making the giveaway international!

  49. AndThenTheyDied

    I haven’t come across much romantic fiction that I loved the romance element of, and this seems like one that I could adore, going from the way the author describes it in this interview. I also checked out the preview of the book and Laura Whitcomb’s writing is absolutely gorgeous. The way the story was introduced really pulled me in and made me want more.

    – Tayiba

  50. AndThenTheyDied

    I haven’t come across much romantic fiction that I loved the romance element of, and this seems like one that I could adore, going from the way the author describes it in this interview. I also checked out the preview of the book and Laura Whitcomb’s writing is absolutely gorgeous. The way the story was introduced really pulled me in and made me want more.

    – Tayiba

  51. Michelle

    Between your review of Under the Light and this interview, this sounds like something completely different from what I usually read. I love the sound of having different stories from different times and Laura’s answers were so articulate, I can only imagine they reflect the books. Thanks again for a fabulous interview, some fantastic questions and really insightful answers.

    Michelle :)

    P.S Thanks for making it international!

  52. Kim (YA Asylum)

    I’m reading A Certain Slat of Light right now (on chapter 4) and it’s so beautiful. I’ve never read a ghost/haunting story quite like it. There so many emotions and such depth to everything that is said. I’m sure to finish it tonight, then I’ll be on to the sequel!

  53. Becca

    A Certain Slant of Light was one of my absolute favorite books I read in 2012. I’m really excited about the sequel!

  54. Becca

    A Certain Slant of Light was one of my favorites of the books I read in 2012. Very excited about the sequel!

  55. innocencewalker

    Back when I worked at Waldenbooks I remember wanting to read this book SO badly and we never got it in and I kept waiting and waiting and then our store closed and I never got the chance to order or buy it… I forgot about it for awhile but every so-often I’ll randomly see the cover and remember that I wanted to read it. I love ghost stories, and here this book is, again… with a sequel to boot! I’m putting them both on my TBR shelf now and I am NOT forgetting about them!

    (Molly Kawaguchi)

  56. Rain Jeys

    I’ve wanted to read A Certain Slant of Light for a While now, and I’m thrilled that there is a sequel. The idea of a love story involving ghosts sounds so unique and intriguing, and I’ve heard that the book is more literary than your average YA and that sounds like a nice thing to try.

  57. Vivien

    I’ve said it before but ACSOL really surprised me. I normally don’t go for ghost stories. I just have a hard time suspending my beliefs. I know, shocking considering the amount of paranormal I read. But the main thing I remember loving was the writing. Such a lovely prose that I lingered over. I didn’t expect that. I’m extremely eager to see if this continues. From the sounds of it, it does.

  58. Sarah Johnson

    I’ve always been intrigued by The Certain Slant of Light and I almost recently bought it. This interview makes me feel as though I’ve missed out on so much. I will get my hands on a copy. Someway, somehow. I’m determined.

  59. Keertana

    What a fantastic interview! I’m dying to read this series now since it sounds SO GOOD. Your interviews always have me scrambling for books, so thanks Wendy!(:

  60. Ashley D.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!! The plot of this sounds like something I’d totally enjoy. I’d heard the title before but never knew much about it.

  61. Melliane

    it sounds like a nice series, I haven’t read any but I’m definitely curious. The covers are nice too! I’m sure it’s also really intense! thanks for the interview!

  62. Jessie

    I remember your review for A Certain Slant of Light was what convinced me I wanted to read this. I can take or leave ghost stories, but this series sounds special. The author seems so lovely – and a new series with a love story and fairy tale lore? I’m already intrigued.

  63. owlsandthings

    This is the first time I’ve heard about this sequel! I adored A Certain Slant of Light, I cannot wait read this one!

  64. Kelley Lee

    So beautifully written, and the cover speaks bounds to me. I loved the first one, and I would love even more to own them both. Thank you so much for the opportunity of this giveaway.

  65. Christina Fiorelli

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Would LOVE to read this because I love ghost stories, and this is a unique twist where they take over people’s bodies. The sequel where the people whose bodies were taken deal with the aftermath is awesome too:)

    Thank you:)

  66. Christina Fiorelli

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    This sounds like an awesome series! I LOVE ghost stories, and this one where ghosts take over bodies to fall in love is so unique. The sequel is also very interesting, to see the people whose bodies were used:)

    Thank you:)

  67. Molly Baez

    I loved A Certain Slant of Light. It has been ages since I have read it though, so I’ll have to re-read it for a bit of a refresher. Looking forward to reading more of Whitcomb’s writing.

  68. Tiffany H

    I haven’t read either, so winning this would be cool! I do love ghost stories. Adding to my TBR!

  69. Leannessf

    I’ve actually read the first book – really liked the concept of the spirit or ghost inhabiting the body and liked the romance between the two dead characters!

  70. Katie

    I loved the first book, and have been wanting to re-read it before reading book 2. Can’t wait!

  71. Donna Smith

    I’ve had A Certain Slant of Light on my Goodreads tbr list for a while. This is definitely the type of story I would enjoy. It sounds like the romance in this story has the kind of depth and meaning that is so often missing these days. It sounds as if the author really knows and understands her characters personalities and motivations and makes them come alive on the pages so that the reader can identify and connect with them too. Wonderful interview Wendy! Whether or not I win these, I will definitely be reading them!

  72. Amy

    I love ghost stories and love romance so this series just sounds amazing! I hadn’t heard of this series at all until I read the review on your blog.

    • Wendy Darling

      This series isn’t as well known, but we wanted to review and feature it because I think it deserves to be read. I hope you end up liking it, Amy!

  73. Courtney Renee

    I tooo had no idea there was another! I am so interested in reading it! I just really enjoyed the interview and love the chance to win :)

    octoberbaby1990 at yahoo dot com

  74. Amy @ Turn the Page

    What a lovely interview!

    I absolutely adored A Certain Slant of Light and it was one of the first books I reviewed on my blog :)

    I cannot wait to read this:)

    Amy @ Turn the Page

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, how lovely! Books like this are the ones that benefit most from word of mouth, I think. I found ACSOL through GoodReads friends, and I know my review (okay, and my relentless hounding) has led other people to it as well. I hope you enjoy the sequel just as much, Amy.

  75. laninaki

    I had no idea that there was a sequel to ‘A Certain Slant of Light!’ It’s been a few years, but I loved that book. Loved it. I’ve wondered what would happen when Jenny came back to herself and can’t wait to read ‘Under the Light.’

    • Wendy Darling

      If you loved the first book, I’m pretty sure you’ll love the sequel, laninaki. Almost everyone I know has. I’m so glad she wrote this, because the story finally feels complete to me–even though I wasn’t even expecting the sequel either!

  76. Liviania

    Great interview! I love ACSoL and I’m reading UtL now, so it’s nice to hear about behind the scenes.

  77. Tiffany Drew

    The first book of this series has been on my wish list for a very long time, and I had no idea there was a second book! I want to read these because I love ghost stories and I’m curious to see how these two ghosts are going to use those bodies. How are they abandoned? Thank you!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ahh, I was surprised about the sequel, too…I’m glad you stumbled across the news here. :) Good luck on your entry!

  78. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Your grandmother sounds like a lovely woman and I just want to hug her for reading to you and inspiring you and your writing. THE SECRET GARDEN was always one of my favorite books — I read it over and over when I was a kid!

    Great interview!

    • Wendy Darling

      The Secret Garden is one of my absolutel FAVORITE books as well. I still try to reread it every few years during the spring!

      Proof: 1 of 3 photos

  79. starryeyedjen

    I’m serious, Wendy…if not for you, I would never have come across these books. I just DL’d the audio for the first book — that’s the only way I’ll ever get to it — and I can’t wait to see for myself why you love these books so much. This interview just made me that much more curious. I love how she explains what’s romantic to her and that it jives with my own perception. I’m so ready to dive into this romantic ghost story!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hee! I’m just returning the favor, Jen. ;)

      I’m so happy you downloaded the first book! I imagine the narrator makes a big difference for a story like thing though, so I hope it’s a good experience.

  80. Beth Morey

    I love the idea behind these books! When you wrote about book 2 a few days ago, I put them both on my to-read books. They remind me of The Lovely Bones (which I enjoyed), but hopefully less depressing while still remaining complex and thoughtful.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh good, I’m glad you added them to your TBR list! That’s an interesting comparison, Beth–I liked The Lovely Bones, too, but this one is definitely less depressing. While it’s a thoughtful, even sad story at times, it’s actually quite uplifting as well.

  81. Andrea C.

    I’m a huge fan of ghost stories! I love that these ghosts have taken over bodies of live teenagers and then the sequel is about these teens back in their body. It sounds real interesting and a bit different!

    ~Andrea @ Beauty but a Funny Girl