Author Interview: Steven Rigolosi


JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Steven. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

SR-I live in Northern New Jersey, which has its fair share of haunted houses! For fun I collect first-edition mysteries by some of the great mystery novelists who don’t get a lot of attention today, such as Michael Gilbert, Julian Symons, Margaret Millar, Andrew Garve, Bill S. Ballinger, and Ursula Curtiss. A perfect day is no higher than 70 degrees with 0% humidity, sleeping in, and playing my flute—and writing, when I have a story to tell.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

SR-Definitely eighteenth-century England. Back in grad school, I planned to specialize in the eighteenth-century English novel because I was so inspired by Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Tobias Smollett. I never did finish my Ph.D. but I still love the period.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

SR-This is a tough one. I’m tempted to say Jesus or Shakespeare, but I guess everyone says that. So I will pick Johannes Gutenberg, and the question is “What is your favorite font?”

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

SR-By accident! In many haunted house stories, the haunting is based on what happened at the house in the past. Half of The Haunting of Kinnawe House takes place in the present, and the other half in 1740s New England, so I had to dig deep into that period and the life of Jonathan Edwards, who wrote “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and terrified New England with threats of hell for all sinners.

JMR- Did you visit anyone of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

SR-Yes; Kinnawe House is based on a real house in Cape Neddick, Maine, which has unfortunately been torn down. All the major characters in the historical part of the book live on the same road as that house. I didn’t even have to take liberties with the setting, because it’s so beautiful and so perfect for a ghost story.

JMR- Steven, tell us about your new book, The Haunting of Kinnawe House.

SR-It’s the story of an aspiring musician who is unknowingly drawn to the house of his ancestors, where he finds not only mortal enemies but also unexpected friends. Some other titles that I played with were “The Birthright” and “Dark Inheritance,” so that may give you a sense of the forces at play in the book. In a lot of ways, it’s a traditional story of the perpetual battle of good versus evil, where the heroes are everyday people, not the great men and women of history.

JMR- Authors write books for all sorts of reasons. What drove you to write this book?

SR-I have wanted to write a haunted house book since I was a teenager, and that’s 40 years ago now. I started a different one but never finished it because I got sidetracked into writing mysteries. But once I started thinking about The Haunting of Kinnawe House, it pushed everything else to the side. It’s been a very long journey through more than a dozen drafts and revisions, but I’m proud of it and I hope it finds its place among the classic haunted house stories of our time, like Hell House, The House Next Door, The Little Stranger, The Shining, and of course The Haunting of Hill House.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

SR-The next one will be a suburban nightmare in which the buyers of houses in a new housing development in Upstate New York get much more than they bargained for.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

SR-I’m on Twitter at @srigolosi, and on Facebook at StevenRigolosiWriter. Or feel free to email me at

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

SR-Hmm, I guess, “What do you think makes your book different from other haunted house books?” The answer to that would be: In a lot of haunted house books, the hauntings happen in the first part of the book, and then the characters begin searching for the “reason,” which they usually find by researching the house’s history. The Haunting of Kinnawe House is two tales in one. The book alternates chapters, going back and forth between the past and the present, so that the readers learn about the ghosts and the haunting as the stories progress, not in one revelatory chapter at the end of the book. So, in a way, readers get two tales, with two stories and two climaxes that I hope will knock their socks off!

JMR- Thank you, Steven for stopping by The Book’s Delight, it’s been lovely chatting with you and getting to know more about you and your writing. Readers, I know you’ll want to check out Steven’s books, so I’ve included an Amazon link below. 



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