When I looked at the category under which my newest book, School of the Dead, was listed, it was “Horror.” I admit; I was taken aback. True, I have written many different kinds of books, and that includes ghost stories, books like Something Upstairs, Seer of Shadows, The Book Without Words. They are all tales which have murders and a fair degree of mayhem in them.
School of the Dead concerns a boy who becomes involved with his weird uncle. Indeed, the book’s opening lines are: “The first time Uncle Charlie came to live with us he was alive. The second time he came, he was dead.”
For the most part the story takes place in a private school, which in essence is being run (or haunted) to keep the school’s founder—and friends—alive. They do this by taking the soul of a student once every seven years.
Tony, my hero, is the intended victim.
Yes, it’s meant to be creepy, full of suspense, what is called a page turner. And it is focused on Halloween. It’s the kind of story I hope will be read aloud to a class by a teacher and/or librarian, with the kids sitting on the edge of their chairs, saying, “No, don’t stop! Keep reading!”
Not, from my point of view, a horrible experience. Maybe even—dare I say it—fun.