Halloween

Halloween was not a priority holiday for me as a child. I enjoyed it well enough (a life-long penchant for sweets and dressing up has to begin at some point), but it never ranked among the A-list holidays. Those few, coveted spots were dominated by Christmas and birthdays because I loved toys more than candy. Halloween served as the local opener for the big show: it had its own appeal but mainly served to set the tone for the following acts. I didn’t realize there was anything unusual about this until I got to college and realized that Halloween was an integral part of many childhoods, my girlfriend’s among them.

My upbringing has a lot to do with this tragic downplaying of the year’s best combination of eccentricity, hedonism, and terror. Growing up in a conservative Christian household doesn’t leave much tolerance for any of Halloween’s primary characteristics. Still, it wasn’t as though my brother and I were forbidden from participating. On the contrary, we would select costume patterns from the fabric store each year, and my mother (an absolute wizard on the sewing machine) would dedicate hours to making those patterns a reality. Thus garbed in our homemade costumes, we would charge brazenly into the virulent cesspool that was the local elementary school’s Corn Cob Festival. Said festival was exactly what you’d expect: a densely-packed collection of costumed children frantically running from one game to the next, exasperated parents a few steps behind. Candy bags hung from the hands of angels, devils, ghosts, princesses, witches, and (in the case of yours truly) a Dalmatian until they became too loaded with loot for an eight-year-old to manage. They would then find their way into the arms of their associated adults, adding to the burden of costume props, carnival maps, and perhaps a drop or two of the hot stuff to help the night pass more smoothly.

Surely a fantastic time for anyone unburdened by the self-consciousness puberty brings, so why wasn’t this at the top of my yearly events? As I mentioned earlier, my parents were very conservative, and this mindset informed what they thought would be best for us growing up. Thus, our Halloween participation was bound by certain restrictions and preconceptions that colored the holiday in bleaker shades. For one, we weren’t allowed to go as anything evil. This included the obvious ones—devils, vampires, werewolves, witches—and the odd ones like Ghostbusters, Disney villains, and Power Rangers. In a child’s mind, the classification of costumes as “evil” transfers to the wearer of any such costume quite easily. Thus, when the Corn Cob Festival rolled around, I found myself questioning the alignment of my friends. How could seemingly good kids dress in lawful evil costumes? Did that mean they were really evil? Was it okay for me to crush on a girl if she dressed up like a witch? Although forgotten a week into November, such thoughts managed to make Halloween slightly sinister.

The other main element of unease came from my mother’s insistence that we bring our pets indoors while we went trick-or-treating. People sacrificed household pets in Satanic rituals on Halloween, she said. This was in the early 1990’s, so my seven-year-old self could not have checked Snopes even if I’d had the thought to question her. As it was, I did not. Therefore, I spent the time between houses with two main trains of thought running through my head: somebody may have kidnapped my dog and sacrificed her to Satan, and that somebody might live in the next house. Not entirely rational, perhaps, but it made sense to me. I had a very fearful and over-active imagination, you see.

When I was in the third grade, our church started hosting Harvest Festivals, which were essentially Halloween parties minus all evil stuff. It was also around this time that I stopped trick-or-treating. This took care of both problems rather handily, and late October became a simpler time of year (thereafter called “Harvest” and not “Halloween” in my house). However, this aversion toward all things horror continued well into high school. I saw my first horror film (Hannibal) when I was 16, and I was decidedly uncomfortable the whole time. I didn’t see The Nightmare Before Christmas until I was in college. Somewhat ironically, it was my girlfriend who first introduced me—at 21 years of age—to the fantastic myriad of horror films available. The genre quickly became a favorite of mine, and I began consuming them with reckless abandon.

All this to say: Halloween may not be on equal footing with Christmas in terms of past fondness for me, but it has come into its own in recent years. I can’t exactly go trick-or-treating anymore (not going for that particular kind of creepy, thank you), but I can still appreciate all of the blood-chilling books and movies that come out of hiding this time of year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Collins has spent his entire life in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he generally prefers to stay indoors reading and playing video games. As a child, he never realized that he could create video games for a living, so he chose to study creative writing at Colorado State University. Upon graduation, he worked as an editorial intern for a local magazine before securing a desk job with his alma mater.

Lee’s short fiction has appeared in Ensorcelled andMorpheus Tales, the latter of which awarded him second place in a flash fiction contest. In 2009, a friend challenged him to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and the resulting manuscript became his debut novel, The Dead of Winter. It will be published in 2012, and the sequel, She Returns From War, arrives in 2013. In his spare minutes between writing and shepherding graduate students at his day job, Lee still indulges in his oldest passions: books and video games. He and his girlfriend live in Colorado with their imaginary corgi Fubsy Bumble.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Dead of Winter (Cora Oglesby #1) - Cora and her husband hunt things – things that shouldn’t exist. When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible. But if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present.

A stunning supernatural novel that will be quickly joined by a very welcome sequel, She Returns From War, in February 2013.

LEE COLLINS ONLINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY!

Angry Robot is giving away TWO (2) finished copies of The Dead of Winter

For entry into the giveaway please answer the following question then fill out the form below: Which US State does the action in The Dead of Winter take place in?

  • a. Colorado
  • b. California
  • c. Hawaii

This giveaway is open to UK/EU/US/CAN and ends 6pm GMT 31st October 2012

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Carolyn

Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!

40 Comments


Anne L October 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

That would be a. Colorado

Reply

Grete Evans October 31, 2012 at 11:21 am

Hmm… I’m going with a. Colorado ;)

Reply

Angela Fitzgerald October 31, 2012 at 11:43 am

That would be a. Colorado.

Reply

Annabelle H October 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Colarado!

Reply

Amanda J October 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

It’s Colarado!

Reply

miki October 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm

answer: a colorady

thank you a lot for the giveaway

Reply

Brian October 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm

That’d be Colorado.

Reply

Donna Barton October 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm

It’s Colorado

Reply

Charlotte Ingham October 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Colarado!

Reply

Janice October 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Colorado :-)

Reply

Ann M October 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Colorado

Reply

Phil Darling October 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm

a. Colorado

Reply

Jude Dunn October 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Colorado

Reply

Julie Witt October 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm

It’s unanimous! A-Colorado :D

Reply

bella smyth October 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Colorado

Reply

STUART HARGREAVES October 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

COLORADO

Reply

shane weir October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Colorado

Reply

Mel Symonds October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Colorado – a state I would like to visit! :-)

Reply

Scott Walliss October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Colorado

Reply

Sophie Hedley October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Colorado :)

Reply

Heidi Nicholson October 31, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Colorado!

Reply

rhiannon alwen October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

a. Colorado

Reply

Marie-Claude October 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Colorado

Reply

Emma Jackson October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Answer is A. Colorado

Reply

Jayne Painting October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Colorado

Reply

Sally Carter October 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Colorado

Reply

Karen Milburn October 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Colorado

Reply

Stephanie October 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Colorado

Reply

Barrie Phillips October 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Colorado

Reply

nicola October 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

colorado

Reply

Arantza October 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Colorado.

Reply

Alice Matthews October 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Answer: a. Colorado

Reply

JO JONES October 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm

a) Colorada

Reply

sherry fundin October 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm

colorado. thanks for the giveaway and have a happy halloween.

Reply

sherry fundin October 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm

sorry, it’s only 2:15 here in florida. thanks anyway

Reply

Neil Bradley October 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm

B Colorado

Reply

keith October 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

answer – a. Colorado

Reply

Jenny Harper October 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Colorado :)

Reply

Barbara Elness November 2, 2012 at 3:09 am

It takes place in Colorado.

Reply

[...] [...]

Leave a Comment


 

 

 

BCC UPDATES DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX

BOOK OF THE MONTH

BOOK OF THE MONTH

My review will be up soon, but until then check it out on GOODREADS

CURRENT GIVEAWAY

CURRENT GIVEAWAY

Huge Mystery Box of Books up for Grabs! :D

ARCHIVES

CURRENTLY READING

Currently Reading

BLOGLOVIN’

Follow on Bloglovin

INSTAGRAM

Instagram

FACEBOOK

Love Beauty?

Love Beauty?

Then head on over to my sister site Obsessive Blonde.

COPYRIGHT

All content and illustrations Ⓒ Book Chick City unless otherwise stated. This means you shouldn't copy or distribute without our permission!

SEARCH