Friday, June 16, 2017

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Marlo Berliner

The Angel of the Sea Hotel
Marlo Berliner stopped by to talk about her book, The Ghost Chronicles. It is an upper YA with adult crossover appeal and was released on November 17, 2015. She will also be releasing the next book soon! Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

 Marlo- The best stories lie at the intersection of truth and imagination. The Ghost Chronicles began this way, as well. I had my ‘eureka’ moment one day while reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my son. Chapter Eight, The Deathday Party, deals with the ghosts in the Hogwarts Castle and what it might be like to ‘live’ in the afterlife, so that provided the spark that ignited the fire to write The Ghost Chronicles. At the same time, I was also thinking about a truth from my past. When I was seventeen I was in a car accident that wasn’t my fault. An accident that almost took my life. The thought of ‘what if I had died’ has been one that has haunted me ever since. So immediately I knew I wanted The Ghost Chronicles to be not only a story of what it’s like to be stuck in the afterlife, but I also wanted it to be about a boy who dies tragically through no fault of his own. The kind of story ripped from the headlines about a promising young person who has their life taken away far too soon. It won’t be completely apparent until later in the series, but I wanted it to be a story of great hope for anyone who has lost someone tragically, particularly someone young. I’m also hoping readers will take away the theme embodied in this quote from the book – “Cherish life, it’s absolutely precious.” The final piece of the love story in The Ghost Chronicles fell into place after I stayed at The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The two buildings of The Angel of the Sea are so iconic, that it is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl did fall to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. Sarah’s character in The Ghost Chronicles was inspired by this legend and after staying at this romantic inn, I also decided to make The Angel of the Sea the setting for the book.

Nancy- Wow! My skin is crawling, so let's change it up a little. Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Marlo- For me, the most rewarding thing has been hearing from fans and reviewers that they are thrilled with the book, and also having the book recognized with so many awards and accolades. The Ghost Chronicles was the book of my heart, and all the praise has made me feel I wasn’t crazy for writing it.

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
1) I went to high school and Carnegie Mellon University with actor Ethan Hawke before he left to make Dead Poet Society. We’ve played Thumper together.
2) Walter Matthau once asked me to marry him. The story is on my blog HERE
3) I’m going to be an extra in Code 8, a sci-fi movie with Stephen Amell, Robbie Amell, and Greg Bryk.

Nancy- Exciting. The closest I got to fame was as a walk-on spot on the soap opera, Another World MANY years ago. Besides stardom, what’s next for you as an author?

Marlo- I’ll be releasing The Ghost Chronicles, Book 2 on July 11th, 2017. The last and final book in The Ghost Chronicles series will be released sometime in 2018. I’ll also have a book of inspirational short stories out later in 2017. My agent is currently shopping around one YA novel, and I have three others I’m working on.

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

Michael Andrews had everything - a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he's a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he's stuck. All he wants is to move on.

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

To make matters worse, there's also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the "joining" of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don't know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he's being pursued. Demons are after him because he's a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn't such a good idea.

In a quiet voice, she asked, “Did you love that girl?”
He needed to be truthful. “I thought so at the time.”
“And now?” Her eyes betrayed her hopefulness.
Stepping closer to her, he said, “Things have changed…in more ways than one. I really missed you.”
“I missed you, too,” she said in a whisper. “I was beginning to think you’d forgotten all about me…or maybe moved on.”
“I could never forget you, Sarah.” He stared at her lips, longing to kiss her.
She met his gaze and a light flickered in her own eyes.
Instinctively, they leaned closer to one another. As the distance between them dwindled, Michael felt that magnetic pull taking over once again. He brushed one hand gently on her cheek, sliding his other arm around her waist. Slowly, he pulled her close.
Everywhere their spirit bodies touched was instantly electrified with an amazing tingling sensation and warmth. He could tell by her reaction she felt it too.
Now for the moment of truth. He let his lips brush lightly against hers. As before, a pleasurable tingling passed between them. Sarah closed her eyes in a silent surrender and he pressed his lips to hers. Hot and intense, the kiss was better than any he’d ever had. For an immeasurable breadth of time he kissed her, savoring the heat, his mouth moving hungrily over hers.
To be warm again, to tingle again, to feel again, these sensations were so familiar, yet already so forgotten.

How can my readers buy your book?

Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. The book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named a FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency and she writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is also a freelance editor with Chimera Editing. Her second book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES BOOK 2, will be released in July 2017. 

When she's not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max. Connect with Marlo here:


  1. Great interview! Very exciting career start and look forward to more of you work!

    Chris Keane

  2. Terrific interview. Good luck with the book!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Marlo. What a cool encounter with Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan. I loved him on Dragnet with Jack Webb. Good luck with Ghost Chronicles 2. I'll be keeping an eye ought for your inspirational short stories.

    1. I forgot about Dragnet! Watched a bit of those in reruns too when I was little. Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

  4. Thank you, Marlo, for taking the time to stop by and share your world with my readers.

    1. It was my pleasure, Nancy! Thanks for having me!