Today we have an excerpt from Breather, a YA horror novel, and an interview with author Kacey Chumley. Kacey tells all about her scary inspiration and why you have to have fun while writing, so check it out!
Ever since their mother passed away and their father started drinking, beginning the eighth grade hasn't been an easy task for either of them. But Kristin knows that things are going to get even more complicated when the house they've moved into has a cryptic history and an even stranger effect on their family. Now, when hallucinations, unexplainable flocks of crows, and an uncertain future are all happening at once, she has to learn to trust the ones worth trusting and stand her ground when no one else is standing behind her.”
Excerpt from Breather:
Your novel, Breather, tells the story of two children living in, what seems like, a haunted house. What inspired you to first write a YA horror story?
I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid. I’ve also had nightmares ever since I was a kid. When you marry the two of them together, it kind of becomes free therapy to get it out of your system. This book is actually based on a nightmare my cousin had when we were around seven years old.
I know I used to love watching scary movies when I was a kid. What were some of your favorite scary books/movies growing up?
Honestly, I’m the biggest chicken ever. If my friends want to go see a scary movie, I usually do anything to get out of it. However, there are plenty of horror books and movies I really love. My senior year of high school, we had to read Frankenstein and I ate it up. I’m a huge fan of anything Stephen King does, and one of my favorite TV shows of all time is American Horror Story. I can’t wait for the next season!
What do you feel is the key to writing convincing horror into a story?
Getting under the reader’s skin. That is, kind of being descriptive enough to get a good pulse of tension running through whoever’s reading the book. Once you get in the hang of it, it’s really easy to spook people.
Any advice or tips for anyone writing their own YA horror novel?
Never get bored with writing. If you’re bored writing it, your reader will be bored reading it. Have fun! Use a lot of dialogue and try to flesh out your characters as much as possible. And never, ever hold back on a piece, even if it’s personal. You never know who could love what you hide.
I love asking authors about their favorite quotes from their novels, but since Breather is a horror story, I thought I'd ask you for the scariest line from the story. What do you feel makes this line the scariest?
“He’s found us, he’s found us. Oh no...”
Without giving too much away, I really try to tap into that survival instinct with my characters. I tried to write it straight while they were thinking it, if that makes any sense. It’s lines like that that I hope really gives people what they’re looking for in this book.
For more about Breather check out these sites!