Stephanie Lawton - Shrapnel
• Pub Date: January 18, 2013
• Publisher: Evernight Publishing
• Format: Paperback / Ebook, 212 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult
It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.
Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.
None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.
Created Storyworlds with Ghosts/Paranormals
by Stephanie Lawton
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
That phrase, taken from a 19th-century British novel, paints a scene in which we can feel the rain whipping our faces, hear the howling of the wind and sense that something is about to go bump in the night.
It’s that sense of foreboding and fear—experienced from the comfort of our own, safe homes—that often draws us to creepy movies, scary books, and urban legends furtively whispered at slumber parties.
When I set out to write Shrapnel, I wanted to re-create those feelings. Vampires, fallen angels and werewolves had been done time and again in YA, but I couldn’t find many examples of a good, old-fashioned ghost story. Neither could I find much YA horror. Now that’s scary!
Because I believe real-life monsters are much worse than anything we can imagine in fiction, I wanted my book to be as close to reality as possible. In essence, it’s a contemporary novel … with ghosts (magical realism). The characters have horrendous issues to deal with, and the fact that they’re being played like pawns by a murderous ghost is almost secondary to the story.
Here’s how he’s described when we first meet him:
Despite the landscape lights, he looks solid, not like a spirit at all. No haze, no shapeless black shadow figure …. This close, it’s obvious he’s not much older than me, maybe a few years. He’s the most human, solid-looking spirit I've ever encountered—if that’s what he is.
However, seeing ghosts is nothing new for the main character, so I had to make him extraordinary. So what’s scarier than a murderous ghost bent on revenge? A sexy, smooth-talking murderous ghost bent on revenge, one who makes you question whether or not he’s a villain at all.
“You must give voice to your fears and desires. You must name them aloud in order to conquer them or make them come true.”
Does that sound like your typical villain? Or does he turn the black and white world of good v. evil on its head?
It’s those gray areas in life (and death) that drew me to the paranormal—the metaphorical shadows we try to avoid in real life, but we love to poke and prod in fiction.
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.
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