About the author:
Linda S. Hullinger has had short stories, essays, and articles published in literary and commercial magazines as well as newspapers since 1989. Since then she has self-published a paranormal short story collection, Holiday Spirits.
Under the pen name, L.S. Hullinger, she has published two middle grade paranormal mysteries: Alibi's Ghosts, The Larger-Than-Life Small World of a Medium's Daughter, and Cydni Hazard, Empathic Detective.
She currently lives in the United States with her family. (from Amazon)
You can haunt L.S. Hullinger at-
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1. In ten words, for each, could you tell us about both of your middle grade books, Alibi's Ghosts, The Larger-Than-Life Small World of a Medium's Daughter & Cydni Hazard, Empathic Detective?
Alibi is guided to solve mysteries by the spirit world.
Cydni’s empathic nature leads her to uncover a neighborhood secret.
2. In Alibi's Ghost, what made you want to write a book about where the MC could communicate with the dead?
After scheduling readings with clients for over thirteen years, and noticing how the spirit world interacted with my family during that time, I thought it would be interesting to write about a MC who could solve mysteries in that manner. I also wanted to help middle graders who are interested in learning about spiritual communication and paranormal experiences to be able to do so in a fun and informative way without being frightened.
Did you always plan on making Alibi's mother a medium? Yes.
3. Since embarrassing situations seem to happen quite a lot to MG characters, can you give us a hint as to any embarrassing situations both of your MCs may find themselves in?
In Cydni Hazard, Empathic Detective, Cydni stays with her Aunt Ettie while her father is at a computer convention. During that time, Aunt Ettie asks Cydni to do the ‘scarecrow dance’ which is her method of shaking off negative energy that Cydni unknowingly collected while at an antique shop. Unfortunately, the young man, Nick, who Cydni likes, happens to witness the dance, embarrassing Cydni.
In Alibi’s Ghosts, Alibi gets caught by a store owner with a handful of items that appear to be stolen.
4. Ms Hullinger, both of your books sounds like fascinating mysteries with some interesting characters. Which of the two was the hardest to get down onto 'paper'?
Alibi’s Ghosts was the most difficult. Many different scenes came to me while writing it, but they were never in chronological order. I had to eventually write a series of scenes and then arrange them like a puzzle.
I had already structured most of the plot for Cydni Hazard just through note taking before writing it, so it flowed much more easily.
5. In both of your books the main characters, Alibi and Cyndi, both have a unique ability, how did you choose what Alibi and Cyndi would be capable of?
I wrote Cydni Hazard first and chose empathy because that is an ability that I am very familiar with, and I wanted to explore the possibilities of my character using it to solve a mystery. With Alibi’s Ghosts, I discovered, from my own experiences, that information from a medium could become misconstrued and present a different type of mystery to solve. As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of mysteries and I always try to incorporate some type of mystery into my novels and short stories.
If you could go back and change their ability to something new, what new found power would you wish to give them? I don’t think I could change their abilities or the mysteries would not work out.
6. Given the chance, which power or ability would you like to claim as your own? How would you use this power, for good or evil?
Actually, I have both abilities. I am an empathic medium, and I just retired last year from scheduling readings and holding seminars for grieving parents since 1999. As much as I enjoyed traveling and helping others connect with their loved ones, eventually it became too draining physically. I now spend my time writing in hopes that I can help others learn how to communicate with their loved ones on their own through my stories. Even though both novels are told through the eyes of a middle grader, each story shows different ways to pay attention to the signs from the spirit world that are designed for any age group.
7. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose?
Alibi. She would have the spirit world to guide her in saving the day. Since Cydni is empathic and her abilities rely on deciphering her out-of-character emotions, she would not be able to ‘pick up’ anything from the robots in order to overcome the invasion.
8. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?
Due to the lack of quiet time I had at home, I wrote most of Cydni Hazard in the parking lot of the library near my house. There is a beautiful pond and wooded area that I could look out at while sitting in my car. Later, while working on Alibi’s Ghosts, I was able to use my writing room on the second floor of my house that overlooks a pond. My desk is at the window facing outward. The rest of the room is mostly bookcases overfilled with books. I work better and am more creative when I’m able to have a long distance view of things. I cannot work in a room with no outside view.
9. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
Currently, I’m in the process of revising a novel about a walk-in.
Alibi's Ghosts, The Larger-Than-Life Small World of a Medium's Daughter by L.S. Hullinger, June 7, 2012.
Alexandra ‘Alibi’ Vernon is the eleven-year-old daughter of a psychic medium whose behavior is repeatedly influenced by kids from the Other Side. From building sub sandwiches in her sleep to sneaking into a stranger's attic, Alibi has her innocence challenged on a regular basis. Since her mother is fairly new at medium work, she only schedules two readings a week. However, this particular week, she accidentally schedules five readings, five days in a row. During this time, each child from the Other Side has a mysterious clue for Alibi to unravel, and she begins to notice each clue is connected in some way with the other readings. With a bit of ghostly charade playing, lots of trouble dodging, and the help of her deceased relatives: Grandpa Edgar and Cousin Kyle, along with her living but scaredy-cat best friend, Daisy, Alibi is able to solve the mystery and help all five grieving parents simultaneously.Cydni Hazard, Empathic Detective by L.S. Hullinger, July 4, 2012.
Twelve-year-old Cydni Hazard wants two things in life: to be able to use her empathic abilities to connect with her deceased mother and to become a professional paranormal detective. In order to get what she wants, she feels she must learn as much as possible from her spiritually gifted Aunt Ettie, all the while keeping her supernatural talents hidden from her skeptical father. But no matter where Cydni goes, the spirit world hunts her down and brings stray cats with mystical messages that she must decipher to keep her life on a somewhat normal keel. That's not easy when her empathic nature leads her into unfamiliar territory and behavior. She never knows where she'll be going, what she'll be doing and who will be influencing her, guiding her to unravel the latest paranormal mystery. So when she spends a week at Aunt Ettie's new house and learns the small town of Blue Star claims to have a haunted pond, Cydni is empathically led to discover the truth.