Today’s book can be shared with the younger Halloween fans in your life. This author is to blame for me drooling over her baking creations and recipes from around the world featured on her blog. Her favorite King novel is The Shining (a personal fav), and she’s chosen a few chilling quotes from that story to share with us. Welcome Robbie Cheadle!
Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?
Michael and my new book, Haunted Halloween Holiday, is partially set in the Haunted House that is occupied by Stinkpot, the troll, his bats, and the Sugarpop Ghosts.
Count Sugular and his family are invited to a Halloween Party at the Haunted House, and they decide to turn it into a weekend adventure.
I think this choice indicates that I find the idea of a Haunted House more interesting than a graveyard.
I also constructed a Haunted House out of gingerbread which I included in this story. That house was the fulfilment of a baking goal of mine and I was pleased with how it turned out.
Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?
The Shining is my number 1 favourite Stephen King novel and the one that I found the most unsettling.
The book is about a man, Jack Torrance who has succumbed to alcoholism and ruined both his working and his personal life. He takes a job as the winter caretaker of a hotel in the Colorado Mountains called The Overlook. The job entails Jack living on the premises and doing various maintenance jobs as they arise, including the important job of tending to the outmoded boiler. Jack’s wife, Wendy, agrees that she and their young son, Danny, will stay with him in the hotel. This is her last attempt to save their faltering marriage.
The Overlook, however, is not ordinary hotel. It has a life force and an agenda of its own. Danny has an unusual physic ability which feeds the evil and brings to life the ghostly presences attached to the hotel.
I think the reason this book affected me so much is because it involved a small child with a power that the evil force in the Overlook wanted to possess.
The descriptions of Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness and the way it was aided and abetted through manipulation of his weak character by the evil force was exceptionally creepy.
Jack goes over the edge and tries to murder his wife and son, but in his darkest hour, his humanity makes a final effort to save his son.
These two quotes illustrate my thoughts:
“He needs to be corrected, if you don’t mind me saying so. He needs a good talking-to, and perhaps a bit more. My own girls, sir, didn’t care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of my matches and tried to burn it down. I corrected them. I corrected them most harshly. And when my wife tried to stop me from doing my duty, I corrected her.”
“It was not just Danny the Overlook was working on. It was working on him, too. It wasn’t Danny who was the weak link, it was him. He was the vulnerable one, the one who could be bent and twisted until something snapped.”
If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf, etc.), which would you choose?
I am very dull and would choose a traditional black cat like Sourball in Haunted Halloween Holiday. I am a big lover of cats so no other animal would even be in the running.
Some of the characters in Haunted Halloween Holiday feature in other Sir Chocolate books and many of them have cats as pets. Witch Goody has a grey cat who is also her housekeeper.
Michael and my new children’s book WIP is called Dinah in Wonderland and features a number of cats who go on a fantasy adventure in Wonderland. In case you don’t know, Dinah is the name of Alice in the famous book, Alice in Wonderland.
How do you use social media as an author?
I have a day job and my time is limited so I focus on four primary social medias, as follows:
Blogging and Twitter are my primary social media, but I do like the writing and poetry groups on Facebook. I also use Facebook to stay in touch with people.
YouTube is my new interest, and I am enjoying making videos of some of my cooking experiments, visits of game farms and other vacation destinations, and readings of poems and extracts from books, both my own and other peoples.
I do have an Instagram account, but I don’t find it an interactive social media, so I mainly use it to post pictures through to Facebook.
What books did you grow up reading?
I was a big reader as a child, and I still read a lot. I am a fast reader, so I get through between 4 and 6 books a month, depending on length and complexity.
As a small girl of four, I read Noddy, Little Bear, and other simple books. I progressed rapidly to all of Enid Blyton’s younger reader books including The Enchanted Wood series, The Wishing Chair series, and Mr Pink Whistle series. By the time I was nine, I could read most books and had read my way through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Pollyanna and sequels, L.M. Montgomery series (Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon), Sue Barton, Hardy Boys books, Nancy Drew books, The Three Investigators, all the rest of Enid Blyton’s books, and the Willard Price animal adventure books. I also read all the Chose Your Own Adventure books and the Chronicles of Narnia. Oh, and I must forget Eva Ibbotson and her amazing books. I loved Which Witch?
I then progressed to adult books which, in those days I couldn’t take out of the local library. I resorted to reading my mom’s books behind the couch and that is when I read all of Stephen King’s early books as she was a fan. I remember being so scared while reading Salem’s Lot I had to stop in the early evening, or I couldn’t sleep at night. I also read a lot of Dean R. Koontz books, but I never liked him as much as I liked King. His style of writing was much more simplistic, and I liked the challenge of King’s doorstoppers.
Do you feel like you’d be a better writer if you wore sparkly socks during your writing sessions?
Ah, but I do wear fancy socks every day. They are not sparkly; they are colourful and have pictures on them. I have about 35 pairs and they depict every sort of creature from tigers to zebras, to birds. I also have pairs with colourful dots, cacti, cats in glasses, sunsets, cherries, and a whole lot more. I love my socks and I match them to my outfits and to my scarves. I’m the only person I know who wears their socks on the outside of their jeans and trousers.
Do they make me a better writer? I don’t know, but they make me feel happy.
Count Sugular is delighted when the Sugarpop Bats invite his family to a Halloween party at the Haunted House. He and his wife, Witch Honey, decide to hire a caravan and enjoy a weekend away with their family.
Includes some fun limericks to introduce the various characters.
Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.
The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9. Count Sugular and his family hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.
Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.
Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to https://writingtoberead.com/, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.
In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to https://writingtoberead.com/ called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.