Oct 28, 2012

Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf: Day 11

Dont Look Behind the Bookshelf
What are you doing here? Did you not see the letters in huge red script?! It told you not to look behind here--and you did. Now you have no choice but to pry your eyes open and be exposed to yet another day of Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf. (You can see yesterday's interview here.) Today's author has two Halloween perfect novels--one may possess you, while the other is sure be a murderously good read. Kirkus called her most recent novel "a scary gorefest of murder and mayhem, not for the faint of heart [...] a breatheless read." Please stop sharpening your knives as I present to you...

Trick or treat? 
Treat. Preferably jelly beans.

Truth or dare?
Dare. I rarely tell the truth.

Best Halloween creature?
I'm partial to the big guy, Mr. Frankenstein. Gotta love that he wears a sports jacket…
What’s the worst and best candy to get on Halloween?  
Best would be a full sized Twix bar. I love Twix. Especially the peanut butter one. Worst candy is laffy taffy. Nothing like picking neon colored cement out of your teeth.

What’s your most memorable Halloween costume? 
Freshman year of high school my best friend and I went as roller derby nuns – Sister Sledge and Sister Slaughter. We were awesome. In our minds.

Best movie to watch for Halloween? Best book to read?  
Best Halloween movie is Clue. I have been watching Clue on Halloween since before you were born. It's a tradition. Best read? The Exorcist, of course!
What scares you?
Demonic possession. Hands down the scariest thing ever. See above. :D
If you could be any Halloween creature what would you be?  
How do you celebrate Halloween?  
There is costuming. Always. This year, my boyfriend and I are going as Little Zombie Annie and Daddy Zombucks. We've got two parties, and on Halloween itself, there will be the Clue viewing.

In about 140 characters or less, please write a super short Halloween story. 
The voices in my head tell me I should kill you when I finish this senten--

It’s Friday the 13th, you’re home alone, and it’s dark. Simultaneously, the phone rings and you hear somebody upstairs. What do you do? 
I get the f*** out of the house!!!!

If you were in a horror movie with a classic killer what would you do to survive?  
That girl at the end of Friday the 13th had it right: get in a boat in the middle of the damn lake!

If some of your characters were going to dress up for Halloween, what would they dress up as?  Minnie would be something slutty – slutty Alice in Wonderland, slutty Little Red Riding Hood. And Meg would be some literary character, like Miss Havisham.
Using the letters of MURDER, please describe yourself.  
Maddening. Urbane. Ridiculous. Devilish. Entrepreneurial. Redhead. 

What can you tell us about your novels Possess and Ten? What might make them Halloween-esque?  
I can't think of two more Halloween-esque books! ;) Possess is simple – teen exorcist. The scary kind. With demonic dolls. And Ten is old school horror – ten teens trapped on an island with a serial killer, getting picked off one by one.

You have some more novels in the works, like 3:59 and the Don’t Get Mad series. Will they be like your previous novels, and will they terrify readers? (In a good way.)  
3:59 should be scary. It's sci-fi horror about two girls who are the same girl in different dimensions, who discover that their worlds connect every twelve hours – at 3:59 – for one minute. When they decide to switch places for a day, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

But Get Even and Get Dirty, books one and two in the Don't Get Mad series, will be more mystery/suspense. They're about four very different girls who have formed a secret revenge society, getting back at bullies and mean girls who have terrorized their classmates, which all goes well until one of their targets turns up dead and the society is implicated in the death.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?  
I like champagne. A lot. :D

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror Possess about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up Ten – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was released September 18, 2012, and her third novel 3:59 – sci fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places – is scheduled for Fall 2013. Gretchen's new YA contemporary series Don't Get Mad (Revenge meets The Breakfast Club) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls begins Fall 2014 with Get Even, followed by the sequel Get Dirty in 2015, also with Balzer + Bray.
Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday." She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
To learn more about Gretchen McNeil, please visit her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. And don't forget to check out her novels that are sure to put you in the Halloween mood, Ten and Possess.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 294

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: August 23, 2011
Pages: 379

Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

While I haven't read Possess yet, I have read Ten, and I'll tell you this: if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for? Now's the perfect time! It's one of those books that must be read at night when everyone else is sleeping for full effect; it made me want to hide under the covers, kick my feet, and not want to get up go to the bathroom. I scare extremely easily and I hate scary movies--but I loved Ten. I highly recommend it.

Be sure to return to Beauty and the Bookshelf tomorrow (and through October) for the rest of Don't Look Behind the Bookshelf--fourteen days, thirteen authors, one giveaway.

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