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Friday, March 26, 2010

Chick Chat: Lee Nichols

Lee Nichols is the author of the upcoming YA novel Deception, as well as five adult novels.  For more information on Lee, Deception or any of her other novels, visit her website or blog.

Here's a bit about Deception:

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

A rich New England setting filled with mystery, tradition, and prep-school intrigue make Deception the perfect choice for fans of series like Kate Brian’s Private, as well as all those paranormal fans. The shocking ending will leave readers desperate for book two.


How did you select your characters’ names? 

Ooh, I love naming characters. Emma Vaile has a rich ancestry which is integral to the plot, so I wanted a name that felt old-fashioned and New England-y. The same with her love interest, Bennett Stern. The secondary characters are more trial and error. Finding the right name for the right character and making sure I have a good mix of both common and unique names.

What was your road to publication like? 

I started almost ten years ago by co-writing three non-fiction books with my husband, then we decided writing was way better than working and why didn’t we just become novelists? Yes, we were young and full of ourselves. But eventually I wrote Tales of a Drama Queen, which was published in 2004, then four more chick lit novels after that. Then while plotting Deception as an adult novel, I kept making the character younger and younger until I finally realized, “This is a YA novel.”

If you could meet any author (dead or alive) who would it be? 

Hmm. I’m actually in love with so many YA authors right now. And living in Maine I don’t get to meet a lot of them. But I’ll go with the safe answer and say Jane Austen, because I’m sure she was wicked and charming.

Would you rather see Deception as a TV show or movie?

I think it would make a great TV show, thought it’s currently being pitched as a movie. But really, I’m just happy it’s a book.

Who would be your dream cast? 

I love the model the publisher chose for the cover. Maybe she acts? Otherwise, I tend to like totally unknown actors who surprise you with how good they are.

What is one thing you can’t live without while writing?

My husband, Joel N. Ross, who will be making his YA debut next year with Egmont. He keeps me sane.

What’s next for you?

I just finished the revision for Betrayal, the sequel to Deception, and I'm about to start writing Possession, the third book in the Haunting Emma trilogy.


Thank you, Lee!


  1. Lovely, quick interview! This book looks really fascinating.

  2. I just read Deception and loved it. I'm eager awaiting the next two in the series!


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