Sometimes I like to begin a newsletter referencing my location, because some people (myself included) like having a visual that grounds the writer in the real world. Often mine are some reference to DC area, or "the DMV" (DC, Maryland, Virginia) as the locals typically refer to it. But now, for a little while at least, that location will be a bit more random.
At present, I am writing this at my cousin's house, sitting on a deck overlooking Cold Spring Harbor. It's a beautiful, sunny spring morning, with a bright salt breeze filled with birdsong. A timid (but increasingly less so) Great Dane slumbers nearby.
So far, the empty nest life ain't so bad.
But enough bragging about my current (and very temporary) luxuries! Far more important is the announcement of my next kids horror novel for Scholastic, No Filter.
Here's the cover:
And here's the official description from Scholastic:
From the author of The Ghost of Drowned Meadow comes another haunted tale that's as touching as it terrifying.
Janessa "Jinx" McCormick loves photography because it’s like real life, except she can make it perfect. She never takes selfies because she doesn’t want to be in her own pictures. Her pictures are perfect. She is anything but. But one night as she’s touching up a new photo before posting it, Jinx sees…something sitting on the floor in the background of the image. Something she’s certain that it was not in the frame when she took the shot.
The figure is too dark and hazy to see exactly what it is. It looks roughly human-shaped, but only roughly. And soon Jinx notices something even more unsettling. With each new shot she takes, the figure is always there.
And it’s moving closer to the camera.
No Filter, similar to The Ghost of Drowned Meadow, tackles some very heavy themes, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, child abuse, suicide, and self-harm. It's a very focused novel, a hard, sharp nugget of dread and anxiety that rewards the reader with a wild climax and an affirming catharsis at the end. Not even my editor saw the twist coming...
Like my previous horror novel, this one is recommended for ages 8-12, and it will be in the Scholastic book fairs. It comes out February of 2024, so we've still got time to dig into a couple topics before launch (I promise no history lessons this time around!)
And stay tuned for more exiting book news soon!