I’m here today with our own Ellen Booraem to chat with her about her new book Texting the Underworld.
But first, here’s a bit about Ellen and her book:
Texting the Underworld
Conor O’Neill always thought spiders—and his little sister, Glennie—were the worst kind of monsters life had in store. That was before an inexperienced young banshee named Ashling showed up in his bedroom.
The arrival of a banshee, as Conor soon learns, means only one thing: Someone in his family is going to die. Not only will Ashling not tell him who it is, it turns out that she’s so fascinated by the world above that she insists on going to middle school with him.
The more Ashling gets involved in his life, the harder it becomes to keep her identity a secret from his friends and teachers—and the more Conor worries about his family. If he wants to keep them safe, he’s going to have to do the scariest thing he’s ever done: Pay a visit to the underworld.
If only there were an app for that.
Ellen Booraem’s Texting the Underworld, a middle-grade fantasy about a scaredy-cat South Boston boy and a determined young banshee, hit bookstores in August (Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers). Her earlier middle-grade fantasies are SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS (Penguin/DBYR, 2011) and THE UNNAMEABLES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008). A Massachusetts native and former weekly newspaper editor and reporter, she lives in coastal Maine with an artist, a dog, and a cat, one of whom is a practicing curmudgeon. She’s online at ellenbooraem.com, and also blogs at The Enchanted Inkpot (enchantedinkpot.com) and Scene13 (scene13ers.wordpress.com).
If you were headed into the Underworld for, say, a week, what three things would you want to have along?
- The head of a jackal (so everyone would think I was the Egyptian death god Anubis and let me in without a hassle). (Anubis might catch on, though.)
- A sweater (it gets cold underground).
- My cell phone (in case they get a signal).
What’s your favorite scene?
The one that was the most fun to write was when Conor, his sister Glennie, and the young banshee Ashling sneak Grump (Conor’s grandfather) out of the hospital. Ashling and all the humans are invisible, but Grump’s wheelchair is not. Confusion ensues.
What was the hardest scene for you to write?
The one with the biggest oog factor for me involves a bunch of spiders, including a tarantula that climbs onto Conor’s hand and moves up his arm. I hate spiders. My skin was crawling the whole time I was writing, and I kept checking to make sure nothing was creeping up my back.
LENA (shivering): My skin would be crawling too! 🙂 Thanks for chatting with me today, Ellen! Texting the Underworld sounds amazing and fun. (Thanks in advance for the spidery nightmares. ;))
What’s your favorite cupcake?
My favorite cupcake is devil’s food with fudge frosting and sprinkles.
LENA: Mmmmmmm…. Sounds Yummy. Sending one your way! Also, I found this one, which looks perfect for texting:
A question to part with: Besides spiders, what creepy and/or underworldly things (or books) keep you guys up at night? 🙂