Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Duluth Author's Creepy Debut Novel

by Heidi Holtan

I mean creepy in the best possibly sense of the word of course.

–adjective,creep·i·er, creep·i·est.
1. having or causing a creeping sensation of the skin, as from horror or fear: a creepy ghost story.

Duluth journalist Wendy K. Webb has just put out her first novel called "The Tale of Halcyon Crane". I'm not somebody who usually reads ghost or gothic tales, but since the author was from Duluth, I gave it a try.

And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. And did I say creeped out? I don't want to give anything away, but I'm definitely being careful when I stand in front of open windows or staircases.

Webb's character of Hallie James is at a pivotal point in her life. She grew up raised by her single father, thinking that her mother had died in a fire when she was young. We meet her as her father is dying of Alzheimer's and she is sent a letter informing her that her mother has also died and that the family home on Grand Manitou Island has been left to her.

She barely remembered her mother, and to find out, late in life, that she COULD have known her, intrigues her enough to travel to the remote, gothic setting to find out what she can about her family. Based on Mackinaw Island, the setting is both beautiful and haunting.

“The Tale of Halcyon Crane is a wonderfully creepy gothic tale with a distinctly modern sensibility. Ms. Webb has written a hypnotic, twisting, and vividly imagined story about the terrible and lovely ways the past impacts the present, and how one woman’s discovery of old family secrets reveals new truths about herself and her life, and sets her on a perilous road to a future she could not previously have imagined.”—Megan Chance, author of The Spiritualist and An Inconvenient Wife

Tune in for our conversation this week - along with a talk with Walter Mosley about his newest series of mysteries as well as his post as ambassador to the American Library Association.

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