Q&A · Reading

Interview with Kim Ventrella, author of SKELETON KEY

YAY for another interview. Maybe it’s just the nosy parker in me, but I LOVE asking author’s questions! Today on the 2017 Debut Authors Bash, I’m interviewing Kim Ventrella. This event is hosted by the lovely Nichole, and there are LOADS of awesome reviews, interviews and giveaways throughout December–so go check them out!

28807752When Stanley Stanwright finds a bone poking out of the earth in his back garden, he is determined to take a picture of it and send it to the Young Discoverer’s Competition, thinking it will help bring his dad back home. But the bone begins to grow, reaching up out of the ground until it turns into a skeleton – a skeleton with an unusual interest in his unwell younger sister Miren.

As time wears on, Miren’s condition worsens, and the only time she is truly at peace is when she is playing with the skeleton. But Stanley is wary of him, especially when he finally manages to get a picture, and spots a scythe at the skeleton’s feet. . .

A whimsical, heartfelt story about a boy who finds a friend in Death with the help of an unusual tree growing in his back garden. With black line illustrations throughout by Victoria Assanelli.

(1) I’m really excited to welcome Kim Ventrella, author of the FABULOUSLY creepy looking, SKELETON KEY, to my blog today. I’m going to start with a big one, why/what is it that you love about creepy stories?

I have always loved the creepy and the macabre, especially when it’s accompanied by a sense of wonder. Some of my favorite stories to read as a kid were those great SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK collections and anything by Roald Dahl, especially his short stories. It’s so magical when you can discover beauty and whimsy in something that’s supposed to be super dark. I love the surprise of it and the cathartic feeling you get after you’ve devoured a great scary story.

(2) What inspired you to write SKELETON KEY?

I am a discovery writer at heart, and so I approached SKELETON TREE like a fossil that needed to be uncovered. First, of course, came the finger bone. The main character finds this strange bone poking up out of the dirt in his backyard. What he doesn’t expect is that the bone starts to grow. What readers won’t expect is that the story takes a serious turn and focuses more on friendship and family than the mystery of the growing finger bone.

(3) Your dog, Hera, is utterly adorable! Do you have a favourite fictional animal?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I would have to say Ivan from THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate. I cried ugly tears through that entire book.

(4) Can you tease your WIP in three words?

Super spooky prequel.

(5) Who was your favourite character in SKELETON KEY to write? And why?

Definitely Ms. Francine. She’s from Kyrgyzstan, where I lived for over two years when I was in the Peace Corps, and she’s full of wisdom, wit and stories about goats. 


Tea or coffee? I LOVE both, but am tragically forced to drink only water.

What is your Harry Potter House?  Gryffindor.

Favourite movie? I am totally not a movie buff. Probably the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings movies. I’ve definitely seen those the most, along with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (w/ Gene Wilder!) and The Wizard of Oz.

What’s the best book you’ve read (so far) in 2017? It’s not a 2017 release, but I loved The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz.


Thank you so much to Kim for answering all my questions! I ‘m delighted to say I am able to give away a signed copy of SKELETON KEY, as well as fun bookish swag! Head on over to my rafflecopter giveaway to enter.


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