Category Archives: 12monthsofhalloween

Richelle Mead discusses Dark Swan: Storm live online tonight!

Join New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Richelle Mead on Behind the Mask (Radio for Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga), a live internet radio show hosted by Ed English with over 80,000 listenership.

Richelle will be talking about her new comic and graphic novel series Dark Swan: Storm Born debuting May 18th from Sea Lion Books. Dark Swan: Storm Born follows Eugenie Markham, a free-lance shaman who battles ghosts and fey that sneak into our world from the Otherworld. When an alarming prophecy suddenly makes her every Otherworldly creature’s object of desire, Eugenie must dodge their advances while also fighting a dark power rising within her.

The show will take place Thursday, March, 24 at 6pm Eastern Standard Time/3pm Pacific Standard Time 10pm UK time. Fans can follow the show via the show’s website:

How do you get teenagers interested in sustainability? Answer: ZOMBIES!

Guest Post with Sean T Page
Author – The Official Zombie Handbook UK (Severed Press 2010) and War against the Walking Dead (Severed Press 2011)

You know the quote – zombies, zombies everywhere and not a drop to…. you get the idea.

They’re on the big screen, TV screen, book shelves – everywhere. So, what does it all mean?
Is this just a fad or is something deeper happening here? And, what the hell have they got to do with sustainability?

Well, as a zombie-author, that is an author who writes horror and zombie stories, not someone from the realms of the undead, my short guest blog is about putting some perspective around the vast number of zombies who seem to be dribbling across library shelves as we speak.

My first point is about zombie fans. The people who buy these books are much younger than you think. At a recent book signing I was at in Sheffield, fans as young as 11 or 12 were buying my UK zombie survival handbook. Saying that, there was also quite a range of folks interested in the genre – you really couldn’t stereotype it. Don’t equate zombie fans with comic book guy from The Simpsons.

Secondly, zombies have always been around – there has been a steady stream of stories and if anything, at least in book shops, they have more recently been trounced, as romantic-vampire knows dominate them in an endless battle for shelf space.

So, I don’t really think there is anything wider at work here. Readers have always been intrigued by zombies and for the writer; they are really a blank canvas on which to work. They always say that a good zombie novel is more about the human survivors than the monsters – zombies are not good or evil, they don’t have a plan, they just are and also have an uncanny ability to reveal us in our true form….

Sure, the wave of mash ups could get tiresome, with every classic being attacked by authors who you may think should be coming up with new stuff but for every ten readers who picks up one of these mash ups, I’m sure at least one of them goes on to look at the real thing….

Anyway, back to the opening question.

Just like Quaker oats, there’s some goodness in them there zombie books.
I look at mine, The Official Zombie Handbook UK, course the ghouls are there, but then so is sustainability and wider green issues – to survive, you need to start thinking about the energy you use, where your water comes from, how far your apples have flown to get to you… get the picture.

I’m not going to pretend there is any deep meaning in my or other zombie books but if it gets people thinking about these kinds of issues, as well as the menace of the walking dead, it can’t be all bad…

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh…
She can sense when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest boy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the dark forces behind Kaylee’s power before she does.
And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason and only Kaylee knows who’ll be next, she realises that finding a boyfriend is the least of her worries.

Take a feisty young woman with a past shrouded in tragedy, living with an aunt, uncle and a bitchy cousin. Add a mysterious power that could be supernatural in origin or a symptom of psychological imbalance and throw in a sexy love interest that is mysterious and appears to know more than he should about her and who she is. So far so, generic right?
Well no actually…
My Soul to Take, the first book in the Soul Screamers series opens with a premonition of death in a club, unable to speak to her aunt and uncle about it (the perils of underage clubbing) she has to rely on her best friend Emma and Nash (the hottest boy in school) to work out what is happening to her.

This is the story of Kaylee, told from her perspective as she takes her first steps beyond ignorance of the supernatural, into a wider world of faeries, monsters and demons. Rachel Vincent has captured the voice of a teenage girl who is struggling to fit in with her life at school, find love and at the same time is coming to terms with the realisation that she is possibly not crazy and that there may be more to her visions than psychosis. The only problem is that her understanding of her powers comes as people start dropping dead around her.
The personal development is carefully paced and although the action quotient is high the story never feels rushed, and we are left with more questions than answers which is good as there are several books still to come.

My Soul to Take is squarely aimed at the Twilight demographic, my only concern is that plastering “Twilight fans will love it” (from Kirkus Reviews) on the cover may put off those that did not enjoy Twilight, as MSTS is very much its own story and (IMHO) far more gripping than Twilight was.

Delightfully low in angst!

Zombilicious Competition Winners

As you may remember in December as part of the 12 Months of Halloween I ran a Zombiefy yourself competiton. The winners of this competition are:

Zombie Caroline
Zombie Kateria

Could you please contact me and I will send your prizes out as soon as possible!

Zombielicious Competition of the Living Dead

To stand a chance of winning one of three brilliant books (see below) enter the Teen Librarian Zombielicious competition.
To enter you have to submit a zombiefied picture of yourself to editor (at) teenlibrarian (dot) co (dot) uk

To make yourself look as good as I did in the previous post you can use the Day of the Dead Facechanger or Make me a Zombie. Any other zombification techniques are permitted although getting yourself bitten by an actual undead is not recommended.

Competition rules:

~The competition is global
~One entry per person
~Picture size must not exceed 1.5 MB
~Put the word zombilicious in the subject line of the e-mail
~The competition is open until the 15th January
~All pictures will be featured on the TeenLibrarian website
~Judges decision is FINAL



Post of the Living Dead

I love and hate zombies in equal measure and for the same reason, they are the most frightening of all the things that go bump in the night! They were the first monsters to give me nightmares as a child – I blame Peter Haining who edited a book called Zombie back in the 1980’s. This was an anthology of classic and modern (for the’80’s) zombie short stories. Zombie lead me on to the novelisation of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead – In a world where life is a commodity, where survival is bought with guns, and where satisfaction is having free run of a department store, the dead will finally rule us all . . . this was the book that gave me nightmares, in my defence I was 12. That is me on the left, if you would like to become zombielicious go here: Diary of the Dead Facechanger Files

Zombies are back in fashion and have been for a few years now.

In YA novels you can read the Beautiful Dead series by Eden Maguire – Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere inbetween lie the Beautiful Dead.

The first two books in the series have been reviewed on Teen Librarian and can be viewed here

The Enemy
& The Dead by Charlie Higson, two spine chilling books set in a London that we recognize but peopled by the survivors of a sickness that infected every parent, policeman, politician – every adult fell ill.

The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry.

Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive.

Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait.

But can they make it there – alive?

Generation Dead by Walter Daniels

fohatForest of Hands and Teeth and the Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan The Forest of Hands and Teeth was also reviewed on Teen Librarian here

Monster Island by David Wellington

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham Smith is the story of Pride & Prejudice with added zombies (a post about classic & monster mash-ups will follow soon)

So Now You’re a Zombie: A Handbook for the Newly Undead
by John Austin

Not even the Star Wars Universe is free from the undead, Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber tells the tale of an Imperial Prison Barge that finds a derelict Star Destroyer floating in space. A baording party goes aboard to investigate but only half come back…

Not YA books but will still get a readership Max Brooks has written two books dealing with Zombies:

The Zombie Survival Guide a must-have guide to surviving the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse

World War Z – an oral history of the start, duration and aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies: a record of the year of infection by Don Roff is a detailed account on one man’s attempt to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombies have also lurched onto the pages of comic books, currently the best-known zombie comic series is The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman – possibly the most successful black & white comic book in the world today. The Walking Dead has also been turned into a televisions series and is currently being shown in the UK.

Other zombie comic books worth a look include:

Raise the Dead by Leah Moore and John Reppion.
Black Gas by Warren Ellis
Marvel Zombies

All Hallow’s Read

Something to keep an eye on and keep in mind for 2011. The concept of All Hallows Read came from the brilliant brain of Neil Gaiman.

According to the FAQ on the site, All Hallows Read is a (new) Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.

The genesis of this tradition is detailed in a fantastically titled blog-post on Mr Gaiman’s blog:

A Modest Proposal (that doesn’t actually involve eating anyone)

Read it, bookmark the site, think about it and give it a few months. We have until 31st October 2011 – ideally a bit before as planning is important (remember the seven Ps).

5 Questions with Rachel Vincent

First up for 12 Months of Halloween is an interview with Rachel Vincent author of The Shifters and Soul Screamers series.

1. For those reading this interview that have not encountered you on their bookshelves would you be able to give us a short introduction?

I am a cat owner, former English teacher, and the author of the young adult Soul Screamers series as well as the Shifters series (adult). I live in San Antonio, Texas, where we’re currently experiencing our first cold day of the year, and my central heat doesn’t seem quite up to the challenge. (Picture me bundled and hunched over my keyboard. ;))

2. Faythe your heroine is a werecat – did you consider other werebeasts before settling on cats as the main weres of this series?

Nope. I’ve always been a cat person.

3. The term paranormal romance seems to have become a catch-all within the supernatural genre, how would you describe your writing?

I actually write urban fantasy. The difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy (as I see it) is that if you take the romance out of a PNR novel, the story falls apart. But if you take the romance out of urban fantasy, you lose an element of characterization and sexual tension, but the plot still holds up. In other words, in UF, the fantasy/plot is the focus, whereas in PNR, the character relationships and romance are the focus.

But that’s not to say that my novels don’t have intricate character development, because they do. But plot and world-building, for me, come first. Which is why it always surprised me how vehement the readers are that Faythe’s romantic life should end a certain way (and they don’t agree on what that way is). 😉

4. Which authors can you recommend as inspirations

As writing inspirations? Um…in the sense that after reading their writing I want to become a better writer myself, there’s Stephen King (I’m a huge fan), Kelley Armstrong, Courtney Summers, Holly Black, etc… An eclectic list, huh?

5. Can we expect more tales of adventure featuring Faythe and her Pride or is Alpha her last outing? If it is can you let us know what else we can expect book-wise from you in the future?

Alpha is Faythe’s last book. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of a spin-off series, but it’s not currently in the works. Early in 2011, my Soul Screamers series will debut in the UK, and in January, My Soul To Steal (Soul Screamers 4) will be released in the US. That fall, both If I Die (Soul Screamers 5) and the first in my new adult series will be released.

A Review of Alpha will follow soon.

12 Months of Halloween

All Hallows Eve was the 31st October as it has been for the past several hundred years. On this night all manner of fearful creatures stalk the land and darken the night sky

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm.

Unlike the thoughtful spirits and monsters who only come out on Halloween, paranormal fiction has been creeping out onto Library shelves in increasing numbers over the past few years. To celebrate this fearful fact, Teen Librarian will be celebrating 12 Months of Halloween in between all the other things that happen on the site.

To mark the launch here are The Gothic Archies, with The World is a very Scary Place