As soon as October 1st hits, it’s time to break out the Halloween decorations! Nothing says fall like pumpkins, skeletons, and anything spooky. It’s also the best time of year to get my students hooked on one of my favorite types of books…scary stories! I’m excited to share Lindsay Currie’s debut novel, The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street, with my students and fellow #mglit loving friends.
After seeing the cover and reading the teaser, I couldn’t wait to read this book. It didn’t disappoint! Tessa, and the rest of the characters, were well developed and believable, and the plot was engaging from the start. Lindsay Currie’s talented writing balanced an engaging story line, with eerie, scary elements. And as a former resident of Chicago, it was fun to read about all of the history-rich places around the north side of the city.
I read this book on my iPad, and would often read while feeding my baby in the middle of the night. There were some nights that I couldn’t put it down…and the next thing I knew, it was an hour later! The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street is the perfect combination of all things middle grade, and with the added elements of the supernatural, it should be your next read! We won’t judge if you decide to leave your light on…
Three Questions about The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
We loved that you picked landmarks around Chicago as the setting in your story. Was there any significance to the location of Tessa’s house?
Ahhh, yes. First of all, I’ve been a resident of Chicago for almost 20 years. I adore the Windy City – especially my neighborhood! In terms of Tessa’s house, although it’s on the fictional “Shady” street, the home itself is very much modeled after my own home and street! The descriptors of Tessa’s new graystone fairly accurately describe the exterior of my own building which was built in the late 19th century, and the street details are definitely based on my quiet, little tree-lined street in East Lakeview. Although I don’t find my home to be spooky like Tessa Woodward does, I am fascinated by the history of it and often find myself wondering about the families who lived in it before me.
Is any of the information about Graceland factual? Are there any mysterious happenings? A glass box?
YES! There are many ghost legends buried in Graceland cemetery, and some of the mysterious happenings in PECULIAR INCIDENT are based on real events that have been reported over the years. While I can’t go into detail on specifics without giving away the identity of the ghost, I can say that I wouldn’t want to wander Graceland in the dark for sure. There’s been reports of vanishing statues, eerie wailing, and mysterious cold wind for decades! In fact, the cemetery reports to having lost many folks from their grounds crew because they quit after deciding that cemetery is indeed . . . you guessed it . . . HAUNTED.
We know you love all things scary, but we feel like it would be a hard genre in which to write original ideas. Where did you get your ideas for the book?
It can be challenging, but I’m fortunate to live in an area where the history is so rich (and spooky) that I feel like I have a ton to work with. PECULIAR INCIDENT stemmed from one particular ghost legend that has always fascinated me. After doing some research and visiting the grave in-person (it’s only 10 minutes from my house), I was so spooked by the concept that I knew there was a book to be written on it! Fast forward through many trips to the Chicago HIstory Museum, many late nights up researching and writing, and VOILA! PECULIAR INCIDENT was born!
Three Questions About Lindsay Currie
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?
Oh wow. This is a hard one. Many years ago I was actually in flight school learning to fly planes so I could interview with the FBI for a Special Agent position. That would have been cool and all, but my life would have been so different! I’ll admit that asking my family to possibly move all around the country was never appealing. Plus, I never would have followed my dreams and attempted to write a book! Though doing the whole Jack Bauer thing still strikes a special chord in my heart, I’m incredibly grateful for the change in my career path years ago. I have always loved books and writing and having the opportunity to do what I love for a living is the best. Gift. Ever.
What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?
Oh my goodness, there are so many. I’d have to say that the book that most influenced me was Where the Red Fern Grows. I read it in fourth grade and it impacted me so strongly that i remember thinking (for the very first time) that i might like to try writing when I grew up. Although the author, Wilson Rawls, has passed on, I hope he knew what an incredible gift his book was to those of us who read and loved it!
What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?
Probably olives. I LOVE olives. Garlic stuffed, spicy, greek . . . you name it and I probably have it in my fridge! And since I can’t have something salty without something sweet, there’s generally a frozen Hershey’s bar in my freezer, too. Sounds healthy, huh? 🙂
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street comes out October 10th! Visit Lindsay Currie’s website to learn more about her and preorder your copy.