Posted in 2023, Author Interview, Book Tour, Felicia

The House That Whispers | Author Interview | Book Tour

I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for The House That Whispers that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!


How would you describe The House That Whispers in one sentence?

When eleven-year-old Simon and his two sisters spend a week in their grandmother’s haunted house, their hunt for ghosts also uncovers some family secrets, both past and present.

Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of The House That Whispers?

Simon is an eleven-year-old trans kid with a lot of energy and a big imagination. A little before the story starts, he’s realized that he/him pronouns feel right for him and has chosen Simon as his new name. Even though he isn’t out to his family yet, he corrects them in his head whenever they unknowingly misgender him. He’s very close with his two sisters, Talia and Rose, and he also likes playing soccer, reading comics, and baking with his grandma.

Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?

I usually have a sense of how I want a character to have changed by the end of the book, even if I don’t know how they’re going to get there. And I tend to have a final image or feeling in mind that I’m working toward. I don’t typically write my books chronologically, though, and I do a lot of jumping around when I’m drafting—which means sometimes I do write those later scenes first and then work backward from them.

Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?

One of my favorite moments is when Simon describes the warm, glowing feeling that comes from letting himself be Simon. I loved getting to focus on Simon’s gender euphoria, on the joy he feels in knowing who he is and in finding a name that fits him so well. So often, when we talk about trans experiences, we focus on gender dysphoria—on that sense of something being wrong. But for me, I didn’t even realize I’d been experiencing dysphoria until that dysphoria started to lessen. Instead, I realized I was trans because of how right and joyful I felt once I’d started giving myself permission to explore my gender more deeply—because of the gender euphoria I got from truly seeing myself for the first time.

What is something readers will find in The House That Whispers that they may not realize based on the

In a lot of ways, it’s a sibling story! I’ve always loved stories that center around a group of siblings—I’m the middle of five kids in my family, and I grew up very close with my siblings. Even though the story is all told through Simon’s eyes, I loved exploring the relationships he has with both of his sisters, and the ways those relationships have been changing as they’re all getting older.

What’s something you hope readers will take away from The House That Whispers?

That you’re allowed to feel negative emotions and to acknowledge when you’re having a hard time! One thing I found myself exploring with Simon’s character is the guilt he feels every time he feels angry or upset. That guilt might be understandable when he’s acted on those emotions—but most of the time, he’s feeling that guilt just for feeling angry or upset in the first place, because he doesn’t want to admit he’s struggling and doesn’t want to cause stress for the other people in his family. So instead, he puts all that stress on himself. I hope that readers come away from the book with a gentle reminder that emotions aren’t morally weighted as right or wrong—they just are. And while you have to be responsible for what you do with those emotions, you’re allowed to feel however you feel.

What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed The House That Whispers?

If you’re looking for another spooky story with a kid who’s also having some gender revelations, I adored Too Bright To See by Kyle Lukoff. For another sibling-focused story with some really nuanced, heart-rending family dynamics, We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly is absolutely fantastic. And for a collection of LGBTQ+ middle-grade stories of all kinds, check out This Is Our Rainbow, an anthology edited by Nicole Melleby and Katherine Locke.


TITLE: The House That Whispers
AUTHOR: Lin Thompson
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary
RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2023

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Rep: Queer, Transgender


From the author of The Best Liars in Riverview comes a subtle exploration of gender identity, family, and the personal ghosts that haunt us all, perfect for fans of Kyle Lukoff and Ashley Herring Blake.

Eleven-year-old Simon and his siblings, Talia and Rose, are staying the week at Nanaleen’s century-old house. This time, though, it’s not their usual summer vacation trip. In fact, everything’s different. It’s fall, not summer. Mom and Dad are staying behind to have a “talk.” And Nanaleen’s house smells weird, plus she keeps forgetting things. And these aren’t the only things getting under Simon’s skin: He’s the only one who knows that his name is Simon, and that he and him pronouns are starting to feel right. But he’s not ready to add to the changes that are already in motion in his family.

To make matters worse, Simon keeps hearing a scratching in the walls, and shadows are beginning to build in the corners. He can’t shake the feeling that something is deeply wrong…and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it—which means launching a ghost hunt, with or without his sisters’ help. When Simon discovers the hidden story of his great-aunt Brie, he realizes that Brie’s life might hold answers to some of his worries. Is Brie’s ghost haunting the old O’Hagan house? And will Simon’s search for ghosts turn up more secrets than he ever expected?


Lin Thompson (they/them) is a former children’s librarian, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and the author of two books for middle-grade readers: The Best Liars in Riverview (Little, Brown, 2022), which is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and received a starred review from Booklist, and The House That Whispers (Little, Brown, 2023). Lin grew up playing pretend games in the backyard and basement of their home in Kentucky. Now they get to write pretend stories in the backyard and basement of their home in Des Moines, IA, where they live with their wife and cat.

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