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Interview with Maria Sigle, Author of Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

Maria Sigle resides in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois Springfield, where she started her Masters Degree in Human Services but had to put that on hold when she had her second child. Before becoming a writer, Sigle had a successful career in television hosting her own talk shows, she was the on-air personality, weather girl and anchor for various television stations in the Midwest. She also worked as a spokesperson and a model for organizations throughout the country. In 2008, she married John Sigle. They reside on the Lake with their two children. When Maria isn’t busy writing or spending time with her children, you can find her traveling, snow skiing, water skiing, teaching aerobics or cooking in the kitchen. Her first book, Marley Parker, came out in 2014.

Does Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts pick up where the first book in the series left off, or is there some time between the two novels? What has happened in Marley Parker’s life since the end of the first novel?

A Rumor of Ghosts picks up right where the first book leaves off. Except in this book, Marley is a much different girl. Almost overnight, a metamorphosis has occurred; transforming her from a seemingly naive, blithe college girl into a determined and clever young woman. She’s far more skeptical, I suppose.

Uncovering the connections between the murders of her Mother and the Dean of her college, as well as saving her own life, its undeniable that Marley has changed. Not to mention, the media whirlwind surrounding her story has made her into somewhat of a national hero and acclaimed investigative reporter. Marley finds herself living out her wildest dreams. She’s struggling to juggle both; college and her new career as a journalist. She still uses humor to relieve tension in scary situations and still has the same inherent inclination to help others.

Please give our readers a little taste of the plot of A Rumor of Ghosts. Without giving away too much, how does the investigation of the haunted hotel tie in with attacks on young women on the campus of Greenbriar University?

A Rumor of Ghosts by Maria SigleThe book begins when Marley is asked to investigate rumored hauntings at a local historical hotel. She has a difficult time containing her laughter because she’s convinced that ghosts do not exist….that is until she meets one. So she hires a group of ghost hunters to help guide her through the process of uncovering this mystery from beyond the grave. Meanwhile, female college students are being brutally attacked around campus and the police have no suspects. The local paper dubs this attacker, ‘The Boogie Man’ and Marley takes the investigation into her own hands after her friend becomes his latest victim.

There are two major mysteries that are inextricably linked to one another, to form a intermingled plot. Without giving anything away, there is one common denominator that ties the two stories together, and his name is Ryan Duff. Ryan is Marley’s wildly successful, handsome neighbor who appears into her life somewhat mysteriously. She can’t decide if he wants to kill her or date her. She continues to have suspicious encounters with him throughout the book. In one chapter, she actually breaks into Ryan’s house to snoop around. Marley soon finds evidence that suggests Ryan is “The Boogie Man,” swiftly moving Ryan to the top of her list of suspects. Immediately after her revelation, she gets busted for breaking and entering.

In the end, Marley puts the pieces of the puzzle together in her highly unconventional, sometimes illegal ways, and finds herself up against her most horrifying adversary yet. As she digs deeper into ‘The Boogie Man’s’ past, she learns that she is chasing a man completely devoid of any human capacity to feel. A true psychopath who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. Eventually, ‘The Boogie Man’ also learns about Marley and that she is digging into his past. So, he retaliates by taunting her and hunting her down.

A Rumor of Ghosts seems to include more supernatural elements, including being set during the fictional town of Greenbriar’s annual Halloween celebration. Why did you decide to focus more on this theme for the second installment of the series?

Maria Sigle, Author of Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

Maria Sigle, Author of Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts

With Halloween being my favorite time of year, it only seemed natural to have this book take place during that time. This allowed me to set a spooky backdrop for the events unfolding in the story for example; the cornfield chase, the costume party and of course—the ghosts. Not to mention, if there is ever going to be a time when ghosts actually do appear, it would be definitely be around Halloween.

Every Halloween, I go way overboard. I have the most decorated house on my block by far and my kids have dozens of different costumes, as do I. We also host a huge Halloween party every year for friends and family. I love everything about it, its like having a free pass as an adult to be a kid all over again, and I take full advantage of that.

Rob Cummings, the prime suspect and Marley’s love interest from the first novel, makes an appearance in A Rumor of Ghosts. How has their relationship changed, and is there any hope for them in the future?

Well, Rob’s character is sort of like a ghost in a lot of ways. He always seems to crop up unexpectedly, just when things are naturally intensifying. Much like an apparition, he’s usually uninvited and unpredictable. Rob Cummings character is an essential figure in Marley’s life for many reasons. Aside from being the most exciting person she’s ever met, there’s something about him that pulls her in, like an unexplainable energy force that surrounds the two of them. We’ve all come across those types of people in our lives, that make it hard to breathe (at least I hope you have), well—that’s Rob.

Their relationship is vastly different than it was in the first novel. Marley’s no longer this ditzy, immature co-ed but a strong-willed woman who saved his life and has paved the way for her own success. Not only has she earned his respect but his eternal gratitude. He has fallen in love with her on a deeper level than you would expect. Rob is quite possibly the love of her life. He’s now a changed man after the fire. All I can say about the future of his character in general is that there is no one who I would like to kill off more than him but he provides an element of feverishness and restless excitement…and that’s really hard to let go of.

Are you planning a third installment of the Marley Parker series? If so, can you give us a sneak peak? What other writing projects are you working on?

Yes, the third installment of the Marley Parker series in entitled, Redletter— a journalism term for a breaking news story. It is due out sometime in 2016. In the third installment of the series, Marley starts her new career as a television reporter. She receives an anonymous letter from someone in her recent past who has come back to haunt her, literally. Meanwhile, Marley decides to try marriage on for size, a decision she makes mostly out of fear. Its something she believes will help maintain her safety but primarily to avoid entering the witness protection program. As always, its full of twists and turns but it also pulls together all of the loose ends left from the second book.

I’m also in the process of writing my fictional drama, Fall from Grace. It’s a dark sometimes gritty tale of obsession, love and survival. It explores what happens to an otherwise intelligent woman when she’s unknowingly brainwashed by someone she trusts. He strips her of her religion, her sense of self-worth, ultimately killing the person she once was. I promise that it’s not quite as heavy as it sounds, it’s actually a very suspenseful story about love and betrayal. The ending is intended to leave readers spellbound but also to inspire. It’s a story that really sticks with you.

Look for Marley Parker: A Rumor of Ghosts on sale now in paperback or ebook at; www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.smashwords.com, www.kobobooks.com. For more information go www.marleyparker.com or www.mariasigle.com.

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2015. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Maria Sigle.

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