Writing Horror Chills and Thrills

I’m a sucker for all things scary. Except for zombies. Those freak me out a bit too much. As one of the YA Scream Queens, I’m privvy to a variety of YA horror novels and I find it fascinating that out stories are so different and yet all have the same intention: to unnerve our readers in some way.

Horror is so subjective, and that makes it–like comedy–a very hard genre to write. What terrifies one reader gets a “Meh” reaction from another. When my agent has had my work on submission, I had one editor say they just didn’t find the story that frightening and another editor said she had to sleep with the lights on and still had nightmares.

Because of the subjectivity of scariness, I approach writing horror in this way: write what scares you. If you the author are legitimately unnerved and ready to jump out of your skin when writing a horror scene, that energy will translate into the story. I remember writing one scene in a project that had me so disturbed that I had to turn on more lights and walk away from the computer to check the windows several times when writing it–and every single one of my crit partners and my agent pointed to that scene as being scarier than all get out. I wrote something that frightened me, the author. Even though it was my creation, it scared me, and my unease bled into the page.

And when you go back to revise those scene, don’t wince. Don’t soften the scare. Timing is everything, and tone is important, too. But if you are unsettled, your readers will be, and that is the ultimate goal of any horror novel.

CONTEST: Who Killed the YA Scream Queens?

Originally posted on :

The YA Scream Queens have been killed!

Now it’s up to you to solve this whodunit.

It’s a tragic thing, really, a horrific thing: 9 authors of YA horror who all died under bizarre circumstances. Cat, Courtney, Dawn, Hillary, Jenn, Lauren, Lindsay, Sarah, and Trisha—not one was spared. Whether turned to ash or stone, stabbed with a special blade or found frozen in the mountains, the deaths of Scream Queens are decidedly mysterious … and literary.

Kids, don't mess around with poison.
Kids, don’t mess around with poison.

It seems as though authorities are pointing the fingers at other YA authors of horror and dark fiction, and a suspect pool has been gathered.

First, this week, from October 7-12th, learn how the Scream Queens perished on this blog.

Beginning October 13-24th, the suspects will post their denials or confessions. Follow the trail connecting one author to next. It will be up…

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Happy Launch Day to Christina Farley’s SILVERN

Silvern (Gilded #2)

The BookYArd Writers are so excited to celebrate the release of another one our books–and this one a sequel! Today is the launch of SILVERN by Christina Farley!

Here’s the description for SILVERN (spoiler warning for GILDED, Book 1!):

Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it.

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

Can’t wait to read it? You can find SILVERN at Indiebound, B&N, & Amazon.

Are you excited about this book yet? The BookYArd Writers definitely are.

Here’s what we have to say about this awesome fantasy sequel:

girlfromthewell02Books with diverse Asian mythology is what the world needs more of, and Silvern is exactly that! More kickass Korean heroines, more fierce battles, and more supernatural forces to overcome – Christina Farley’s sequel is gonna rock!

- Rin Chupeco, THE GIRL FROM THE WELL

 

Christina Farley packs a punch by upping the stakes and igniting readers’ imaginations with rich setting and mythology in SILVERN! No sophomore slump here!

- Sarah Bromley, A MURDER OF MAGPIES

 

 

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn RosenbergImmortals, assassins, and sacrifice! If like me, you loved GILDED, you’ll want to eat this exciting new sequel whole!

- Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY

 

 

Wordless - smallI didn’t want GILDED to end, and now I get my wish with a sequel. I can’t wait to dive into more of this rich, diverse fantasy world, packed with action, mythology, and romance!

- AdriAnne Strickland, WORDLESS

 

secretsI have been waiting for this book since the day I finished GILDED. The depth of the characters, the world-building, the lyrical play of Korean mythology…SILVERN was everything I thought it would be and more. Hat’s off to Christina Farley for taking the fantasy genre to an entirely new level!

- Trisha Leaver, SECRETS WE KEEP and CREED

Here’s some more about Christina:

christinafarleyChristina was born and raised in upstate New York. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. She taught at international schools in Asia for ten years, eight of which were in the mysterious and beautiful city of Seoul, Korea that became the setting of GILDED. Currently she lives in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown. She is represented by the black-belt of an agent, Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC. GILDED is her first novel.

Find out more about Christina on her website!

 

Happy Release Day to FALLS THE SHADOW

b2ap3_thumbnail_FallsTheShadow_CVRfinalThe BookYArd Writers are thrilled to share with you another release of one our books. Today is the release of FALLS THE SHADOW by Stefanie Gaither!

Here’s the summary:
Cate’s sister may be a clone, but that doesn’t make her a killer. Does it? Murder, morality, and a slow-burning romance fill the pages of this futuristic thriller.

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same face. The same perfect smile. She even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

Dying to get your hands on this incredible read? You can find FALLS THE SHADOW at Indiebound, B&N, & Amazon.

Are you excited about this book yet? The BookYArd Writers definitely are.

Here’s what we have to say about this creepy thriller:

girlfromthewell02Clones on the run? If that doesn’t grab your attention or your imagination, then little else will! Falls the Shadow has written a book with all the makings of an intriguing fast-paced thriller, and it’s going to be awesome!
– Rin Chupeco, The Girl from the Well

FC9781402292538OH MY GOD I LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS BOOK. I am intrigued by the complex possibilities of cloning and this sounds like just the thing to get my (uncloned) heart racing and my (uncloned) brain thinking.
– -Skylar Dorset, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn RosenbergI was lucky enough to read the ARC of FALLS THE SHADOW, and all I can say is “WOW!” This book kept me riveted from page one. I found the relationship between Cate and the clone of her sister Violet absolutely fascinating. A fantastic read–and one that sticks with you long after you put it down!
– Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY

Wordless - smallReplacement clones, high school murder, and earthshaking surprises? This book sounds so cool, and filled with fascinating ethical dilemmas and social commentary on top of all the tension and excitement. I can’t wait to read it!

- AdriAnne Strickland, WORDLESS

secretsThis book sounds AMAZING! The complex relationship between the sisters, the ethical implications of cloning, and the prejudice against a girl who’s only crime was being “scientifically created”…WOW. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

- Trisha Leaver, SECRETS WE KEEP and CREED

b2ap3_thumbnail_Gilded_final-cvr-comp_12-11-13The moment I started reading this book, I was hooked. Not only is the plot thick with juicy intrigue, but the concept of cloning and the consequences of it added another layer to this thought provoking story. This is a thrill ride readers won’t want to miss!

-Christina Farley, GILDED and SILVERN

stefaniegaitherHere’s the gossip on Stefanie:
After owning and co-managing a coffee shop for several years while simultaneously earning her BA in English, Stefanie Gaither left the small-business world behind to focus on her author career instead. Now, in addition to penning YA novels, she also works part-time as a copywriter for an advertising agency. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and an incredibly spoiled Shih Tzu.

Find out more about Stefanie on her website!

Which BookYArd Character Are You Most Like?

We’ve created a fun personality quiz for you to determine which character from our books you may be most like. Although, you might find that you want to play this personality quiz more than once!

Tell us in the comments section which character popped up for you!

Click here to take the QUIZ.

WORDLESS Giveaways Galore and LIFELESS Cover Reveal!

Hey all! It’s been an exciting week for me with the release of my debut YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS! With all of this excitement comes a lot of giveaways, so I’ll give you the lowdown!

First off, my blog tour with Me, My Shelf and I went swimmingly! Even better, there’s still time to enter the giveaway. Grand prize is a signed copy of WORDLESS + swag, plus a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. TWO runner ups will receive signed copies of WORDLESS + swag. So go check it out and enter!

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There’s less time for this one, but on my own blog, you can enter the WORDLESS Guess-the-Character Giveaway (before midnight, tonight). Corinne Duyvis drew amazing portraits for the five main characters of WORDLESS, and a blog post featuring each “mystery character” also has a Rafflecopter to guess who they are. Check them out, and click on the portraits if you have a guess! You could win one of FIVE cool WORDLESS-themed prizes (that include a journal, a Sigg water bottle, chocolate, etc….) plus a poster of all the characters!

Character 1Character 2Character 3Character 4Character 5

Also, the wonderful MG Buehrlen interviewed me for her YA Authors as YAs series over at her blog. Not only can you learn all sorts of geeky factoids about me as a teen, but you can enter her giveaway for a signed copy of WORDLESS + swag!

And last but not least… the cover reveal for LIFELESS, the sequel to WORDLESS, over at Icey Books! Check it out below, but be sure to head to Icey Books to enter to enter the giveaway for yet another signed copy of WORDLESS + swag!

What do you think? Well, that about wraps it up, folks. Good luck!

-Adri out

adriannestricklandAdriAnne shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, but has spent two cumulative years living abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe. While writing occupies most of her time, she commercial fishes every summer in Bristol Bay, because she can’t seem to stop. Her YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS, debuted August 8th, 2014 from Flux Books. You can follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

 

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