No live organism can continue for long to exist under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
— Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children.
— Toni Morrison, Beloved

My favorite opening lines, written by two women who mastered the horror novel.

Beloved was there when my parents dropped their cigarettes from their lips as I said "No, I'm not pregnant. I'm just gay." You can't hide these things inside. They creep out and crack mirrors until you lay them to rest.

The Haunting of Hill House was with me as an intense and torturous love affair was dying. Things left untended, houses left to fester, will grow wild and dark. 

When I first stepped into my future wife's apartment I saw a copy of Jackson's The Lottery and Other Stories on her shelf (along with the complete Harry Potter series) and I knew I was in the right place.

These books fed me. I write because I've consumed much and want to give back. I'd be honored to sustain you with stories, should you need me.

I believe in the horror story to comfort, challenge, and invigorate readers of all ages. I defend and advocate for the genre on my blog Kids Need Nightmares. You can browse more of my horror recommendations, from picture books to novels, on my Read page. If you're a writer looking for advice, I share my tips and tricks on my Craft page. I'm a proud Affiliate member of the Horror Writer's Association and graduate of Simmons College M.F.A. Writing for Children program. 

Stay spooky,
Shanna