Recently, I had the honor to interview Marley Gibson, writer of the Ghost Huntress books and Radiate (which is coming out today). Below is our conversation:
1) Radiate is based on your own personal experience with cancer. What made you decide to share your story?
When I went through cancer as a teenage cheerleader at the age of fifteen, I didn’t really get what I was going through or why I had to go through it. It’s only been as I’ve grown older and cancer has become a growing problem in our society that I realized the reason I had to have the disease was so that I could share my story with others. That having been through the trying time, the challenges, the disappointments, and the triumphs, I could inspire others who were/are going through the same thing. And not just those people dealing with a deadly disease, but any obstacle in their life that’s holding them back. It’s all about the attitude…and with a good one, you can overcome anything.
2) Throughout reading the book, I couldn’t help but notice that Hayley had positive attitude through ordeal. It’s awe aspiring especially given the circumstances. What made you decide for Hayley to have such a positive outlook on life?
Hayley has such a positive outlook because that’s truly how I was when I dealt with having cancer. I attribute a lot of my positive attitude to the fact that I was so focused on being a cheerleader and getting back to practice and my life. Cheerleading literally saved my life. Being able to get on the football field in my uniform and cheer was all I wanted. And at the point where you look at yourself in the mirror and you have no hair left…what choice do you have? You can either curl up in a ball in your room and feel sorry for yourself or you can just move on and move forward. Dwelling on my situation was never an option for me…or for Hayley. It was all about facing the challenge head on and overcoming.
3) You started the Radiate Foundation. Can you explain what the foundation is and how others can get involved?
We’re still waiting on all of the official government paperwork, but basically, The Radiate Foundation will be a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that will provide cheer baskets to be delivered by a local cheerleading group to a loved one who is currently in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment. People can go to www.radiatefoundation.org and send an e-mail to join our mailing list. I’m very excited about the foundation and can’t wait to get it up and running!
4) You’ve also wrote a series of books about paranormal ghost hunting (The Ghost Huntress books) what inspired you to write about the paranormal?
Actually, I was trying to think up something creative and original in the young adult genre that hadn’t been done yet. I was at the New England Romance Writers Conference in April of 2007 and watched a presentation on “Ghost Hunting 101.” At that moment, I knew I wanted to write about teenage ghost hunters. So, I did my research, watched all the TV shows, started attending events, and, in essence, became a ghost huntress myself. I’m now married to one of those TV ghost hunters (Patrick Burns from TruTV’s Haunting Evidence and Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge) and we travel around the country full-time doing ghost hunting investigations and events.
5) What was the spookiest thing that ever happened to you during a ghost hunt?
I had an encounter with the doppleganger of one of our guests. One minute, she was standing next to me talking and then next, I turned to see her standing about ten feet away from me in another room – even though I had clearly heard her voice next to me and seen her standing there, as well. Scared the patookie out of me! I didn’t scream or anything…I just started shaking and crying like a baby. What? I’m such a girl!
6) Your books take place in the south. What’s your favorite southern dish or recipe?
LOL…that’s an easy one. I’m a sucker for fried chicken. My recipe is to soak it for a few hours in buttermilk. Then, roll it in seasoned flour, then eggs, and then a breadcrumb mixture that’s seasoned with all sorts of yumminess. Mmmm…who’s hungry?
7) What sort of music do you listen to when you write? Any specific tunes for Radiate?
I usually put on www.m1live.com or www.radiodanz.com when I’m in the blood fever of writing. I adore House/Trance/Techno/Electronica. I always add references to such in my books. For RADIATE, I listened to a lot of cheer dance stations like CheerXM1.com to hear the mixes for cheer dances. Anything with a beat works for me!
I would once again like to thank Marley Gibson for this interview. To find out more about Marley and her books check out her website here.