Interview with Michael DiCerto, author of ‘The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy’



Title: The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Author: Michael DiCerto
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
Language: English

Strange creatures begin to appear in the normally dull Graysland after Rupert Starbright digs up a mysterious bell in his backyard. Rupert sets off on his latest adventure to discover the secret of a mysterious haunted mansion and its creepy occupant and the connection to the old holiday called Winter Joy.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mike. Can you tell us what your latest book, THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY, is all about?

A: This third book in THE ADVENTURES OF RUPERT STARBRIGHT series sets our young hero on a journey into the past of his boring hometown of Graysland. Rupert and his new friend, a spunky girl named Folky, try to stop a Ghostly force from bringing darkness to the ancient holiday of Winter Joy that was celebrated back when his town was not so dull. Very real dangers await Rupert, who will have to once again rely on the power of his Imagining ability to save the day.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Rupert Dullz (aka Rupert Starbright) is an eleven year-old kid like most kids until he realizes that there is something magical called the imagination that he ever knew existed. So once he begins to taste the joy of its possibilities he wants to jump head first into this new exciting world. But he is also has a good heart and when he learns there was a magical holiday called Winter Joy that the people of his boring town once celebrated, he becomes determined to bring it back.

Bolton Gripper is an angry, self-centered and greedy man who will do everything an anything cast darkness into the hearts of all the happy folk of old Graysland while stealing every dime he could from them. He despises Winter Joy and is set on ending the holiday forever. Rupert will face off with this dangerous man who is more than meets the eye.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A: Every child can relate to being bored. As a kid I escaped it with my imagination. I still do. So the characters may be have been born of my imaginings, they are rooted in everyone’s reality.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: I am very conscious of it. BUT I do not outline every scene. An analogy would be driving directions where you have the key landmarks along the route but it is not until you get behind the wheel and drive that you discover all the scenery and unexpected turns along the way.

Q: Your book is set in Graysland. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

A: THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY directly deals with Graysland and its mysterious history. Known as the most boring town ever, Rupert will discover that in its past, there was more color and fun and maybe learn why it turned gray and dull.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

A: Rupert discovers a mysterious snow globe containing a metallic cat inside has just appeared before him. A creation of his amazing Imagining powers? What powers, if any, does the objecthave?

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: Then the door burst open, the table flew forward and slammed into the desk where the lantern sat. The lantern toppled over and its oil poured over the sheets that covered the furniture. Very quickly flames exploded. The man screamed out but was not able to enter as the waves of heat sent him back. Squeem stood petrified.
Outside Rupert gazed through the window in horror. Squeem was just staring at the growing inferno.
“Squeem! The window!!”
But he didn’t move. Rupert’s mind went into overdrive as he looked around the ledge. He had noticed that a stone he walked across was loose. He knelt down and struggled to lift it from its ancient mortar that had crumbled over the years. The glow of the growing fire was cast out onto the ledge and nearby trees.
He summoned every ounce of energy he had and lifted the stone. A rush of hope filled his mind and without warning he tossed it at the window.
A cascade of glass rained down as the entire window shattered. The flames danced wildly as the breeze filled the room. Squeem had to move fast or the flames would engulf him.
“Come on!” Rupert screamed.
Squeem just stood staring. The man was screaming at the doorway.
“Squeem come on!!”

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Mike. We wish you much success!

A: Thank you very much for this opportunity!


SONY DSCA filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award.

He is very excited about the release of the THIRD book of his exciting new kid-lit series, THE ADVENTURES OF RUPERT STARBRIGHT: THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY.

Mike, a certified Yoga instructor, has many interests including gardening (loves growing chili peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar, cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock.

He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitties, Cosmo and Rupert. You can visit Mike’s website at



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