Monday, October 1, 2012

The Magic of Halloween - Guest Post by Merrie Destefano

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved Halloween. It might be because it comes a week after my birthday and heralds in a host of fall/winter holidays that involve food, presents and days off school. Or it might be because the seasons change in October, especially back in the Midwest where I grew up. There’s a sudden snap in the air, forcing you to don jackets, and when the wind blows, it strips trees of brightly colored leaves. A harvest moon hangs swollen and full in the sky and you can almost smell magic in the air.

This is the magic of the supernatural, of creatures who can fly, spells that can change flesh to fur and dead people who refuse to stay in their graves. It’s the magic of long nights and short days, of twilight afternoons when shadows look surprisingly like people.

I’ve always been enchanted by books that spoke of other worlds and the fantastic creatures who lived there. I loved Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein and H.G. Wells and J.R.R. Tolkien, for these authors invited me into literary chambers of wonder. Martians and elves and tattooed men and time machines—these were the things that peopled my long autumn nights, as I curled up with one book after another. The creatures in these stories looked incredibly similar to the costumes my friends wore on Halloween, strange and colorful.

As a writer, I tried to capture my love for the supernatural magic of Halloween in my second novel, Feast: Harvest of Dreams. It’s a story about creatures who harvest human dreams and the dangerous hunt that takes place every October 31st in the mountains of Southern California.

I also tried to capture the eeriness found in gothic ghost stories in my recent novel, Fathom, a tale of a sixteen-year-old girl whose sister and mother die mysteriously.

I continue to find myself drawn to tales that deal with things we can’t quite understand, things like death and ghosts and immortality, and I love shadowy landscapes where dark mountains scratch against gray skies, where clouds press so low to the earth they become mist, shrouding everything.

To me, Halloween embodies all of this.

It’s a night when small groups of children wander from house to house, trying to get the courage to walk up the steps of an abandoned Victorian mansion. It’s a night when people pretend to be more than they are, wearing magnificent costumes and crowns and waving wands. It’s a night when ghost stories are both written and read, a night when every wisp of wind is imagined to be a sign of life beyond the grave, a night when dreams and nightmares merge to become something tangible.

It’s a night when the imagination runs wild.

As it should.

With twenty years’ experience in publishing, Merrie Destefano left a 9-to-5 desk job as the editor of Victorian Homes magazine to become a full-time novelist. Her first two novels, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles and Feast: Harvest of Dreams were published by HarperVoyager. Fathom is both her first YA novel and her first indie published novel. When not writing, she loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies and listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time. Born in the Midwest, she now lives in Southern California with her husband, their two German shepherds and a Siamese cat.

Fathom excerpt:
Author website:
Author blog:
Author’s HarperCollins micro author site

Thank you so much Merrie for capturing exactly how I feel about Halloween. 

Merrie is giving away two (2) e-book copies of her latest YA book Fathom.  Please see below for contest rules and to enter.

Or, you can buy it HERE.


~This giveaway is for an e-book of Fathom by Merrie Destefano.  There will be two (2) winners.   One book will be given away to two winners.

To Enter:
~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry. (For example, if I ask you to leave a comment and you do not, or you don't answer the question, that entry will be removed.)

~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Contest ends on Saturday, October 6 at 12:01 a.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


fakesteph said...

I love Halloween! It is indeed magical. I love the entire fall and winter holiday spread. :)

Merrie Destefano said...

Pam, Thanks so much for inviting me to write a post for your blog! It's was great fun to explore how I feel about Halloween! And thanks for the giveaway of FATHOM. =)

Midnyte Reader said...

@Steph - I agree with you.

@Merrie - Um, no. Thank *you*!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Halloween is a magical time! I've been decorating all day with lots more planned. And I only plan on reading spooky/scary novels this month, the rest of the year can be a combination of genres, but not October.

Fathom sounds deliciously creepy! Off to go read the excerpt!

Midnyte Reader said...

@Kate - I love it when other people enjoy October as much as I do! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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