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PsP Week, Day Two: An Interview with Lee Nichols (and a Giveaway Contest!)

December 13, 2010

Author of the Haunting Emma Series

Private School Paranormals Week continues with an interview with Lee Nichols, author of the Haunting Emma Series. The first book, Deception, was released in June of this year. It was the author’s first foray into both YA and paranormal. Deception tells the story of Emma Vaile, who is yanked from her old life at a public high school in San Francisco and deposited into the exclusive Thatcher Academy in small town Massachusetts. Emma has lots of problems: her parents and her brother seem to be missing, her best friend won’t talk to her, the guy she has a crush on is acting like he’s her guardian and, to top it all off, she’s started seeing ghosts. Book two, Betrayals, continues Emma’s story. It will be published next year. The Haunting Emma books are a perfect addition to Private School Paranormals Week and I’m so delighted that Lee agreed to participate. Thank you! Read on to the end of the post to find out about the Deception giveaway contest. Thanks to Kate at Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury Children’s Books for offering Deception for this contest.

Book 2, Coming March 1, 2011

Book 1, already in print

Lee Nichols was born in Marblehead, Mass., raised in Santa Barbara, and now lives in Yarmouth, Maine. Which is probably why the four years she attended Hampshire College in Amherst, where she studied history and psychology, made her antsy. It was much too far from the ocean. She is the author of five novels for adults and the HAUNTING EMMA series for young adults. She is married to novelist Joel Naftali, who sometimes writes as Joel N. Ross, and they have one son.

Find Lee:



  • 1.  I’m always interested in character’s names, so how did you choose Emma’s?

I really wanted Emma Vaile and Bennett Stern to have old-fashioned-sounding names, because they’re both named after their colonial ancestors. Vaile is a traditional New England name and worked for Emma, because she often has a veil of mystery to uncover. And Bennett is sometimes as stern as his name.

  • 2. Considering the theme of this week, I have to ask: what was the appeal of a private school as a setting for you?

I love a fish out of water setting for my main characters. Emma comes from a huge public high school in San Francisco and moves to this very expensive small town on the coast of Massachusetts and attends Thatcher, which couldn’t be more exclusive.

  • 3. What was the inspiration for Thatcher Academy? Is it based on a real school?

It’s not. Thatcher was once the estate that Emma’s ancestor lived in and in DECEPTION she starts reliving her ancestors memories of living there.

  • 4. Can you list four text messages that Emma might have sent (to anyone) over the course of Betrayal?

To her parents: RU dead or what?
To the local coffee shop: Red-I Chai. I’m on my way.
To Bennett: ? RU coming back?
To Natalie: I hate Britta

  • 5. Who is your favorite new character in Betrayal and why?

Two new ghostkeepers appear to help Emma fight the nasty ghost, Neos. One is a professorial type from England and the other is a high school boy, who is hot and snarky and becomes a great friend to Emma and Natalie. I love them both.

  • 6. Do you have a favorite ghost story?

I actually love the classic Rebecca, where there really is no real ghost, but she’s haunted just the same.

  • 7. How about some books you’re looking forward to in 2011?

Two that come to mind are releasing the same day as Betrayal, on March 1st. The Liar Society, by Lisa and Laura Roecker, and Clarity, by Kim Harrington.

  • 8. In honor of the Festival of Lights, what eight things do you wish you could have with you at all times?

In no particular order: My husband, my son, my mother, my dogs, my laptop, a cup of coffee, something sweet, and a comfortable place to sit.

  • 9. Christmas is coming. What will you be looking for under your tree?

I really want an iPad.

  • 10. Christmas is coming. What won’t you be looking for under your tree?

No one’s getting me an iPad.

  • 11. What are Emma’s New Year’s resolutions?

This sounds so vicious, but she really just wants to kill Neos. Well, and live happily ever after with Bennett.

  • 12. What are Bennett’s New Year’s resolutions? (You know we want to know.)

To kill Neos, of course, and live happily ever after with Emma. That’s something they’ll always agree on.

Contest Rules

  • This contest begins today (Mon., Dec. 13) and ends on Saturday, December 18, at 11:59.
  • This contest is open in the U.S. Sorry!
  • In order to enter the contest, you must name and list the books in a series with a one-word title theme. For example, the books in the Haunting Emma series fit this category: book 1 is Deception and book 2 is Betrayal. Please include the author and the genre of the series in your post.
  • +1 point if you subscribe to my blog.
  • +1 point if you’re already a subscriber.
  • Please include your name and your email in your comment, so I can contact you if you win.

See you tomorrow for my review of Kate Kaynak’s Minder.

  1. Mark permalink
    December 13, 2010 6:23 pm

    The Immortal series by Alyson Noel
    Genre: fantasy
    Blue moon

  2. Moridin permalink
    December 13, 2010 7:11 pm

    Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
    genre: urban fantasy
    Book 1: Paranormalcy
    Book 2: Supernaturally

  3. December 15, 2010 3:12 am

    Book 1: Fallen
    Book 2: Torment
    Book 3: Passion
    Genre: YA, Paranormal
    Author: Lauren Kate

  4. December 15, 2010 3:13 am

    I subscribed to your blog.

  5. December 15, 2010 3:13 am

    I’m already a subscriber.

  6. December 15, 2010 10:43 am

    Books 1: Rampant
    Book 2: Ascendant
    Series: Killer Unicorns by Diana Peterfreund
    YA fantasy

    already a subscriber

  7. December 15, 2010 6:52 pm

    Please enter me! A series with a one word title theme? Hmm. The Inheritence Cycle, by Christopher Paolini. The books so far are Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr.

    +1 subscriber!

    kayla3194 at gmail dot com

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