It’s important to me because that’s when we’ve chosen to publish each book in the artefact series. An obvious choice for fantasy thrillers since it’s that time of year when nights draw in, the creaks on the stairs are a little louder, and the chills on the back of your neck when you walk into an empty room earn an over the shoulder glance. Everyone likes a good scare.
On October 31st the ‘veil between the dead and the living’ is said to be at its most diaphanous. Ancient customs meant that the dead were invited to come back and feast with their loved ones at this time. Food was often left out as an invitation and people would often dress as ghosts to escort the dead from the village at the end of the celebrations. Where did you think Halloween costumes came from?
And as for trick or treat? Again, it’s an old tradition, possibly from Scotland. In rural communities at Hogmanay, giving generously was expected. Those that did were blessed, those that did not were cursed.
So these old customs feed into our modern day need to test our bravery, especially as children. Halloween allows a confrontation with the ‘dead’, a straying outside of beware-the-bogeyman comfort zones with hideous costumes and the trick or treat adrenaline rush.
Same applies to reading matter. It’s a time for stories with a darker edge. Here’s a likely list of my particular favourites.
It has a black cat, a mysterious old house, a scary parallel world, monstrous grown ups, a mouse circus, and the terrifying threat of having buttons sewn on as eyes.
But of course, I can’t omit the Obsidian Pebble (out last year) and it’s follow up, The Beast of Seabourne, –due out next week. I’ve written them because they’re exactly the kind of thing I enjoy reading this time of year. That’s why I wrote them. And next week, I’ll be announcing a giveaway to coincide with the release of Beast.
So come back for details.