5×5 With The Hook: Linda DeMeulemeester

My daughter, Sarah, is very selective when it comes to choosing heroes. She doesn’t award her loyalty to just anyone.

So trust me when I tell you this: Linda DeMeulemeester has earned a special place in my daughter’s heart. Her Grim Hill  series features brave young souls unraveling long-hidden secrets while fighting against the forces of evil. The Grim Hill series emphasizes the value of family, friendship and believing in oneself. Here’s a quick synopsis of Book One:

   Cat Peters just transferred to Darkmont High and is already desperate to get out. When she hears that Grimoire, the private school nearby, is offering scholarships to the winners of a Halloween soccer match, Cat jumps at the chance.

   Her little sister, Sookie, and their bookworm neighbor try to tell her there’s something … just not right about the old school on the hill, and their worries are confirmed when they uncover a mystery about an entire soccer team that disappeared many years ago.

  Further investigation leads Cat to a book about ancient Celtic myth and fairy lore, and she soon realizes that there is something truly wicked at work inside the walls of Grimoire. 

Watching my daughter lose herself in Linda’s world is a joy to behold. As a parent I’d much rather see Sarah spends hours exploring the universe of Grim Hill than surf Facebook or Twitter. Linda has given my daughter the greatest gift of all: Inspiration.

Sarah’s book series, The Misadventures of Misery, was inspired by the denizens of Grim Hill and so in my book, Linda is a hero in every sense of the word. And like a true hero, she has had to overcome adversity. Linda has lived every writer’s most powerful nightmare: Her publisher, Lobster Press, went bankrupt, leaving the fate of her characters in limbo. The collective scream of Grim Hill fans everywhere left a pack of One Direction fans in the dust.

But it takes more than a Chapter 11 filing to keep this scrappy author down, kids. Undaunted, she pressed on, did the indie thing, and this was the eventual result…

I’ll say this: Linda is a fighter, a born storyteller and someone worth your time, my friends. And to top it all off with sprinkles, chocolate sauce and fresh cherries, she’s a part of the WordPress community. Her blog, Carnival of Secrets is the only blog Sarah feels is worthy of her time – mine included!

Now onto the queries and the positive vibes!

1)  Watching your publisher go out of business must have been heartbreaking.  Were there any particular happy thoughts or images you drew upon to buoy your spirits and help you carry on with the business of running Grim Hill?

   For sure, only it wasn’t heartbreaking, I felt like it was more disappointing and inconvenient.  I didn’t want to be the author who left a series on a cliff-hanger.  I’m not a huge fan of unhappy endings.

   Fortunately, once the dust settled, I had a lot of support from the talented professionals who’d worked with the publisher and are freelancing now.  The sixth book had begun production and it helped enormously that they came on board and lent their expertise to help me finish the job.

   I’m delighted with the sixth book: Carnival of Secrets.  Not to mention the whole process clarified what’s most important to me in writing – not the fanfare or wheeling and dealing.  I write to tell a story; that’s what I really care about and still managed to accomplish.

2)  Your favorite type of cookie is…

   This Christmas friends gave us ginger stem oat cookies and chocolate dipped fortune cookies – please don’t ask me to choose!

3)  If you could be anywhere right now, where would you go?  (Since I am a benevolent host, I’ll allow you to choose from any location on Earth in any time period or if you like, you can let your mind really wander and choose from any reality.  I’m great, aren’t I?)

   It’s pretty rainy where I am now, so sunshine matters. If it was anywhere, any time, I wish I could go to Egypt in the 1920s, ride camels in a caravan, dig up Egyptian artifacts, and have midnight desert picnics by the pyramids.

4)  You can choose to be any Wonderland denizen for a day: Who do you choose to be?

      Between you and me, Wonderland freaked me out!  I’d choose to be the White Rabbit so I could escape up the rabbit hole!

5)  Do you like your french fries crinkled or straight?

   Straight – shiny and lightly salted.


Well, I don’t know about you, but I now have a hankering for fries…

But before I head out I ‘d like to thank Linda DeMeulemeester for taking the time to be with us today – and for inspiring and entertaining my offspring. You’re the best, Linda.

Take care, all. Se you in the lobby…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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22 Responses to 5×5 With The Hook: Linda DeMeulemeester

  1. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am glad she was able to go the indie route. Those stories look amazing!

  2. denmother says:

    A good book series is like nothing else on the planet! The author interview was an added bonus.

    Hook, consider this a hand-written invite to the Cougar Den like-in on Feb. 14. We won’t ask you to man the door. We want you to frolick!

    Ok, we want to frolick with you. 😉

  3. I love a good book series! So does my daughter and she’s been looking for a new one. I’m so glad you shared this one so I can surprise her with it! 🙂 I’m enjoying your interview series here as well!

  4. Very nice interview. So glad Linda went indie, and I love the book cover!

  5. The Hook says:

    I want to think Linda for being so accessible in the midst of her new career direction and for being such an inspiration to my own budding novelist and franchise builder.
    You truly are the best, Linda.

  6. I do hope the whole series is still available. I am always looking for books for my nieces and nephews. Yeah, I’m the book Auntie.

  7. Fries….
    Oh, sorry, lost focus, Hook
    Any book with strong characters struggling to achieve a goal is so valuable – and a series is even better! I hate it when I meet a character and one story and that’s it.
    Publishing business is such a difficult corner of the world. Hang in there Linda! Need those books out there! Thanks for sitting down with Hook. Enjoyed the interview

  8. Jennifer says:

    I’m a sucker for cool kids books. I must read these! And letting your daughter be young for a bit longer can’t be all bad.

  9. veronicasbook says:

    Both Linda and your daughter sound like amazing people. And those books have got me hooked already, I need to go hunt them out I think.

  10. Writing to tell a story is A-okay in my books. Excellent display of fortitude in surviving to go indie.

  11. Short, crisp interview. Got the point across. The artwork is awesome. I can see a kid loving the pictures as well as getting lost in the story.
    Nice to meet your Linda.

  12. Great interview! It’s awesome that you included someone your daughter looks up to on your blog. Loved the graphics she had, by the way. As for the fries? Thanks. Now I’m hungry for fries, too.

  13. Great interview! Linda is definitely inspirational! And I agree…I always found Wonderland to be quite hectic.

  14. Aussa Lorens says:

    This is pretty cool. I always wonder about what would happen (forgive me for being morbid) if a writer were to die in the middle of a series. Surely this has happened before. But what would we do if George R R Martin kicked the bucket or JK Rowling never made it to the final book? Wander the streets in agony, no doubt.

  15. Michelle says:

    I love this! Then again, I always love your interviews!

  16. shimoniac says:

    I’m glad that your daughter likes to read. It says that you and your wife also like to read and have instilled a love of words in her. The Grim Hill series looks like the kind of book I used to read when I was a young teen. I hope that Linda is able to continue writing and achieves all the success she deserves.

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