Looking for a great Halloween read? Well, author team FJR Titchenell and Matt Carter have a few suggestions. Their new YA horror novel, SPLINTERS, just hit shelves.
Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he’s an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. In order to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other. First book in The Prospero Chronicles.
Full of great scares, humor, and teen angst, SPLINTERS makes for an enjoyable read. And for a few more books to add to your must-read list, here are the books that inspired FJR and Matt while writing their new book . . .
Fiona’s YA Selections:
I’m the original YA lover who dragged Matt into my world, as he’s the original Horror lover who dragged me into his (not that we aren’t quite happy in the overlapping territory we’ve staked out). So naturally my favorites are of the younger variety.
1. The Midnighters Trilogy, by Scott Westerfeld
This is a forgotten gem of YA Horror, following a mismatched team of teens who are the only people able to see an intersecting midnight dimension, and the dark creatures who inhabit it, encroaching on the human world. One of the rare YA works that pulls off multiple perspectives, which Matt and I also use in Splinters.
2. The Delirium Trilogy, by Lauren Oliver
It’s a dystopia with little to do with The Prospero Chronicles beyond also being speculative YA, but the way Lauren Oliver can play my heartstrings like a freaking violin makes it impossible not to idolize her in all things I write.
3. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
It’s straight-up YA fantasy, but it’s also a story about a brewing war between humans and dangerous beings with whom they currently have an uneasy truce, and about the deep, prickly and loveable teens caught in the middle. Definitely a Prospero Chronicles inspiration.
4. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
Okay, you won’t actually find these on the YA shelves, but that’s only because you don’t want to break up the set. In case you live under a rock, the Harry Potter series follows its characters from the ages of eleven to seventeen, through growing up and through a war with evil, and the style matures along with them from middle grade to what I’d consider YA/Crossover. The bonds between the main characters, and between them and long-time readers, have a strength I’ll spend my career hoping to replicate. The power of the connection I’ve felt with them since picking up the first book when I was nine played a major role in making me into a writer.
Matt’s Adult Selections:
I was raised on a lot of old-school scifi and horror stories, and while I won’t go out of my way to call all of these stories favorites, per se, but I will say that each of these stories has classic genre elements that really influenced the creation of The Prospero Chronicles’ universe.
1. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft – Cosmic horror at its most classic, with ancient, incomprehensible lost cities and inhuman aliens who look upon us as if we are nothing. An ancient alien mystery hiding on earth with remnants that could very well destroy humanity? Yeah, that comes up a bit in Splinters.
2. Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell Jr. – Though this story didn’t live up to all of its potential (it took several movies, especially John Carpenter’s 1982 adaptation, The Thing to get it quite right), its story of a shapeshifting alien that takes over the bodies and memories of an isolated group of humans was highly influential in designing the titular Splinters.
3. The Mist by Stephen King – Nobody does creepy small towns like Stephen King. Nobody. You could pick any of his stories for this really, but The Mist combines small town creepiness with unseen monstrous horror that eats at the group from within. Very cool, very creepy, and my vote for one of the scariest books ever written.
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