Happy Halloween, everyone! Today on the blog, I hope to turn up the spook factor by interviewing my good friend Kit Grindstaff along with the creepiest of characters and vilest of villians—the Agromond family from her dark middle grade fantasy THE FLAME IN THE MIST. You’ll want to leave the lights on. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Laura: Agromond Castle would make the ultimate haunted house—secluded in a mist- and ghost- and creature-filled forest with bats circling the belfry and the castle itself lit only by flickering firelight. It is scary enough already, but what would you do to up its fright factor?
Kit: Hmm. First of all, I’d increase the ghost activity that’s already there and encourage those poor lost souls to come out of the cellars and dungeons. And maybe unleash all the bats at once—oh, wait. Shade Agromond wants to say something.
Shade: Halloween? Ghosts? Ha! Child’s play! Would that I could summon Scagavay from the Darkness forever, to roam the castle at will. That would keep away any lily-livered dross and their silly games.
Laura: The Agromonds are masters of casting an evil spell or two. As an Agromond, what one spell would you cast and on what or whom?
Kit: Uh-oh. They’re clamoring over this one—
Nocturna: I would cast a spell on my husband to render him steel-willed, and restore him to the man I believed I was marrying, the man who wooed me with the promise of power! Or else, a spell to dispose of him, so that I could take over rule of Anglavia without him.
Nox: Then I had best cast a spell of invincibility upon myself.
Feo: Perhaps invisibility would be safer, Papa.
Shade: I would hex Jemma and freeze her Powers so that I could take my revenge on her! Oh, to make her suffer what I have endured because of her.
Nox: But Shade, if you could but persuade Jemma to become one of us so that her Powers were in our service, would that not be better? Yes, yes. That’s what I would do. A spell to make Jemma surrender to our family. . .
Feo: I would cast a spell of love. But I can’t say on whom. Mama would kill me.
Laura: What would an Agromond dress as for Halloween?
Kit: Each other? Except that what really scares them is light. So they could dress as the sun, or brilliant lamps, or Luminals.*
Feo: (whispers) I should quite like to experience sunlight. But don’t tell them. (Louder.) I’d dress as a huge rat, to scare Shade and bring her down a peg or two.
Shade: Feo, you idiot. I’d know it was you.
Nocturna: What a foolish answer from whoever that Kit person is! Why in Mord’s name would we want to scare ourselves? The object would be to scare others. So I would dress in long, flowing black silks, and hasten about the castle screaming as though I were Scagavay or a Mordsprite.
Nox: My dear, you are already quite scary enough.
*Luminals are beings of Light, the opposite of the dark entities that the Agromonds love to summon during their Ceremonies.
Laura: The Agromonds—especially Nocturna and Shade—are evil to the core. What could possibly frighten an Agromond on Halloween night?
Kit: Well, Feo just touched on Shade’s biggest fear: rats. So a giant Noodle or Pie in a blaze of light might send chills up her spine. As for the others, probably night turning to bright sunshine. That would be really scary to them. Like vampires, fearing the light.
Nocturna: What utter rot! I do not fear the light. Darkness is just. . . convenient.
Feo: I should only fear one thing, I think: My death, before I was ready for it. Why are you so afraid of rats, Shade?
Shade: You wouldn’t understand. (bites her nails and glowers at the floor.)
Nox: If I were told that my daughter would live forever, I believe that would strike horror into my heart.
Laura: We Trick-or-Treat for candy and sweets. What would be the ultimate Agromond Trick-or-Treat snack?
Kit: I think I can answer for Nocturna, at least. Bees in syrupwater.
Feo: Sugared entrails!
Shade: If I could solidify spleen liqueur into edible form, I should make round balls of them like the eyes of Jemma’s horrid rats and devour them all.
Nox: I’m rather fond of apples, myself.
Nocturna and Shade: How very dull!
Feo: What would Jemma’s favorite be?
(The other three glare at him.)
Laura: Thank you, Kit and Agromond family for this interview, although I think I shall officially pass on the sugared entrails. Even on Halloween.
If you'd like the chance to win a hardcover copy of The Flame in the Mist (U.S. and Canada) or an e-book (International), there's a giveaway that you can access from any of the blog stops on Kit's mini-Halloween tour. There's a Top 13 list, an interview with MC Jemma, a review, tips on promo for newbie authors, and a post on why spooky fiction could save mankind.
Find link to them all here. Giveaway open through 11/5. Good luck!
Laura Golden is the author of Every Day After, a middle grade novel about a young girl learning to let go and find her own way amidst the trials of the Great Depression. Find out more about Laura and Every Day After by visiting her website or chatting with her on Twitter or Facebook.