A big happy book birthday to the anthology Defy the Dark edited by the awesome Saundra Mitchell, and including my short story “Ghost Town”!
Here’s what this book is about:
The seventeen original stories in Defy the Dark, an eerie, mind-bending YA anthology, could only take place in darkness.
Open the pages and discover: A creepy guy who stares too long. The secrets of the core of the earth. Dreams of other people’s lives. A girl who goes mad in the darkness. Monsters in Bavaria. A generational spaceship where night doesn’t exist. And other mysteries and oddities.
The contributors to the enthralling collection are: Sarah Rees Brennan, Tessa Gratton, Rachel Hawkins, Christine Johnson, Valerie Kemp, Malinda Lo, Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell, Sarah Ockler, Jackson Pearce, Aprilynne Pike, Dia Reeves, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan, Jon Skovron, Courtney Summers, and Kate Espy, winner of the Defy the Dark new author contest.
And Defy the Dark has gotten some fabulous reviews:
“Sixteen darkly alluring stories relate horrid and extraordinary events that can occur only in the absence of light. Each uniquely eerie, goose bump–raising tale confidently journeys into the unknown, and almost every one has a thread of teen romance. … This thick volume should conjure the heebie-jeebies for even the most experienced of supernatural connoisseurs.” — Kirkus
“This spirited collection counts on the bewitching, tantalizing qualities of darkness—at night, down a mineshaft, or artificially manufactured in a spaceship—to set the stage for 17 original short stories.” — Booklist
As for my contribution, “Ghost Town” is set in the fictional location of Pinnacle, Colorado, which is loosely based on where I grew up. And although this is only a short story and not a giant historical novel, it was in fact inspired by The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, which takes place in reverse chronological order. Yep, I basically wanted to tell a story backwards. It was a fun challenge!
Here’s the first paragraph:
1. October 31, 11:57 p.m.
McKenzie shows up at the Spruce Street Guest House a few minutes before midnight, dressed all in black as if she’s some kind of ninja. She’s even got a black stocking cap pulled over her blond hair, which is sticking out from the bottom in a luminous sheet and, therefore, ruining the disguise. She’s carrying a backpack, out of which she pulls a flashlight. “Ty?” she whispers.
Who is Ty? Find out in Defy the Dark. ;)