Why Spooky Stories? a guest post by Lindsay Currie
I’ve done dozens of school visits since THE GIRL IN WHITE came out on September 6th and one question I consistently get asked during the Q&A time is “why do you enjoy writing spooky things so much?”. At first, I thought my answer was simple. I love spooky things and writing about something you’re passionate about, rather than something trendy, is always the best choice. When you truly enjoy the story you’re weaving, the reader can tell!
The student who asked the question was appeased, but the question didn’t leave my mind. It kept popping into my head, begging me to consider it just a little more. Finally, I gave myself the time to really consider why I’m drawn to writing about ghosts, graveyards, and legends. What I came up with went a lot deeper than I expected.
I’ve always loved Halloween. As far back as I can remember, I’d plan my costume for weeks. Months, even. And when my trick-or-treat festivities were forced to end, I’d go home and rake a large pile of leaves into my front yard . . .
Then I’d hide in them.
There’s no better way to cap off your night as a Samhain lover than to jump out of a pile of leaves to terrify other unsuspecting trick-or-treaters who were allowed to stay out later than you. It was glorious.
I’m deep in my forties now and that love of Fall, and all things Halloween, has never faded. I still dress up. I still decorate the whole house on September 1st so I don’t waste even one moment of my favorite season. And now, I’m lucky to be able to celebrate year-round by writing spooky stories for young readers! It’s an amazing way to not only do my favorite thing in the world – write! – but also continue the Halloween fun. I prowl around graveyards, pour over ghost legends and campfire tales, and research obscure (and creepy) history wherever I go. It’s a dream!
But it’s also meaningful. I’ve thought a lot about the myriad of reasons I love writing spooky things and the answer isn’t just my love of all things ghoulish. It’s more about the feeling. I’m a very anxious person. I’m always considering the outcome of something and often, the potential outcome in my mind is frightening. That means we can add all sorts of things many people enjoy to the list of “things Lindsay is terrified of.” Like roller coasters! I’m always at the bottom of them, telling myself it’s okay that I’m taking videos of the ride with my family on it rather than being on it with them. Left unchecked, this personality trait of mine can keep me from experiencing things that other people find fun, and exhilarating. It also makes me feel like an epic chicken from time-to-time.
Reading mysteries and scary stories help pull me out of that mindset. They give me the chance to face things I might otherwise be afraid of in a SAFE space. They give me the chance to be brave when I might normally not be. They give me hope, hope that if I can finish something that spooky, that scary, then maybe, just maybe I’m stronger than I thought I was.
I believe my books do that for young readers, too. We all have fears. We all have struggles. Reading stories that allow us to face some of the spookiest, scariest things the world has to offer in a non-intimidating environment is a great way to balance out those fears. Need to close the book? No problem! The only person who will ever know is you and having boundaries for yourself is a good thing. A smart, mature thing.
And if you do decide to keep reading, through the thumping heart and goosebumps? I bet you’ll feel a rush of something at the end. Maybe adrenaline. Maybe pride. Either way, let the experience be your version of getting on the roller coaster. You just might enjoy the ride.
Meet the author
Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and three kids. She loves coffee, Halloween, Disney World and things that go bump in the night! She is the author of Scritch Scratch, What Lives in the Woods, and The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street. Her newest spooky middle-grade novel, The Girl in White, will be released September 2022. Visit her online at www.lindsaycurrie.com.
About The Girl in White
For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling story about a twelve-year old girl who must face down the most notorious ghost in her haunted East coast town to stop a centuries-old curse that threatens to destroy everything.
Mallory hasn’t quite adapted to life in her new town of Eastport yet. Maybe it’s because everyone is obsessed with keeping the town’s reputation as the most cursed town in the US.
And thanks to the nightmares she’s had since arriving, Mallory hardly sleeps. Combined with the unsettling sensation of being watched, she’s quickly becoming convinced there’s more to her town. Something darker.
When Mallory has a terrifying encounter with the same old woman from her dreams, she knows she has to do something—but what? With Eastport gearing up to celebrate the anniversary of their first recorded legend Mallory is forced to investigate the one legend she’s always secretly been afraid of . . . Sweet Molly.
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Age Range: 8 – 12 Years
Filed under: Guest Post
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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