Thursday, August 31, 2023

Q&A with Ciera Burch


Photo by Chad Dunn



Ciera Burch is the author of the new middle grade novel Finch House. She lives in Washington, D.C.


Q: What inspired you to write Finch House, and how did you create your character Micah?


A: I had a ton of inspiration for Finch House but a pretty big one was the many, many Victorian houses in a nearby town when I was growing up. They were gorgeous to me, especially since I grew up in apartments most of my life, and every time I drove through the town with my mom, I wondered what the houses looked like inside. Especially at night, when they looked like every haunted house I’d ever seen on TV and in movies.


I didn’t so much create Micah as she created herself! Most of my characters pop into existence and expect me to come up with a story for them and Micah was no different. A good chunk of my family is made up of young girls (sisters, cousins) under 12, so I think Micah is sort-of a mash-up of the things I’ve observed from them—curiosity, stubbornness, excitement, and a longing for independence.


Q: The writer Lindsay Currie said of the book, “Finch House is a thought-provoking and layered haunted house story that will spark meaningful discussions about family, forgiveness, and what it means to truly coexist.” What do you think of that description?


A: I think it’s incredibly kind and lovely! It really does touch on so much of what I wanted Finch House to evoke and represent. Haunted houses are ripe with meaning and history and emotion and I wanted Finch House, both the house and the story, to be too.

Q: How would you describe the relationship between Micah and her grandfather?


A: It’s a very sweet, very close one. Micah grew up with him, so they’ve been together for every step of her journey so far. Since he’s much more lenient than her mom, there’s also a deeper friendship there where she confides in him a bit more than she might another adult or parental figure.


It’s also, like many relationships with grandparents, full of history unknown to the younger party.


Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I didn’t! In fact, I didn’t even have an outline for this book the way I usually do. The story, and the ending, all very much unfolded for me as I wrote and as Micah explored Finch House, so there were plenty of surprises along the way. Of course, some things ended up changing during editing but the core of the end pretty much stayed the same.


Q: Will there be a sequel to Finch House? What are you working on now?


A: No, at least not that I’ve currently considered. Right now, I’m working on another middle grade set during a very long summer in New Jersey in one of the state’s most interesting places, at least to me.


Q:  Anything else we should know?


A: I’m very excited for people to meet Micah and the others and to get a chance to explore Finch House! And, despite the majority of Finch House taking place in a Victorian house, I have actually never been inside one myself.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

No comments:

Post a Comment