Episode 111: Writing Middle Grade Fiction – Interview with Erin Petti

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today I’m talking with debut author Erin Petti. Her debut novel, The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee, us out now and it just might be one of my new favorites.

Right away when I chatted with Erin, I felt like I had found a long-lost bestie. She lives in Massachusetts and loves to read about the same things I do: magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. With a Masters in Education and a background in improv comedy, it’s no wonder that her fiction debut is part magic, part science, and totally hilarious. If you are a fan of Middle Grade fiction or have young people in your life who love to read, I highly recommend this book.

In this episode Erin and I discuss:

  • Writing characters’ “coming of age” moments
  • The importance of setting to the narrative
  • Incorporating real-life details into your fictional settings
  • Plotting your middle grade series
  • Diversity in books for young people

Plus, Erin’s #1 tip for writers.

About the Book:thelma-final-cover

The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee is a fantastical adventure-mystery, where science and magic intertwine. Eleven-year-old Thelma Bee is never bored; in fact, she has curiosity and adventure in her blood. She spends her time running science experiments, practicing Spanish, and daydreaming about exotic landscapes.

But Thelma gets more than she bargained for when a strange woman sells a jewelry box at her father’s antique shop. That night, a ghost kidnaps her father, and the only clue is the jewelry box and a word a ghost whispered in her ear: “Return”. Now it’s up to Thelma to get her dad back, and it might be harder than she thought because here’s someone wielding dark magic, and Thelma is pretty sure they’re coming after her next.

About the Author:

Erin Petti lives by the ocean in Massachusetts and loves to read about magic, dinosaurs, folklore, and ghosts. She has a Masters in Education and a background in improvisational comedy. Erin lives with her husband, excellent toddler, and cat (who she suspects likes her better than she’s letting on).  You can follow Erin on Twitter, or check out her website erinpetti.com for more information about her and her writing.

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!


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