Scary Stories/New Friends

This past fall, I had gone to my daughter’s school to do my scary story workshop with her class. You can read more about it here and here. We had a lot of fun, and the kids wrote some amazing stories.

Three years ago, I had done the same thing for my son’s class and decided to put the stories in a book for them.

Thanks to the generosity of Michael Bailey at Written Backwards.

Not wanting to be accused of loving my son more than my daughter, I knew (even 3 years ago), that I would have to do the same thing for her.

Below is the culmination of her class’s hard work:

This book was made possible by the dynamic duo over at Burial Day Books: Cynthia & Gerardo Pelayo.

Before I approached Cynthia about this project, I’d had minimal interaction with her. Just the occasional like or retweet on Twitter. But she seemed great, and Burial Day’s books looked amazing.

I only hoped they’d be willing to take on this tiny project (12 stories, 7500 words).

With one of my new philosophies in mind (If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”), I sent Cynthia an email.

She got back to me right away with an enthusiastic “yes,” and we got to work.

After typing all the kids’ handwritten stories into Word…

ohmygod that was so much pressure! Any typos/mistakes are all mine.

…I sent the document over to Cynthia.

You never know what’s going to happen when you begin a project with someone new, but working with Cynthia was a dream. She had great ideas, always got back to me in a timely manner, and ultimately produced a beautiful book.

She and Gerardo generously donated their time and energy to this project, as well as the unbelievable cover by Kealan Patrick Burke.

I can’t thank them enough for their kindness, enthusiasm, and generosity.

Last week, I returned to my daughter’s class. They had no idea why I was there. When I gave them the books, they were so excited, and more than one of them said, pride in their voices, “I’m a published author!”

It was exciting to see: the power of writing, of creating. I hope they carry that excitement and pride with them as they continue to learn and grow.

I am grateful to have been a part of that process, and I am grateful to have made some fantastic new connections in the horror community along the way.

Thank you Cynthia, Gerardo, and Kealan!

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