Alex Bell Interview

I had a chat with Alex Bell, the author of Frozen Charlotte. This book was picked as part of the Zoella Book Club and a video review will be posted on my YouTube channel tomorrow!

A huge welcome from No Safer Place to Alex Bell.

1. Frozen Charlotte was obviously chosen to be part of the Zoella Book Club. How did you feel when you found out?

I was thrilled! Being part of the Zoella Book Club is a wonderful opportunity for a lot more people to read Frozen Charlotte, and the other books on the list all look fantastic.

2.  Could you give my readers (if they’ve not read it yet), an idea of what Frozen Charlotte is about?

Frozen Charlotte is a ghost story about a teenage girl who goes to stay with her cousins on the Isle of Skye, only to find that the old schoolhouse they live in is haunted by dolls.

3. Why did you specifically choose Frozen Charlotte dolls as the central part of the story?

I thought the Frozen Charlotte dolls were really interesting and macabre. Haunted dolls have been done before in horror, but I’d never come across Frozen Charlottes so, for me, they put a bit of a new twist on it. I also love the Victorian era for ghost stories, so I was glad to be able to bring a bit of that feeling to a contemporary horror book.

4. You manage to really scare the reader but keep it based at a YA audience. Was this difficult and was it the audience you intended it to be written for?

I always meant for Frozen Charlotte to be YA. I loved reading the Point Horror books as a teenager and I think teenage protagonists work really well in horror. I also think the challenges of writing both YA and adult horror are broadly the same.

5. This is a question I’ve been dying to ask. One of the characters has an intense fear of bones. The idea of being so frightened that you want to cut your skeleton out, is just terrifying. There are quite a few shocking moments like this in the book. How do you manage to come up with such outrageous, yet genius ideas?

I’m not really sure how to answer that! I really enjoy coming up with disturbing/scary scenes but I couldn’t say where the ideas come from. I suppose it’s partly putting yourself in the character’s shoes and thinking about how you can make life more difficult for them. I particularly liked the bone phobia because it’s not something that the character can ever escape from.

6. Do you enjoy reading horror books? If so, what are your favourites?

I love reading horror. Anything by Edgar Allan Poe is a favourite. I also loved The Haunting of Toby Jugg by Dennis Wheatley, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and This House is Haunted by John Boyne.

7. I’m so excited about this. Can you tell us a bit more about the upcoming prequel?

I can tell you that the prequel will see how the dolls first came to be in the old schoolhouse in the first place, and who brought them there.

8. Where did you draw inspiration from when writing Frozen Charlotte?

Classic Victorian ghost stories, and gothic novels from writers such as Victoria Holt, were both a big inspiration to me. I love these types of books and wanted to create a similar atmosphere for Frozen Charlotte.

9. I know choosing a favourite author is hard so whose books are you enjoying reading at the moment?

At the moment I’m reading the other novels on the Zoella Book Club list, and I’m also reading a lot of middle grade. My favourite MG so far has got to be Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee. I absolutely adored this book.

10. And the last question…what scares you the most?

Definitely clowns. Closely followed by haunted mirrors. 

No comments