It’s Halloween! And you just stepped Off the Beaten Path!

HBT14--Off-the-beaten-pathHello, brave trick-or-treaters, and welcome to the OFF THE BEATEN PATH Halloween Booktrail.


There are six intrepid authors here, waiting in the dark to jump out at you with our Halloween posts. At the end of this post, you will find the link for the next one, and a chance to win some extra stuff here, in addition to the cool stuff you can win at the end. So, let’s get rolling.

I’ve chosen to answer some interview questions, sent to me by the lovely and charming bruja, Zoraida Córdova! Here they are:

If your MC went trick or treating, what would they dress up as and why?

Searching for SilverheelsFRONTSmThat’s an easy one! Pearl is a romantic at heart, so she wouldn’t be one to go parading around all dripping with gore and nasty goop. No, Pearl would go dressed as her heroine–the beautiful dancer Silverheels. This costume would include a dance-hall girl dress, circa 1861, and of course, beautiful silver-heeled dancing shoes.

Fear not–you are not going to have to see either me or my main character in this costume. But if you just want to imagine that I would look exactly this good in this outfit, be my guest.

If Pearl were doing this today, she’d probably end up feeling a bit embarrassed. When I was getting ready to do a release party, I thought, “I know! I will dress up as a dance-hall girl myself for the release party–that will be fun. Then I Googled old west dance hall girl costumes and discovered how–um–minimal some of those run these days. And I realized me in one of those itty bitty saloon girl costumes would qualify for the “most terrifying costume ever” award. So I refrained.


If your villain went trick or treating, what would they dress up as?

My villain, Mrs. Phoebe Crawford would not be playing dress up when there is a war on and all our efforts are needed for our boys over there, thank you very much! Then again, who can blame her for being a bit cranky with a name like Phoebe.

 Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)

To be honest, I’m not sure what I believe. I have several scenes in Searching for Silverheels set in a cemetery, because I think cemeteries are places with a unique energy. Whether that energy is there because of ghosts or because of all the grief and emotion of visitors, I’m not sure.

The cemetery at Buckskin Joe, where my main characters, Pearl and Frank try to catch the ghost of Silverheels–and do encounter a few things that go bump in the night.

When I was writing Searching for Silverheels, I gave a character the last name Sanford, a name I picked because college mailings were coming to my son at the time I was working on the manuscript, and a letter from Stanford was sitting near me on the table as I tried to think of a name for the character. I changed it to Sanford and went on to write the rest of the story. Later, after the manuscript was written, I found out that the real person in the past who did almost exactly what my character did, was a Mr. Sanford. Coincidence? Spiritual channeling? Whatever it was, it gave me goose bumps.

 What is your favorite Halloween memory?

Halloween in Colorado is a bit of a challenge. No matter what you dress up as for trick or treating, chances are it will be under a parka, hat and gloves when you actually go out trick or treating.

When I was a kid, Halloween consisted of picking an outfit out of the family trunk of costumes–ghost (sheet with eye holes), hobo (old patched up clothes), Mummy (strips of torn up sheet to wrap up in), and we went up and down our road with all the other kids. I lived in the country, so, there were only about five or six houses, so no matter what house we went to, it was someone’s mom who opened the door.

I remember being insanely jealous of the kids whose parents bought them a brand new costume, which in those days was one of those cheep crinkly plastic masks and a glorified trash bag printed with a character. Now, when I open the door and see a kid in a sheet with eyeholes (which is almost never) or wrapped in miles of toilet paper, I give them an extra handful of candy.

Yeah, baby. That’s what all the cool kids were wearing.

 What is the most haunted place you’ve ever been to?

In my day job, I’m an archaeologist, so I have been in a lot of museums and archaeological sites, some of which can be pretty spooky. Most museums have ghost stories or “odd occurrences” associated with certain rooms and artifacts. I’ve definitely gotten some weird vibes in deep, dark storage areas filled with creepy stuff.

unexcavated site
An unexcavated archaeological site. Not so scary. Until you’re all alone. Being watched. And night is creeping up on you. And you have the imagination of a fiction author whispering in your ear.

My most memorable “haunting,” though, was when  I was recording an archaeological site all by myself. I got that “someone’s watching” feeling. It kept getting stronger, and finally, while I was mapping the ruins of a big ceremonial structure, I realized a great horned owl was sitting in a tree watching me, even though it was broad daylight. It was pretty cool, but a little creepy too, because I know that owls are associated with native witches in that part of the world. It watched me map the whole structure, and then when I moved on to map some other parts of the site, it glided to another tree to keep an eye on me. It watched until I mapped the whole site and left, and then didn’t follow me any more. I couldn’t help but think it was a guardian to the site, or maybe working for a guardian.

So that’s it for me and Halloween. Next up on the OFF THE BEATEN PATH   Booktrail, the fabulous Holly Schindler!

BUT BEFORE YOU GO, leave me a comment, for a chance to win your choice of a book, a manuscript critique (15 pages max.) or a skype visit for your school or book club! And don’t forget all the fabulous prizes you can win at the end of the booktrail too!

Now, on to Holly!HBT14--Off-the-beaten-path


9 thoughts on “It’s Halloween! And you just stepped Off the Beaten Path!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>