Today, I’m thrilled to give readers a first look at the new middle grade novel by the writing team of Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski, Whispering Pines!!! Welcome Heidi and Kati! We’ll show off that beautiful cover soon, but first can you pitch your new book to us Twitter-style, in 280 characters or less?
X-Files meets Stranger Things in this contemporary horror MG about a UFO-obsessed girl determined to find her missing father, and a ghost hunting boy now being hunted by a ghost of his own—that of his older brother—who team up to save their town from supernatural forces.
Yes!!! I love everything from that pitch! Aliens, ghosts, mysterious supernatural forces. Why do I feel like this book was written specifically for me?
Next, I challenged Heidi and Kati to finish these sentences about the book:
The one thing Rae Carter wants is to…
KATI: Find her missing father.
HEIDI: Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😉 In the meantime, she also wants to learn how to fit into Whispering Pines.
Caden Price knows more than most about the mysterious town of Whispering Pines, including…
HEIDI: …the fact that there is a world hidden beneath their own, and his town serves as the gateway.
KATI: Unfortunately for Caden, he’s not the only one who knows this. Just as he’s not the only one who’s figured out that the Price family holds the key to unlocking that world.
My first thought when I saw the cover was…
HEIDI: Wow! So delightfully creepy!
KATI: Same. I loved it immediately. Diana Novich is such a talented illustrator.
And, without further ado, let’s take a look at that gorgeous cover:
So beautiful and mysterious! I love the lighting, and did you catch that ghost hand?
Finally, I challenged Heidi and Kati to a little Lightning Round!
- What was your favorite spooky story as a kid?
KATI: I actually didn’t like reading spooky stories as a kid – I got nightmares too easily. I used to wait for Heidi to read a book first so she could tell me if it was scary or not. Sometimes she lied about it. >: (
HEIDI: “Lied” is a little harsh. I was just trying to broaden your horizons. And it worked! Now you love reading horror. You’re welcome, by the way. ; p I loved R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, especially “Let’s Get Invisible.” That ending has stayed with me for years.
- Do you believe in the supernatural?
HEIDI: Me too. I think anything is possible.
- What tips do you have for kids interested in writing spooky stories?
HEIDI: Read and watch spooky things. And play the “what if” game, trying to think of the scariest possible outcomes. And then invest in a good night light.
KATI: Also when you’re writing, try to create scenes that scare you. If you can scare yourself, you’ll scare your readers.
- What’s the coolest costume you’ve ever worn for Halloween?
KATI: Actually, my coolest costume was simple black clothing that I wore when I worked at a haunted house – it helped me blend into the shadows so I could scare people.
HEIDI: One time I was a crayon. That was pretty wild.
KATI: I remember that costume! Pretty sure I was that same crayon the next year. I don’t think “cool” is how I’d describe it, though. ;D
Final question: Can readers expect more adventures set in Whispering Pines?
KATI: We are currently working on an as-yet-unnamed sequel.
HEIDI: Yes, lots more planned for Whispering Pines!
Yay!!! Looking forward to it!
WHISPERING PINES releases September 1st, 2020 through Aladdin/Simon & Schuster.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski are a writing team of two sisters. Heidi is afraid of all things that go bump in the night, but watches shows like the X-Files and Stranger Things anyhow. Kati enjoys reading about serial killers and the apocalypse, but secretly sleeps with a nightlight. They believe that the best way to conquer fear is to share it with as many people as possible, so between the two of them, they love creating stories full of all the things that scare them most. They are the co-authors of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles trilogy.
Find Heidi on twitter and instagram: @hidlang
Find Kati on twitter and instagram: @ktbartkowski
Or visit their website: www.HeidiandKatiBooks.com