Today kicks off a month-long extravaganza of downright wicked fun wherein a myriad of blogs will be celebrating all things scary and creepy with interviews, book features, and giveaways galore. Rainy Day Ramblings and Babbling About Books are hosting this event o'awesomeness, so be sure and check the full schedule here so you can follow along!
To start a spooktacular October off right, I've invited author Kirsty Eagar to the blog to talk a little bit about her newest YA release, Night Beach. This was a very dark, eerie, and truly haunting read, rich with the type of brilliant characterization I've come to love and expect from Kirsty's work (you can read my review here), and I hope you guys add it (and Raw Blue, an all-time favorite of mine) to your lists!
I’m a bit of a wuss. Well, more than a bit really. I scare incredibly easy, and there was many a moment in Night Beach that had me longing to place my fingers over my eyes and peek through them as I read. What’s the last book you read that completely and utterly unnerved you?
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. It’s about a young man who spends the Norwegian winter in an old trapper’s camp. Alone – or so he thinks. It scared me to the point where I could only read it during daylight hours. I would have stopped altogether, but the writing is so good that I had to know what happened.
We never know for sure exactly what happened to Kane and his friends that night on the beach, making it the type of story that could easily become a myth or urban legend passed from mouth to mouth until no one knows for sure if there was ever any truth to it. Did any particular story you’ve heard spark the idea for what Kane experienced?
Yes. I was researching a surf trip to the Maldives and I came across an account of what happened to a group of guys after they’d spent the night on a deserted island there. It was all about the aftermath, but it got me thinking about what could have happened on that island. The annoying thing is, I’ve never been able to find that post again. One of the mysteries of the internet ...
Do you consider yourself a superstitious person?
The only thing I’m ridiculously superstitious about is the number twenty-seven. I’d love to know if there’s a word for that.
But in terms of the more everyday superstitions, yes and no. I try to avoid walking under ladders, but I don’t think viewing the new moon through glass is bad luck –I always feel lucky when I see the moon, no matter what the circumstances.
I love a lot of the old sea-going superstitions (like the one used in Night Beach – about shipwrecks occurring if the rim of a glass rings). But I’m possibly more into symbolism than superstition. That’s why things like mirrors, black dogs, doorways, and shadows feature heavily in the story.
If you heard a building or home near you was haunted, are you the type to go immediately to see if you experience anything supernatural or are you the type to stay far, far away?
When I was growing up, my friends and I seemed to take delicious pleasure from scaring ourselves stupid. We always checked the local “haunted” places out. As an adult, I think I’d be more hesitant. That said, the house in Night Beach is based on a place where we lived for a while. There was a locked door down in the storeroom (complete with ventilation holes, like in the book). And from time to time, the chandeliers would start swaying for no apparent reason (say, in winter, when all the doors and windows were closed, and there was no discernible breeze around at all!). We should have been freaked out, but that house didn’t feel bad. Things like that were just more of a curiosity.
Kane is a darkly fascinating character; a young man who slowly removes the rose-tinted glasses from Abbie’s face as the story progresses to reveal to her a reality slightly different from her longtime fantasy. If the Abbie at the end of Night Beach could tell the Abbie at the beginning one small thing she learned about Kane, what might she tell herself?
That is such a good question. I’ve spent ages thinking about it. I don’t think she’d warn her off; Abbie’s definitely someone who values experience, even when it results in mistakes or failure, over not learning at all. How about: He’s more afraid than you think, and you’re braver than you know.
Abbie is a talented painter. If she had to paint the emotional journey she takes in Night Beach using only three colors, what three colors would she choose?
Ultramarine blue (for the beyond), black (for the shadows), white (for the light).
Is there any one line in Night Beach that gave you chills the minute you wrote it?
“The other place. Pinty said you’re going to the other place.”
Thanks for having me, Jenny, and thank you for such brilliant questions! Now I have to go and turn the lights on.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Kirsty! You can find more information on Kirsty and order her books here:
Fishpond Buy Link
GIVEAWAYI have one paperback copy of Night Beach to give away on the blog today! To enter, please just leave a comment on this blog post sharing the creepiest book you've ever read, and be sure to include an email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run through midnight on Friday, October 5th after which time a winner will be chosen and emailed. Good luck everyone!
NIGHT BEACHImagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care.
And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing...
He lives downstairs.
Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.
But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.