In the month of October, I’m going to be interviewing some characters for new releases with a Halloween/spooky theme. Today I’m interviewing Halloween Spavento, a character from Portland author Lisa Ard’s middle grade book, Saving Halloween.
Hi, Halloween. Welcome to the Tao of Webfoot. Could you tell me a little about your siblings?
Halloween: I don’t have any siblings, at least, none that I know of. I was left on the Spavento family’s doorstep on Halloween night twelve years ago.
Wow. That’s fascinating. I guess I’ll have to read your book to find out the story behind that answer. In my books, one of my characters is known for his insatiable appetite. How about you? What’s your favorite food?
Halloween: That’s a very difficult question to answer because my family is known for their food. My mama’s cookies are tough to beat. But then, Professor makes a great osso buco and risotto. Uncle Fenris roasts lamb to utter perfection.
Sounds delicious. Friendship is also very important to my characters, and I can imagine it must be to you, too. Can you tell me a little about your best friend?
Halloween: Anne Parson is my best, and only, friend. I met Anne in the apple orchard one day. I liked her from the moment I saw her. I don’t think she quite believed me when I said I could turn her nose into a pickle. But, she’s since come around.
A pickle, eh? That’s a handy trick. Okay, Halloween, can you describe for my readers what you look like?
Halloween: Since Uncle Fenris styled my hair for school, my red curls are much tamer. Papa says my creamy, pale skin reminds him of moonlight. I’m pretty active, so I like to wear comfortable, knit clothing – often a black jumper with green tights and black boots or black knit pants with an orange turtleneck.
So how would you spend a typical day?
Halloween: Before I started school with Anne, I studied with Professor at home. Mama likes my help in the kitchen, baking her bewitching cookies. Uncle Fenris tends our flock of sheep, so I’m often out with him in the fields and orchards in the afternoon. Papa rises at night. Our favorite activity is opera night, with lots of singing, dancing and piano playing.
Thank you very much, Halloween. Now I have a question for your author. Lisa, can you tell me something you know about this character that she would never admit?
Lisa Ard: Halloween is much loved by the large, extended Spavento family, but she still needs a friend her own age. It’s a good thing Anne happened along one fall afternoon – or did she just happen along?
Thanks, Halloween and Lisa. I’m sure some of my readers have young family members who would love to read your book.
When book-smart Anne Parson meets Halloween Spavento, she sees exactly what she wants to see — a friend. Halloween waves away trouble, magically silences school bullies and offers Anne unfailing friendship. But, when the Spavento family’s enchanting exploits are exposed, will Anne face her fears and save Halloween? A spellbinding tale of outcasts who find acceptance, a girl who discovers the true meaning of family, and characters who are not always what they seem.
Saving Halloween was a 2012 Kay Snow Award Winner