“Creating Haunting Thrillers in True-to-Life Stories” & Giveaway With The Brothers Washburn
Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Mojave Green Blog Tour! For today’s tour stop, please enjoy a great guest post on Creating Haunting Thrillers in True-to-Life Stories and enter for your chance to win a copy of Mojave Green!
Mojave Green by The Brothers Washburn
Series: Dimensions in Death #2
Published by: Jolly Fish Press on 10/7/2014
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, YA
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
In Trona, California, an isolated mining town deep in the Mojave Desert, an unearthly creature preyed upon the town’s folk for decades. Armed with secrets from a peculiar puzzle box, only Camm and Cal stood against the creature. Finally safe and far from the horror, the teenagers believe they have destroyed the monster—until they hear news that Trona’s children are still disappearing. Caught in the nightmare since her childhood, Camm feels personally responsible for the town’s children. As her life-long best friend, Cal feels responsible for Camm. With unsuspecting friends in tow, they return to warn the innocent people of Trona of the true nature of the creature.
But things have changed.
Death comes in a new form. The balance between dimensions is altered. Crossovers multiply. Trona is evacuated. Cal is pulled into another dimension. The situation spirals out of control.
Only Camm and a few misfits can stop the coming desolation—but it may already be too late.
Creating haunting thrillers in true-to-life stories…
Pitch Green and Mojave Green are the first two books in The
Dimensions in Death young adult horror series. Based on a scary story we
used to tell as kids to our siblings and friends, these books combine
horror, suspense and mystery, moving at a breathtaking pace as our
protagonists fight for their lives while they battle a monstrous evil
presence hiding in and around an old, deserted mansion in a small mining
town, located near Death Valley in a desolate part of the Mojave Desert.
Not unexpectedly, the story has grown with the telling, but the
setting and characters are grounded in the reality of Trona, California-a
real mining town. The events, however, that engulf the characters are
beyond reality and limited only by a creative imagination.
Surprises are the best part of any story, including a true-to-life
story. The plot needs to take unexpected twists and turns as the story
unfolds around everyday, normal people. It takes creativity to not do the
same thing that you’ve seen done before–there is no mystery or suspense in
doing what’s already been done. In addition, a good thriller requires more
than just mystery and suspense. In order to be a haunting thriller, or a
good horror novel, the story needs one or both of the following: (1) a
dangerous threat from a hidden source of power, and/or (2) a warping or
distortion of something that is normally familiar and friendly.
The reader of a thriller or horror story must feel the personal
threat (vicariously through the story’s main character). The more
significant the threat, the scarier the threat, with life and death threats
being among the scariest. A good thriller or horror story creates a bond
between the reader and the character at risk, so the threat hangs heavy over
the reader as it hangs heavy over the character in the story.
One way to make a hidden power threatening, or to increase the sense
of threat, is to create a sense of revulsion through the warping or
distortion of the familiar. Few things are more fascinating, and at the
same time more scary, as something familiar, even mundane, that has been
horribly warped or distorted to the point of being painfully ugly. Even
without feeling a direct personal threat to oneself, or to the main
character, an encounter with a painfully ugly distortion of the familiar can
elicit gut wrenching feelings of revulsion and fear. This has been done
successfully with clowns, birds and even mothers.
When it comes to “haunting thrillers,” a subtle presentation of a
hidden threat coupled with a distortion of the familiar will beat a stream
of blood and gore every time, and will keep readers coming back again and
again. Though each new story (or even chapter) must be creative in building
the mystery and suspense anew, readers will love it and hunger for more.
Especially when writing a story for young adults, the author needs a
vivid imagination, an understanding of the current young adult world, and a
degree of comfort with the tools and techniques of a present-day story
teller, including trite and overused themes and techniques. The youth of
today have had their senses numbed by the exaggerated blood and gore of
gratuitous violence and the repulsive exhibition of graphic sex. Bringing
such overused elements into a story is no longer surprising to a young
reader, and it is tiresome and boring to any avid reader. Using such flimsy
props to build a story is evidence of an author’s lack of imagination and
misunderstanding of the real power of the story teller’s bag of tools.
Like any intelligent reader, youth readers must be courted with
suspense and entrapped by conflict. While there is some legitimate overlap
of youth and adult themes, a young reader wants to be immersed in a world of
new beginnings and exciting transitions, a world where anything is possible
and hope is a guiding star. A world of despair, overwhelmed by failed
dreams and missed opportunities, is for an older audience.
As the subtle strings of an impossible dream are carefully wrapped
around the young reader, the story teller will keep his audience coming back
with repeated doses of hope and inspiration, and will make his audience
happy captives with a plot that says we don’t give up, we will find a way,
and we will succeed because life is worth the sacrifices we make.
Winners Will Receive an ARC of Mojave Green!