I met Leslie Margolis at this year’s Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA) Conference. I was immediately drawn to the premise of her newest book, GHOSTED, which debuted earlier today:

Thirteen-year-old Ellie Charles has everything going for her: she’s the smartest, prettiest, best-dressed, and most popular kid at Lincoln Heights Middle School. She’s also the meanest, by design. Ellie’s got sharp edges, which she uses to keep herself at the top of the social food chain. But one night, hours before her school’s winter dance, a frightening accident leads her to encounter a ghost who just might change everything. This ghost, of a girl dressed all in black, makes Ellie visit her own past, present, and future–reliving her parents’ divorce, her struggles in school, and worst of all, her massive falling-out with her best friend, Marley. Can what Ellie sees inspire her to change her ways?

And is a new perspective enough to save her life?

What do you love most about libraries and independent bookstores? 

The books.  Seriously.  Reading is magical.  It transports, it transforms, and it saves lives.

When I was seven years old, I remember being absolutely terrified by a first-season Twilight Zone episode called “Time Enough at Last.”  It’s about a bank teller named Henry Bemis who’s so crazy about reading, he reads constantly:  at work, during meals, while driving, I think.  He stays up all night reading.  It drives his wife and his boss crazy.

I had a lot of sympathy for Henry.  Of course he’d want to read constantly.  Who wouldn’t?  One day, Henry sneaks into the bank vault during his lunch hour to read and is knocked unconscious by a sonic boom.  When he wakes up and leaves the vault, he discovers that a nuclear bomb has obliterated all of humanity.  Henry wanders around his smoldering, void-of-life town, distraught, until he stumbles across the library.  Sure, buildings are destroyed.  Yes, every single human being on earth (other than Henry) has perished.  And yet hundreds of novels – all that paper – have remained intact!  Realizing he has all the time in the world to read, and no pesky spouse or boss to bother him, Henry is ecstatic.  Who needs human contact when he can read?  Feeling triumphant, he reaches down to pick up a stack of books and – horror of all horrors – his glasses slip off his face and shatter.  Suddenly the world becomes blurry.  Henry cannot read a single word.

That story haunted me.  It still does.  At the time, I couldn’t imagine a torture worse than being surrounded by books, without the ability to read.  Luckily, though, I do not wear glasses.  And I live walking distance to an excellent library as well as Chevalier’s, one of LA’s best, and the city’s oldest indie bookstores.  I visit both frequently.

I can definitely identify with Henry too. Books give such a needed lens into the human experience. As an example, GHOSTED grapples with the theme of forgiveness. What do you feel is the most challenging part of learning how to forgive?

Everything about forgiveness is challenging!  That’s why I think it’s worth writing about.  And worth aspiring to, in the right circumstances…

Something I hope to aspire to as well! I love your website’s interactive design. How did the content develop into its current form? 

Thanks!  It was fun.  GHOSTED is my lucky-number-thirteenth novel.  My first book was published twelve years ago.  The website has evolved, over time, and I’m lucky to have an extremely talented, creative, flexible web designer, Denise Biondo, who has been there from the beginning.

Wonderful. What are some of your current projects? 

I’m working on a new mystery.  Story elements include a bank vault, an ice cream shop, baseball, a fake circus, a decrepit old mansion, and the hundred-year-old ghost of an old movie star.  That is all I can say about it right now.


Buy: BookPassage ~ Amazon.com Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound


Buy: BookPassage ~ Amazon.com Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound


Buy: BookPassage ~ Amazon.com Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound



For Leslie Margolis’s Annabelle Unleashed series, click here.

For the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series, click here. 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *