Do you know a child or student who LOVES scary? They will really enjoy Lindsay Currie’s books. Her newest book, It Found Us, is coming out tomorrow, September 5!
About the Book
Hi Lindsay! I believe I discovered your books on Twitter. When I saw the cover of It Found Us, I had to read it! As I was waiting for the release of the ARC, I read What Lives in the Woods (LOVED IT!). Can you give us a short summary of your newest spooky middle grade, It Found Us?
Absolutely! IT FOUND US follows the story of aspiring podcaster and amateur sleuth, Hazel Woods. Hazel is a gifted young detective, but the adults in her life don’t see it that way. They use words like “snoop” and “pest” to describe her which is hurtful to Hazel. So, when the opportunity to solve a very big, very serious mystery falls into her lap – the vanishing of her older brother Den’s best friend, Everett Michaels – she takes it. Everett was last seen playing an after-dark game of hide-and-seek with Den and a group of friends in a local graveyard – a notoriously haunted graveyard. When terrifying clues begin to appear to Hazel, she realizes there might be more to finding Everett than scent tracking dogs and search parties . . . and time is ticking.
Who would especially enjoy this book?
Anyone who enjoys mysteries, forgotten history, or ghost stories is going to love this book! Same for those who read and appreciated Nancy Drew. Hazel is such a brave, courageous, and empathetic sleuth, and her relationship with her brother is layered and realistic.
About the Author
Did you enjoy scary books as a child? What were some of your favorites?
I did, but there really weren’t as many as there should’ve been! One of the first ones I remember reading (and being wholeheartedly frightened of, haha) was called The Dollhouse Murders. I’ve talked about this book in other interviews because while there are elements of it that did not age well, the mystery did unfold in a fantastically tense way. I recall being simultaneously afraid to continue reading, but too hooked to stop. The perfect blend!
What books and movies have influenced your books?
Oh, so many! I’ll admit that I’m a fan of leaving what I call Easter eggs in my stories – little homages to movies or books I love. IT FOUND US opens with Hazel sneaking around her neighborhood to find out who is allowing their dog to poop on cranky Mr. Andrew’s lawn. This is a small nod to the movie The Burbs, where we see two characters arguing over a dog that has been trained to relieve itself on other people’s lawns. I’m sure most of my readers won’t see that connection, but it made me smile 😀And truly, I was a Nancy Drew fan (still am) and intentionally tried to create a vibe that was reminiscent of those books. Lastly, there is a mention of Kate Warne in this book. Kate is largely considered to be the first female detective and worked with Pinkerton’s detective agency. She is buried about five minutes from my house in my favorite graveyard, Graceland cemetery.
What was your path to becoming an author? Any other interesting jobs you have had?
I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years! I wrote business conferences, sold real estate, and was even in flight school because I was training to interview with the FBI. No, I’m not joking. Can you imagine me as Special Agent Currie? *cue laughter* When I finally decided to pursue writing as a career, it took a long time to break in. Many years to get an agent and many years to sell a book. I wouldn’t trade any of it, though. I learned how to work through rejection and showed my children (who were little at the time) that if you don’t give up, you can succeed.
What is something from your childhood that you snuck into the book? (Were you similar to Hazel and liked to investigate?)
I was definitely a curious child who talked a lot and asked all the questions. I distinctly remember feeling as though I was never going to be taken seriously by the adults in my life and I hated it. That’s who I wrote this book for. The pests and snoops of the world.
All right, I have to ask: Do you believe in ghosts? Tell us more!
Yes! I get this question a lot at school visits and the truth is, I’m one of those people who is open to believing until you prove I shouldn’t. So, no . . . I haven’t seen a ghost. But I also haven’t seen evidence that they don’t exist. I’ve also had some genuinely hair-raising experiences while researching that makes me wonder.
Your books are scary! I was surprised how, as an adult, I was actually scared! LOL. How do you decide what is too scary for middle grade?
I generally feel like this is a gut instinct. I don’t write any gore into my books, so that avoids ever having to draw a line there. But in terms of the other scares, if it feels like too much, I give it extra consideration. I’m also lucky to have wonderful critique partners and a fantastic editor who not only understands what I’m trying to do, but supports me by making sure I stay inside the lines.
Did you always set out to write scary middle grade?
Not really, no! My first middle-grade story, THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET, came to me as an idea first. It had this Goonies vibe that just struck me as so fun and so perfectly middle-grade that I decided to give it a shot. Then I never looked back. Middle-grade readers are so clever and fun and up for adventure. I love writing for this age group!
Where does your story idea begin—with the scary element? The resolution? Do you make an outline? (Are you a plotter or a pantser with the genre?)
I’ve always been so jealous of people who can plot with their beautiful corkboards and post it notes and highlighted, bullet-pointed lists. I cannot do that. I’m a pantser all the way! I generally know where my story is going to begin and where I want it to end, but the middle is all just one big roller coaster!
I love how there is a real historic connection with this story. Do all your spooky books have a historic connection?
Thank you! I love this, too. It’s no secret that I’m a history nerd – especially when it comes to people and events that can be considered “lost” or forgotten history. Once I come across something that captures my imagination, I build my story from there. I don’t want to give away anything, but the tragedy at the heart of IT FOUND US is something I’d never heard of before writing this book and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to highlight it through the mystery in this story. As of right now, all of my books with the exception of THE GIRL IN WHITE, do feature some connection to real history!
Do you have a curriculum guide or discussion questions posted online?
Yes! Check out the teacher resources page on my website at: https://www.lindsaycurrie.com/spooky-101. There is a detailed discussion guide with questions for all of my titles posted there!
Are you doing school visits related to this book?
Absolutely! My school presentations are generally targeted at grades 4th-7th and I’m taking requests for October/November currently. Check out this link for details! https://www.lindsaycurrie.com/school-visit
How can we learn more about you?
My website is www.lindsaycurrie.com and I can be found goofing off on Twitter (I’m a Chicagoan who still says “Sears Tower” so I’m not likely to adopt “X” anytime soon), Instagram, Threads and Bluesky under the username @lindsayncurrie. I’m also on TikTok at @lindsaycurrieauthor! Come say hi!
I’m excited to read more of your books, Lindsay! Thanks for your time.
Thank you so much for this delightful interview! I’m so excited for IT FOUND US to hit shelves. Be on the lookout for a cover reveal soon for my next book – THE MYSTERY OF LOCKED ROOMS, which is action-packed adventure novel about three friends who team up to find a hidden treasure in an abandoned 1950’s funhouse!