31 Days of Halloween… with MARIA ALEXANDER

snowed_webIt’s Friday! And it didn’t slip by on me this week. Since it’s always kind of dark here in the Library, the days have a tendency to blur together – I know, I know, get out more, stop getting lost in all the books. But, but, the to-be-read pile, so hulking, so threatening to crush me…

Anyway, speaking of Friday and books, it’s also that day of the week where folks on social media (okay, Twitter mostly) shout out their #FridayReads.

So we’ll call this the #FridayReads installment of 31 Days of Halloween, because the Library just kicked into a digital arc of Maria Alexander’s upcoming YA novel Snowed this morning (early thoughts: it’s got a great opening). I’m admittedly not as familiar with Maria’s fiction as I’d like to be, but I have been an admirer of her writing since I picked up her collection At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned & the Absinthe-Minded for my imprint back in the old publishing days.

Snowed can be pre-ordered now; it will be available for public consumption on November 2, 2016. Want to know more about the story, here’s its official blurb:

Charity Jones is a 16-year-old engineering genius who’s much-bullied for being biracial and a skeptic at her conservative school in Oak County, California. Everything changes when Charity’s social worker mother brings home a sweet teen runaway named Aidan to foster for the holidays. Matched in every way, Charity and Aidan quickly fall in love. But it seems he’s not the only new arrival: Charity soon finds the brutally slain corpse of her worst bully and she gets hard, haunting evidence that the killer is stalking Oak County. As she and her Skeptics Club investigate this death and others, they find at every turn the mystery only grows darker and more deadly. One thing’s for certain: there’s a bloody battle coming this holiday season that will change their lives – and human history – forever.

Will they be ready?

Find out this 2016 holiday season how Charity, you, me, everyone…has been Snowed.

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31 Days of Halloween… with Maria Alexander

Describe a time when a scene in a horror novel really unnerved you or caused you to turn on all the lights.
Probably the most memorable time was when I read Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. The idea that there were people in the world so unravelled by grief that they’d do something that sick and desperate is what actually got to me. When someone knows the result will be bad, yet they do it anyway — that gives me nightmares.

handmaids-taleIn your opinion, what is the all-time scariest horror novel or short story?
What scares me has changed so much as I’ve grown older that I can hardly put a finger on one book or story. When I was young, the single scariest thing I’d ever read was a collection of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales that my father owned. It’s brimming with stories of mutilation and despair, like “The Red Shoes,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl.” Those stories still get to me on a visceral level. These days, not much at all scares me except dystopias like The Handmaid’s Tale. When I was an evangelical, I knew people who wouldn’t think that world was a bad place to live at all. Books like Mariko Koike’s The Graveyard Apartment scare grownup Maria because I’m now a homeowner. It’s a real fear that there’s something fundamentally evil about my home and that forces beyond my control won’t let me leave it. They don’t have to be supernatural forces to be terrifying.


To learn more about Maria and her award-winning writing, visit www.mariaalexander.net.

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