Dr. Diane's Adventures in Learning

Spooky Storytelling With Strong Family Ties: Meet Finch House Author Ciera Burch

September 27, 2023 Dr. Diane Jackson Schnoor Season 3 Episode 8
Dr. Diane's Adventures in Learning
Spooky Storytelling With Strong Family Ties: Meet Finch House Author Ciera Burch
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Show Notes

Are you looking for shivers this spooky season? Today. Encanto meets Coraline in Finch House, a delightfully thrilling middle grade novel by  Ciera Burch. I read Finch House in a day, and I thought it was incredibly spooky, as well as warm and wonderful, and I highly recommend you run out and grab it. Finch House is a gloriously creepy read (but not TOO creepy) with strong characters and an ending that will haunt you -- a perfect read aloud as we head into October. Ciera Burch is a lifelong writer and ice cream aficionado, who holds a BA from my alma mater, American University, (Go Eagles!) and an MFA from Emerson College. And she would be an excellent choice for the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. 

[00:47] Welcoming Ciera Burch

[00:50] Finch House
Ciera shares some details about her book and the inspiration behind it.

[01:11] Finch House  

  • A young girl named Micah, an old Victorian house, and family secrets.
  • Inspiration from her grandfather's spooky basement.
  •  Origins of the book's characters, particularly how Micah and Ciera connect.

[03:43] Balancing Spookiness
Finding the right balance of spookiness in a middle-grade book to appeal to young readers without being too scary.

 [04:19] Open-Ended Ending
Hints about the open-ended nature of Finch House  and the possibility of more adventures for Micah.

[05:26] Reading an Excerpt
Ciera reads a passage from "Finch House" (Chapter 6) that highlights the characters' curiosity and sense of adventure.

[07:58] Book Birthday Debut at Politics and Prose
Ciera shares her experience working with Kwame Alexander and his imprint, highlighting his personable nature and insightful questions.

[08:54] Adventures in Learning (reading, writing, and mom)

 [11:32] Impact of Education

 [14:13] Working in Publishing

[15:27] Upcoming Book: Something Kindred (2024)

 [16:07] RecurringTheme of Ghosts in Ciera's Books

[16:35] Influential Childhood Books
Books that influenced her as a child, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the Percy Jackson series, and Bridge to Terabithia

[18:10]  Diverse Voices in Literature
The importance of diverse representation in children's literature and the concept of "windows and mirrors."

[19:55] Writing with Diverse Characters
Ciera shares her motivation for including black or brown main characters in her stories and emphasizes the importance of creating relatable, human characters.

 [20:42] Joys of Being a Writer

[22:45] Hopes for the Future

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*Disclosure: I am a Bookshop.org. affiliate.

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