This time last year, a post popped up on a closed Facebook group I belong to for YA writers, asking if anyone would be interested in writing a middle grade book of spooky stories. I’d just finished up a magazine copy editing job, and my Jan-Feb quiet period was looming. Why not? I put my hand up. It seemed meant to be from the start. Even though the job was posted from a primarily US group, the commissioning editor, Sarah Billington, was Australian and super cool, and the publisher, Hinkler Books, is based in Melbourne. The job was fast, furious and tons of fun. The brief: write 101 hair-raising horror tales for kids aged 6-12, in three months. The deadlines were relentless, 10 stories every week for 10 weeks (plus scary facts) I wrote like a demon, and researched everything from disappearing colonies to real-life zombies and dancing plagues. My Google search history was terrifying. I typed with goosebumps on my arms, checking under my bed at night, freaking myself out completely with fast paced tales of ghosts, ghouls, aliens, unexplained disappearances and monsters. By the end of the 10 weeks I’d exhausted every clever twist and possible word for fear and knew more about Slender Man, sewer crocs, exploding spiders, haunted campsites and urban myths than any 11-year-old kid. So, here is the end result, ingeniously illustrated by Glen Singleton… my first write-for-hire book project and also my first overseas sale - the book is also creeping out kids in the UK and India.
101 short, scary stories, perfect for sleepovers and telling around the campfire in the dark.
Featuring a combination of brand-new tales and classic urban legends, covering topics from ghosts and ghouls to creepy clowns and terrifying toys, plus a multitude of mean monsters, these stories are sure to chill you to the bone and keep you up at night.
Don’t forget to check under the bed before you turn off the lights.