Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diversion Press Welcomes Kathleen Bullock, author of Far Corners

How did you come up with the idea for Far Corners?
It began when I had the idea of writing a ghost story without the scare and gore. I felt that if there really were ghosts, there would have to be a really good reason for hanging on Earth. I tried to create that in the character of Lady Catherine and her desperate need to make peace with her son.

Can you tell us about the transformation to the past in this book and the ghostly figures that the main characters encounter?
Several readers have wondered if the children were descendents of Lady Catherine or the Danburys, and I've left that deliberately ambiguous. I let the ring be the token that transports them to the past on that one night only. Mary the maid dropped it presumably and it lay in a crevice until the children found it on the one day it mattered.

What was your influence in developing these characters?
I love history, American History, and I found that era before the Revolutionary War to be full of exciting characters and events. The whole country was wide open to immigrants from every part of the globe. And I couldn't help throwing in George Washington as a cameo. He actually spent time surveying his cousin's landholdings during those years.

How did you come up with the idea for the title Far Corners?
The title was a tough one. After many 'working' titles, and dozens of ideas, I chose the name of the Inn. My idea being that the Far Corners Inn was exactly that, in those days, situated right on the edge of the Ohio wilderness.

This book is set on Christmas Eve. Is it a Christmas book?
Yes. It is much more a Christmas Book, than Halloween. My characters (though crude and cruel) are not scary.

Is there a takeaway message from your book?
Several, I hope. One, of course, is the devotion of family; the mother for her son and her willingness to travel to a wild place to correct an injustice, and then there's the bond between the Brooks siblings that grows more evident as their ordeal evolves. I'd like to think independence of thought and self-worth are other themes. Serena, Tom, and even Carrie the farm girl, are independent souls, even under terrible circumstances. Another theme is about the way history changes and horrible things are righted.

Who is the target audience for this book?
Good readers, ten and up, particularly those in Middle School.

What makes your book unique in reaching that audience?
Teachers! Teachers read to their students regularly and they are always looking for good books.

What are the best and worst parts of being a published author?
So far, there are no worse parts (except for money.) Writing is theraputic on so many levels. It can be done at home in your nightgown. One world after another opens up for you, and always there's the secret hope that someone, somewhere is reading your book at that moment.

What would you like potential readers to know?
I'd love young readers to know that nothing on film, or TV, can match the pleasure of reading. The reader himself peoples the world he reads about, and nothing can match the uniqueness of that.

Is there a question that you would like to leave up for comments or responses?
I'd love to know how many adults still find pleasure reading so-called novels for children and young adults. I believe more adults indulge in the wonderful fantasy there, even if secretly, than one expects. I'd love to hear from anyone who wants to recommend a great kid's book! I'll start by recommending the "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale.

In addition to Far Corners, Kathleen has published several other books. For more information about these and Far Corners, visit Kathleen Bullock's website at:


  1. I like the ghosts without being scary, as I've written about them myself. I'll recommend a book that's for teens and adults: Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang.

  2. I think the premise of this book is great. It also struck me that it is geared perfectly towards the age group. My 12 year old adores ghost stories and the added historical context makes it really unique. Were you into ghost stories at this age? I was too wimpy.

  3. I'm an adult (that's what my passport says!) and I very much enjoy reading children's literature. I'm lucky enough to be a book reviewer too. For a US audience, I would like to recommend Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright.

  4. Sounds like a great story! I am a fourth-grade teacher who LOVES to read to my students. We just finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

  5. This book is perfect really for anytime of year. Katie, I think that it would be great for fourth graders. I have quite a few galley copies of this book and would love to share one with you. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested!

  6. I enjoy James Patterson's novels and when I bought "Max" from the Maximum Ride series, I realized it was written for young adults. I must be a 70-young adult, because I laughed at Max's antics and sassy speech all through the book.

  7. Oh yes - I still love books written for children and young adults. I remember years of pleasure reading my son's collection of R.L. Stine. We all have a little kid in us still that needs to skip, laugh, and escape into magic and fantasy.