Podcast #12: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud

An Interview with David Neilsen

For my twelfth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed author and storyteller David Neilsen about the children’s middle grade tale of the supernatural, The Screaming Staircase, Book One of the new Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathon Stroud.

The spooky novel was first published in 2013. Ghosts have been popping up all over England, and not the friendly variety.  So agencies dedicated to their removal having been popping up as well–including Lockwood and Co. The three young members of the new agency have a lot to prove, especially after a well-publicized disaster with a unruly spirit. So when the chance comes to investigate Combe Carey Hall–the most haunted house in the county and home of the dreaded Screaming Staircase–they jump at the chance.  But will the Hall be the start of pushing their ghost-hunting agency into the limelight, or will it be the end of the line not only for their business, but for the three of them as well?

David is a professional storyteller whose performances of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, as well as his performance of Revolutionary War British General John Andre have been enjoyed throughout New York State. His own book, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, is about a group of children who must find a way to thwart a mysterious doctor before everyone becomes captivated by his strange and ever-growing playground. The sequel, Beyond the Doors, will be available on August 1st, 2017. His website can be found at david-neilsen.com

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on May 1st, 2017.

Podcast #11: The BFG by Roald Dahl

An Interview with Ashley Mills Monaghan 

For my eleventh Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed author Ashley Mills Monaghan about the children’s middle grade novel The BFG by Roald Dahl.

The classic novel was originally published in 1982, and more recently inspired the Steven Steilberg animated adaptation in 2016. The BFG, which stands for The Big Friendly Giant, is the story of the unusual companionship between a young orphan girl and, as you might guess, a big friendly giant. Together they must find a way to keep the other giants, who are much bigger and not at all friendly, from eating up any more “human beans”.  Along the way they discover where dreams can be captured and bottled up, why snozzcumbers should always be avoided,  what the joys of whizzpopping are, and who are the ones you can always count on when the going gets tough. It is a imaginative story with a big heart and a lot of big laughs.

Ashley’s own book, A Little Goes a Long Way, is about a boy named Fin and his dog Sausages searching for the things they’ll need to do the household chores. It has been written for children ages 2 to 6 as a fun way to start a discussion about the importance of conservation. Her website can be found at alittlegoesalongwaybook.com

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published April 20th, 2017.