Please join me in welcoming Dianne Salerni, author of The Caged Graves to the blog today. As a part of the 2013 SARC, I had the chance to interview Dianne about her novel. I hope you enjoy!
1.) Your novel The Caged Graves is based off real graves. Could you explain the back story a little? Why were you so drawn to it?
I stumbled across a photograph of a caged grave on the internet and thought it was the spookiest thing I’d ever seen. It was supposed to be located in an abandoned cemetery not far from the place in the Pocono Mountains (of Pennsylvania) where my family goes skiing. I wouldn’t stop talking about the photo, so my husband tracked down the cemetery with Google Earth, and on our next ski trip we took a drive out to Catawissa to find it.
Imagine my surprise when we pulled up in front of the cemetery and discovered there were TWO caged graves. The article never said there were two! That was even creepier than one. From that moment on, I knew I was writing a story about these graves.
2.) What was it like to have another one of your novels, We Hear the Dead, turned into a short film? Would you like to see some sort of cinema recreation of The Caged Graves too?
It was a real thrill to be involved in the making of this film, even from a distance. The producer showed me th
e script and asked me if the dialogue was historically accurate. She sent me photographs of the set and kept me up-to-date on the production. The film, titled The Spirit Game, is going to Cannes 2013, which is really exciting! The producer also hopes to pitch the film as an idea for a television series.
As for The Caged Graves, it doesn’t lend itself well for a series, being a standalone mystery. But I think it would make a great television movie!
3.) What are you currently reading? What's up next?
I just finished Deck Z, The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon. Yeah, zombies on the Titanic. I have no excuse. No, wait. Yes, I do. I was in withdrawal from The Walking Dead.
As for what’s next, I’ve got several samples waiting on my Kindle, including Taken by Erin Bowman, The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson, and What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen. I’m not sure which one will grab me first.
4.) Do you think you and your main character would get along as teens?
I was pretty shy when I was a teenager, and Verity Boone is definitely not. She is confident and outspoken and refuses to let herself be bullied. I think, if I had known her as a teen, I would have admired her and wished to be more like her.
5.) What could be (or is) the theme song to The Caged Graves?
Oddly enough, The Caged Graves is one of the only books I’ve written that doesn’t have a song or two attached to it in my mind. I don’t listen to music while I write, but I do love music in the car. And I love to brainstorm while I drive, so often a particular song will get “stuck” to the book I’m working on. Not The Caged Graves, though. For some reason, it remains songless!
6.) Speed Round! What was the last thing to make you cry? Laugh? Mad?
I cried all week after the bombing in Boston. I wanted to stop reading the new stories about the victims and all the brave people who saved them, but I couldn’t. It seemed as if the only way to commemorate who they were and what they did was to read about them.
The last thing that made me laugh was probably The Big Bang Theory. Practically any episode will do it.
And I would love to tell you about a decision at work that made me mad, but I want to keep my job. So let’s just say … I was really mad at work! :D
Britta, thanks for the opportunity to do this interview! I enjoyed being your guest!
Thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed having you :)
About the Book
17-year-old Verity Boone expects a warm homecoming when she returns to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867, pledged to marry a man she has never met. Instead, she finds a father she barely knows and a future husband with whom she apparently has nothing in common. One truly horrifying surprise awaits her: the graves of her mother and aunt are enclosed in iron cages outside the local cemetery. Nobody in town will explain why, but Verity hears rumors of buried treasure and witchcraft. Perhaps the cages were built to keep grave robbers out . . . or to keep the women in. Determined to understand, Verity finds herself in a life-and-death struggle with people she trusted.
Inspired by a pair of real caged graves in present-day Catawissa, this historical YA novel weaves mystery, romance, and action into a suspenseful drama with human greed and passion at its core.