Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 15 - Creed + Giveaway

For today's interview I have a special treat for you all (or a trick, if you prefer).  What is it?  It's TWO authors!  That's right, today's book was co-authored by two lovely women who are creep-tastic!  Who are they?  Why Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie, that's who!  And they're providing a giveaway, so make sure to check that out after the interview!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  Can you both describe in no more than 10 words each, your forthcoming novel Creed?

Trisha Leaver: Oh, this is hard J  Let’s see… A small town, a charismatic leader, and no way to escape.  That is actually eleven words, but…

Lindsay Currie: Three teens stranded in a deceptive and deadly small town!

PLTF:  There are so many roads you could have gone down when it comes to psychological horror, why did you choose to write about a cult? 

TL There are no paranormal elements in any of my horror manuscripts. Not because I don’t enjoy a good fanged monster, but rather because I believe the darkness that surrounds us every day is scarier than any paranormal element our imaginations could dream up.  It is the evil that lingers in a chosen few, their dark past and tutored existences that I love to capture. What can I say, cults lend themselves well to that! Their charismatic leaders who quote scripture while holding hands with the devil. The coercive persuasion they use to tap into people’s innate need to feel loved and belong. The way they twist those very basic needs twist to suit their own maniacal desires. These towns, these sects…these charismatic leaders walk among us every day, and I think that commonality, the idea that CREED could actually happen, is that makes cults so fascinating to me.

LC: Trisha makes a really important point here. The storyline in CREED could happen. That’s what drew me to this particular concept when we first started writing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love all horror varieties – including your pop-out scares, your slash and gore, etc.  But it’s the psychological stuff that bothers me the most.

PLTF:  Where did you get the inspiration for your cult leader?  Was there a specific one you based him on or is he more of an amalgamation of several (or is he completely made up)?

TL: I researched existing cults, what their doctrine was, and the cult community’s view of the society as a whole. Why they chose to live where they did, what clothes they wore and how their attire became an outward statement of what they believed. I read interviews with individuals who had broken away from cults as well as statements from the social service agency assisting them.
There are a couple of religious sects here in New England, most of which own and operate public business.  I visited a few, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down, watched them interact with each other, with their customers and the community as a whole.  They were all pleasant, quick with a smile a genuinely seemed happy.  Not unlike the residents of Purity Springs.

LC: Elijah was really a little of both! Over the years there have been dozens of cults brought to light with leaders similar to Elijah - scary enough to keep followers contained, but charismatic enough to gather new ones as well. We definitely did our research there and chose to incorporate bits and pieces of those stories into his character. In terms of traditional horror, Elijah is incredibly different from the typical villain in the sense that for the most part, he looks and acts like everyone else. The darkness is inside of him and that's SO much more frightening to me than a guy in a hockey mask any day!  

PLTF:  For books like this settings are incredibly important, why did you choose the location you did (and the winter month) when you were crafting the story?

TL: Purity Springs is a fictional town set in upstate New York.  I’ve driven that I90 route several times to visit family in Chicago and Ohio.  It’s a beautiful drive, littered by with small towns and hundreds of miles of corn and soy fields. And that is just what you can see from the interstate.  Get off and drive fifty miles and the landscape is just as beautiful, the towns just as quaint…towns you’ve never heard off.  The setting, and New England’s Puritan roots, lent itself perfectly to CREED.

LC: Purity Springs reminds me a great deal of the town I grew up in. Small, surrounded by cornfields and soybeans . . . its actually beautiful in the daytime. But at night, when those stalks start swaying in the darkness, look out!

PLTF:  What’s next?

Both:  Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press has bought a YA novel by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie, called Sweet Madness. It's a reimagining of the Lizzie Borden murders, told through the perspective of Bridget Sullivan, Lizzie's maid and confidant, who finds herself in a perilous situation. Kathleen Rushall and Kevan Lyon Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.

Lightning round
1.     On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?

TL: Five maybe.  Hard for me to gauge since I have a high tolerance for scares. LOL

LC: I’m going with a five as well. I think for many people, it will rank higher on that scale. And for some, it might fall lower. Just depends on your tolerance!

2.     If you were a character in your book would you survive?

TL: Oh hell yes! 


3.     Favorite scary movie?

TL:  Hands down, The Blair Witch Project

LC: In terms of actual scariness, ditto on this one. I also like the Paranormal Activity movies. They’re pretty good. But I still love slasher flicks, like Halloween, Friday the 13 and ScreamJ

4.     Favorite Halloween candy?

TL: Almond Joy 

LC: 100 Grand

5.     What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?

TL: I have kids, so last year I was walking the neighborhood as they ran from house to house Trick or Treating.  This year, I will be doing the exact same thing.  Here’s to hoping it is semi-warm and not raining!

LC: We host a huge costume party for our kids friends and their parents – last year there were over 120 (I’m a maniac for HalloweenJ) and I was actual a Zombie version of Alice in Wonderland (there was something VERY dark down that rabbit hole. . . )  This year, I’m actually going in masquerade garb.

This or that
1.     Winter storms or cults?

TL: Winter storm

LC: Winter storm

2.     Stay in the empty house or look for someplace else?

TL: Keep moving and look for someplace else

LC: Keep looking – ESPECIALLY if the house is creepyJ

3.     Stick with your friends or save your own butt?

TL: Stay with my friends

LC: Stick with my friends, of course!

4.     Charismatic leaders or powerful ones?

TL: Charismatic leaders

LC: Is it cheating to say both? Yes? Oh well. I say powerful. Generally the powerful ones have some degree of charisma or they face uprisings.

5.     Tricks or treats?

TL: Tricks always

LC: TREATS, baby! Gimme chocolate! 

Three went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house.

But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town's inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah's son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear.

Find Creed on

Trisha lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather excitable black lab. (He is actually half dalmatian so that could explain a bit of the excitability.)  She spent most of her childhood living inside her own mind, creating characters and stories that only a child's imagination could dream up. She now spends her days breathing life into those characters, writing realistic fiction for young adults.

Find Trisha on

Lindsay lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember.
Today, Lindsay is an author of young adult and middle grade fiction.  She is a proud member of SCBWI, The  Horror Writers Association, The YA Scream Queens and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014.  Her debut novel, CREED (co-authored with Trisha Leaver), releases from Flux on November 8, 2014.  Her second co-authored novel, HARDWIRED, releases from Flux in Fall of 2015. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall, of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.  Any inquiries regarding her work should be sent to her attention.  

Find Lindsay on

Trisha (and I assume Lindsay) has donated a swag pack for me to give away to one lucky person!  All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below!  The giveaway is open to US only and will run for two weeks.  Make sure to give both authors a big thank you for taking time to answer the interview questions and for providing a super cool giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Mary DeBorde
    Oooh, small town creepy cult ... which I agree, way scarier than
    any paranormal element because it really COULD happen!
    Real life monsters scare me way more than the spooky ones O.o

  2. I am looking forward to this book, Thank You so much Trisha and Lindsay for this!

  3. Looking forward to this book! Sounds really interesting and cool!

  4. Since I like the cover and the description, I would probably give it a chance.