Our whole family read Fleur’s novel Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, which was a delight. Ghost hunting! A spooky hotel! Lots of Clue-like characters with secrets and shady pasts. Our son loved it, and we did, too. And Midnight at the Barclay Hotel is up for an Agatha Award this weekend (fingers crossed for Fleur!) It’s also won a ton of other awards, and been nominated for more, and if none of this is reason enough for you to go check it out, then I don’t know how to help you.
What I do know is that Fleur Bradley has some fears. Let’s find out what they are!
What is your greatest fear?
Oh, my greatest fear is, I imagine, the same one of any parent: for my kids to get hurt. Thankfully, my two daughters are grown now and are very capable of taking care of themselves. But I still worry every time I hear an ambulance and they’re out. It’s a mom thing, I guess.
I’m also afraid of heights—don’t even try to put me on any rollercoaster. When we go to any amusement park, I’m the person who waits at the exit, guarding (and eating) the snacks.
What is the scariest thing you remember from childhood?
I was so afraid of the dark as a kid. And I had very vivid nightmares, and I sleepwalked… It all worked out in the end, but I’m pretty sure I owe my parents an apology for waking them up a hundred million times. My sister liked to spook me sometimes too—she’s still into horror movies, and I’m totally not. I’ll take a mystery over anything scary any day.
Is there any fear you’ve overcome in your life? How has that changed you?
Fear of public speaking, probably. I still get nervous when I have to talk to a large group of people, but I’m not terrified anymore. Thank goodness, because since I write books for kids I have to do author school visits all the time. A group of eighth graders are a tough crowd, let me tell you. But it’s actually rewarding to talk in front of a crowd now.
Do you believe in ghosts?
For Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, I had to do a bit of research into ghost hunting, which was pretty fun. I watched lots of ghost hunting shows. Truthfully, I’m more of a science kind of person, so I don’t believe in ghosts or the paranormal a whole lot. Sometimes those ghost hunting shows do have video or audio evidence that’s interesting, but it’s not anything that makes me think ghosts exist. Maybe I’ll come back to haunt people after I’m dead, and then I’ll believe in ghosts.