L.M. Falcone - Author

L. M. (Lucy) Falcone was a couch potato growing up and loved watching television. Her parents were immigrants, and rarely did a book find its way into her home --- that is, until she discovered the local library. Encouraged by her beloved grade 5 teacher (Mrs. Cherwaty) to read her short stories aloud to the class, Lucy felt a spark ignite that has never been extinguished. She knew from the tender age of ten that she wanted to be a writer, although along the way she also became a teacher and a private investigator. Eventually she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her writing career. During that time she wrote for such series as The Littlest Hobo, New Monkees and Nickelodeon's hugely popular Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Upon returning to Canada, Lucy remembered the excitement young viewers had for the spooky Are You Afraid of the Dark? stories and began writing supernatural thrillers for the same preteen audience. She loves writing for this age group because they still believe in magic --- and so does she!

Her novels The Mysterious Mummer, Walking with the Dead, The Midnight Curse and The Devil, the Banshee and Me have garnered multiple nominations and several wins, including the Silver Birch, Red Maple and Diamond Willow awards.

Lucy is currently writing the comedic chapter book detective series The Ghost and Max Monroe.

Birthplace?
Toronto, Ontario.

Birthday?
January 10th, 1951.

Where do you live now?
Etobicoke, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto).

When did you start writing?
I started writing short stories when I was in grade 5. My wonderful teacher, Mrs.Cherwaty, believed in me and sparked my love of writing.

What is your favorite book?
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

What is your favorite movie?
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Do you have any pets?
A cat named Puss.

What is your favorite hobby?
Tai Chi, Reading, Traveling.

What was your training or schooling?
I received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Education from York University.

How did you get involved with children's books?
As a kindergarten teacher I loved to read to my students. Many years later, after I returned from Los Angeles, I felt a renewed interest in children's books and started writing them with a passion.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
Yes! Kill your TV!!!! Or you'll become zombie couch potatoes! I'm not kidding.

What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
I can let my imagination soar! Anything is possible in the world of children. They still believe in magic ... and so do I.

How do you create your stories?
I wait for inspiration to hit ... and it always, always does. Once a story idea finds its way to me, I begin taking notes (night and day), writing thoughts and ideas and characters on scraps of paper. Slowly but surely the plot unfolds and, as it does, I start focusing more and more. Then, I put everything aside (and I mean everything) and start writing. I get so involved in the plight of my characters that quite often I forget to eat. I should be a stick by now --- but I'm not.

How do you research your writing?
When I first started writing I relied on my imagination only. Going to a library to do research gave me the heebie-jeebies. I'd last about ten minutes and then have to head for the nearest Dairy Queen. One day that all changed. I wanted to write a movie about a young woman who goes and lives among the Amish. Since I knew very little about the Amish (except that I liked their clothes), I started reading. When I read everything I could get my hands on I went and lived in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. Talking directly to people about their lives and their experiences is priceless. It makes writing more authentic and much, much richer than if you simply relied on your imagination. I did the same with my novel The Mysterious Mummer. First I spent time reading and then I headed to Newfoundland. I lived there for a month and talked to everybody I could about mummers. Now, whenever I start a project, I read, read, read and then go and talk, talk, talk.

Where do you get your ideas?
Newspapers, books, television, movies and most especially real life. Ideas are everywhere. The smallest thing can trigger an idea. For example, I was standing in line to get french fries one day and happened to look up to the sky. An image of a ladder coming out of the clouds came to me. Then I thought, wouldn't it be interesting if a spirit from the “other world” climbed down those stairs? I wrote that idea down in my idea book and years later used it for an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?

What's your greatest childhood memory?
Being in love with Elvis Presley!

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress, model, a writer. Two out of three's not bad.

Where do you currently work?
I do a little teaching, but mostly I write and do school presentations.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
I was a private investigator with the Acadia Investigation Bureau. It wasn't as exciting as it appears on TV, but I learned a whole lot.

The Ghost and Max Monroe, Case #2

2016 - 2016/2017 Children's Choice Book Award, Hackmatack, Long-listed
2015 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

The Ghost and Max Monroe, Case #3

2016 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner