Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…
When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.
Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…
Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?
I’m afraid I’ve never read a graphic novel, but as a child I couldn’t wait to get my weekly comics: Bunty, Judy and Schoolfriend when I was at primary school, then Petticoat when I graduated to teen magazines.
Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
Both my mum and dad read a lot, and encouraged me to borrow books from the library every week. But I also had a friend, Lyndsay who, like me, was mad about both reading and writing stories. We’d swap books, and read out extracts from the latest stories we’d written. We even collaborated on writing and illustrating our own comics.
When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
The villain in my latest book, Lady in Red, was an amalgam of two very unpleasant and very scary property developers I had the misfortune to work for years ago. It was a real pleasure to make sure my character ended up in court facing a prison sentence!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Choosing names is great fun. Sometimes I use names to sneak in references to other, more famous, writers. For instance, in Haunted I called the butler Ebenezer Furze (a reference to Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol) and the housekeeper Mrs Liddell, because Alice Liddell was the name of the little girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland. I also thought Martin Champion was an appropriate name for a celebrity chef who thought a lot of himself.
Do you write other things beside books (and shopping lists)?
I write articles about cooking and nutrition, and also about family history, which has been a passion for a long time. I also have a blog about the Morgan Walters family, my husband’s Welsh ancestors (www.morganwaltersfamily.blogspot.com).
If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?
I think I’d be more concerned that the actors playing my characters were as much like I imagined them as possible, and that they didn’t mess around with the location, a seaside town. Holcombe Bay is based on the many British seaside resorts such as Morecombe, Hastings and Great Yarmouth that we visited when our children were young.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
One of the Golden Age children’s writers such as Kenneth Grahame (Wind in the Willows), Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons) or Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden). I would love to know where they got the ideas for these classic stories.
Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
At the moment I’m writing a Young Adult thriller which involves quite a lot of crime in London, and I’m incredibly lucky to have an ex |Met police officer as a contact who can give me advice on arrest and trial practices, and the Youth Justice system. However, during lockdown, when I couldn’t visit key locations, I found You Tube videos really useful.
Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
I belong to two local writer’s groups, and I often pick the brains of the other writers when I’m stuck. Writing can be a lonely occupation, but having other writer friends to give encouragement and support makes all the difference.
What is more important to you: a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on?
It’s invaluable to learn what reviewers think of your books; what they like and don’t like, and any discrepancies they pick up on which have slipped through the editing net. It is more useful than a star rating, because criteria for the different star ratings may vary from person to person.
Thank you, Tessa Buckley and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series of detective stories for 9-12 year olds, designed to encourage reluctant readers. The second book in the series, Haunted, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017.
Tessa lives with her husband and a large white cat called Pippa. in a town on the Thames estuary, which inspired the seaside setting for the novels. She also writes about health and nutrition, and family history, which has been her passion for many years.