October 15, 2009
Guest Blog: Halloween in Holderland
Sorry I haven't been posting much; university just keeps getting more demanding. However, I've scheduled a great line-up of creepy author visits and contests for ya'll this month. The Cirque du Freak contest is already open. C. Leigh Purtill will guest blog about her scary stories (and offer a signed book!) next week. At the end of the month, there may be a Douglas Clegg contest if I enjoy his new book, ISIS. But now there is the Nancy Holder contest and guest blog. The contest prize and rules will be posted later today.
But first, Nancy is sharing how she gets in the Halloween spirit and the writing mood at the same time.
There really is no rest for the Wicked….
I’m thrilled to see the first book in my supernatural ghost series Possessions, on the shelves in October, my favorite month. It’s also my daughter’s birth month, and we always have a spooky sleepover to celebrate. We Holder grrls own far more Halloween/goth/creepy decorations than for any other holiday, and we have been spending hours after school getting them all out. We’re creating a graveyard in our front yard and we’ve already carved three pumpkins. We have filled glass jars with fake eyeballs and “witch’s blood.” And that’s just the beginning.
While my daughter is at school, I’m writing…which doesn’t mean “just” writing. While I’m working on the Possessions series, I watch a horror movie every morning (because they’re too scary to watch at night!) and listen to horror movie soundtracks all day. I keep myself in a fairly constant of fear to stay in the zone. On gloomy days, I can’t go upstairs (our lighting up there is not the greatest!) and when I’m done with my movie, I hate turning off our big screen TV because the remote doesn’t work and I have to do it by hand. I just know that one of these times, that little girl in The Ring is going to reach through the screen and grab my hand….
I’ve gotten as far as watching the trailer for Paranormal Activity on my laptop, looking slightly away. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to watch it because I’m creeped out enough as it is. Possessions is like PA, in the sense that the main character, Lindsay, sees things no one else does. Faces in mirrors, statues that move…and she knows things that others refuse to believe…the mean girls who rule Marlwood Academy, her super-posh, isolated boarding school, are not just mean—they are evil.
Ghosts walk the halls of Lindsay’s dorm. Vengeful spirits live again, putting on the faces of her fellow students like Halloween masks. Possessing them. Making them single out a victim….first a girl who comes to Lindsay for help…
….and then, Lindsay herself.
At Marlwood, if you look into a mirror and say these words five times:
Come to me
Come to me
Come to me
Come to me
They will come.
So…my days are filled with scaring myself silly, so hopefully I will scare the readers of Possessions. I’m a quaking wreck until early afternoon, day after day.
Then light fills my car when I pick up my daughter from school. Our Corgi, Panda, bounces on the back seat when she and all her friends greet him. Today we’re going to make him another Halloween costume. So far he has four. He’s going trick-or-treating as Sir Cuddleroy, a Corgi knight in shining armor. He goes to all the houses with us, and he has his own treat bag. When we ring the doorbell, he sits, with the handle of his bag in his mouth. He gets only dog biscuits and dog food (chocolate is toxic to dogs, beware!) and if the house doesn’t have anything for him, we put a treat in his bag ourselves.
I wanted to mention my other series, Wicked, which I wrote with Debbie Viguie. Here we are talking about it at Comic-con: Go to Simon & Schuster Teen and scroll down to Meet the Wicked Authors. Debbie and I are working on a spinoff series called Crusade, about vampire hunters.
As I was writing that last sentence, there was a loud bang upstairs. I jumped about a foot. Panda is barking wildly. And I’m far too afraid to go see what it was. We have two cats…maybe they knocked something over. Maybe it was something on the soundtrack for The Grudge that I’ve never noticed before.
Panda has stopped barking. Now he’s coming down the hall, looking straight at me. Now he’s stopped, and sat down, right beside our stairway…which leads upstairs…where the noise was.
I could go upstairs to see what made that noise, or I could sit here and write another chapter of the sequel to Possessions. Suddenly, I’m very anxious.
What do you think I’ll do?