“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Inspired by this blog post, I asked the children’s department staff how they would have answered that question as a kid and why. Marta says…
From the time I was in 5th grade, I pretty much had my life goals laid out. Become a famous author of scary books and possibly marry River Phoenix, if I could fit it into my busy celebrity life. Obviously one of these dreams fell short much sooner than the other.
The dream of writing books, however, stuck with me for a long time. Because I spent a lot of time reading scary horror books as a kid and teen, I wrote stories with the goal of scaring the tar out of the kids who were brave enough to read them. I wrote every chance I got, even when my family went on vacation. Books like Betty Ren Wright’s The Dollhouse Murders, Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes, and literally ANYTHING by R.L. Stine were some of my early favorites that I still recommend to kids who tell me they want something scary. These authors are (or were) masters at their craft and inspired me to write.
Eventually, I realized that only the best authors get to lead a glamorous lifestyle, so I chose a field that would be more practical. I have been able to share the scary writers that inspired me as a kid with the kindred spirits who come to the library asking for book suggestions. It may not be as glamorous, but it certainly is a lot more fun!
Luckily, the same authors that inspired me also inspired many other writers who did go on to write some great stories that will give your kiddo a good scare with a great mystery. Some of my favorites are The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein, The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz, Doll Bones by Holly Black, and the Skeleton Creek books by Patrick Carmen.