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
 Photo: Maureen Cotton/  Inner Life Portraits

Photo: Maureen Cotton/ Inner Life Portraits

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 a 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'm a proud Affiliate member of the Horror Writer's Association, and I contribute/co-manage their Young Horror blog. I'm also lucky to be a graduate of Simmons College M.F.A. Writing for Children program, and a member of their extensive alumni community. 

Stay spooky,
Shanna

 Photo: Maureen Cotton/  Inner Life Portraits

Photo: Maureen Cotton/ Inner Life Portraits

Some of my favorite scary books are:

Picture/Board Books
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Skeleton Cat by Kristyn Crow
Monster ABC by Kyle Sullivan
The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra by Marc Tyler Nobelman
Love Monster and the Scary Something by Rachel Bright
Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
The Teeny-Tiny Woman by Paul Galdone

Middle Grade/ YA Novels
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Welcome to the Dead House (Goosebumps #1) by R.L. Stine
The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud
The House With the Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

 

 

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