Tag Archives: halloween

Amazing Halloween Book Signing

Well, my weekend was incredible. The weather was bleary and I didn’t get a single trick-or-treater, nor did I have a costume, but it may have been the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER.

Why? Because I got to meet so many people who were so incredibly pumped to discover that adults are “allowed” to read gamebooks, too!

This was my first-ever book signing (huge shout-out to the folks at Madness Games and Comics who thought it was a good idea! Buy all their cool stuff!), and my expectations were pretty low: smile at people, sit behind a stack of books all day, use caffeine to keep my spirits up. But y’all blew away my expectations! Instead of being the shy author I feel like, I was able to chat with so many people who were like, “wait a minute? Did you say zombies?! This is very pertinent to my interests!”

Undead Rising book signing at Madness Games

Writing–and self-publishing–can be really isolating; you do most of it alone, at your desk. I did not at all expect the high I got from meeting so many of my people, the folks who say “yeah, I probably wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse, let’s be real…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try!” The people who think it’s ok to be a “grownup” and still have fun like an 8-year-old. The people who say, “heck yes I want to support a local author!”

I just wish I could go give you all a big hug–you made my year!

If we met this weekend and you’ve had a chance to read some of Undead Rising, let me know what you think! And I would be so grateful if you’d review the book on Goodreads, or tell a friend, or leave a copy conspicuously on a park bench for an unassuming stranger to discover (ok, maybe not the last one!).

Also, big announcement: because of the success of the signing on Halloween, Undead Rising: Decide Your Destiny will now be available for purchase at Madness Games and Comics!

Y’all are awesome. And remember: Choose wisely.

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Literary Horrors

I had the hardest time coming up with a Halloween costume this year. I wanted something at least a little offbeat, but of course you want to be semi-recognizable, too, otherwise, what’s the point? (True story: I went as a “Freudian slip” one year—a slip worn as a dress, decorated with Freud’s face and a bunch of psychology sayings—and it was a total disaster because no one could tell what it was. I’d put a lot of work into it, too!)

But I’m also behind and it was so close to Halloween that I didn’t have the time or the energy to sew something from scratch. And the pre-packaged ones are decidedly not appropriate for most locations.

But then a friend mentioned her idea, and it was so utterly brilliant I stole it (with permission. We live in different parts of the country, so it’s ok). I’m going as “the girl with the Green Ribbon.” It’s from a children’s book, “In a Dark, Dark Room and other Scary Stories.”

Here, have a listen if you don’t remember it:

I remember the book, vaguely, but I also think I heard it as a campfire tale. It’s perfect: it’s creepy, not too hard to do, work-appropriate, and—bonus!—literary. I’ll be wearing a Victorian-ish dress with a green ribbon around my neck, and a bit of makeup to make me pale, pale, pale, perhaps with a bit of bonus blood ichor seeping around the ribbon. (I’ll try to post a picture after I’ve got it all compiled.)

So what are you going as? Also, bonus points, let’s come up with some good literary horror/costume ideas for next year.

Perhaps:

  • The Cat in the Hat (cat costume + striped hat and bowtie)
  • Carrie, from Carrie, of course (white dress covered in blood dye + blood makeup?)
  • Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files (black trench coat + wizard staff)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit (rough-around-the-edges rabbit costume & tissues because you’ll make everyone cry)
  • Snow Queen from Narnia (though this year you’ll probably get confused with the Frozen crowd)
  • Pride And Prejudice and Zombies (what’s better than undead literature?)

(You know, it figures that I would come up with all these ideas only after I’ve got a costume figured out…)

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Halloween is Ruined

Grown-ups have ruined the ultimate kids’ holiday. After it stopped being linked to religious holidays celebrating dark gods or the dead, Halloween became this awesome time where people got to dress up (mostly as something scary, but whatever) and walk door to door to ask for candy, sometimes also playing silly tricks on people or intentionally scaring themselves by doing something safely risky, like going to a haunted house. Even kids who were total chickens (like a certain writer who shall not be named) got to enjoy the holiday, feast on a ridiculous amount of candy and watch a slightly scary movie.

Some time in the past 15 years or so, though, grownups have absolutely ruined Halloween.

Driving down one of the main drags in my area, I can see no less than 5 signs for “Fall Festivals.” My office is wanting to throw a “Trunk or Treat” to offer a “safe, family friendly environment” to accept candy. Kids still dress up, but they’re almost universally cheap, poorly constructed costumes (and don’t even get me started on the pink explosion for girls’ costumes), and there is absolutely nothing scary left for under-15s.

The “Trunk or Treat” phenomenon particularly drives me crazy. Rather thank walking door to door in your neighborhood, full of strange people you call …”neighbors”…you meet up with people in  your own smaller community to get candy while walking the long and dangerous trek…of a parking lot. Woo, what a thrill.

And excuse me, what is there to be afraid of in your neighborhood anyway? Don’t tell me it’s that you’re worried about someone poisoning your kid; the only verified case of someone tampering with candy was ONE case, years ago, and it turned out the parent had done it. So as long as you aren’t planning to poison your own kid, trick-or-treating (with the parent walking nearby) is probably perfectly safe.

For the past 5 years, I’ve had candy for kids who come trick-or-treating. In 5 years’ time, I’ve had three trick-or-treaters. And that’s in several neighborhoods. So I’ve eaten a lot of leftover candy, and had time to build up some frustration.

Is it that we’re coddling kids (and the adults who go with them) by avoiding anything that might be scary? Well that’s foolish. Frankly, the world is a scary place, and being able to put fear in context — this is scary for a second, but you can be brave! I’m here with you! — is a valuable skill. Also? Fear can be fun. There’s a reason people intentionally go to scary movies or read horror novels or like watching bad TV shows (*cough* Once Upon a Time *cough*).

But I don’t think that’s all of it. I think we’re afraid of our community now. We don’t want to go door to door to talk to our neighbors because it might be the first and only time we see them. It’s “better” to just not have to ever face that other person, who might be different from you, might not like you, and to stay in our nice cozy little environments where we already know people and don’t have to do that terrifying “getting to know you” thing. It’s easier to be so afraid that we lock ourselves indoors.

That fear of connecting in a real way is far more insidious than any spookiness that Halloween might dredge up. And that’s a real tragedy.

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Spooky Romance

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Kids, this is what folks mean when they say to find someone who will love you for who you are.

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October 9, 2013 · 9:05 am