Welcome to Spooky Season on the FCBG Blog! For the rest of the month we are featuring titles that are sure to scare, thrill and chill! We kick off Spooky Season with a Q&A with author Lisi Harrison about her new series, Graveyard Girls.
Where did the idea come from to develop a slightly scary middle grade series?
Daniel Kraus and I had teamed up for a Spotify project. After it wrapped, we realized we enjoyed working together, so we came up with a project that combined our favorite genres: horror and tween drama. I’ll let you guess which one of us favored horror. Clue: His name rhymes with Flaniel Sprouse.
The characters we meet all have their own issues and challenges, did you map these characters out to be representative of society today?
We always want our characters to feel relevant, so, yes, we intentionally made them modern and grounded. At the same time, we wanted them to be aspirational, so we tossed in a few unusual traits to make them more compelling than the typical tween next door. For example, how many sixth graders journal at cemeteries (alone!), wear cloaks to sleepovers, and sneak into dilapidated haunted prisons? It’s a balance.
The design of the book and its illustrations are brilliantly spooky and different, how pleased were you when you first saw a finished copy? Will future books have a similar design and colour scheme?
We are absolutely obsessed with the design and illustrations (shout out to Flavia Sorrentino!). They’re the perfect mix of creepy and cool. And the best part? Close the book and turn it so the pages face you. See the grey streak down the middle? That’s the horror story, so you’ll always know when you’re getting closer. Future books will have the same look but a different color scheme. Did I mention we were obsessed?
Why do you think young readers develop a fascination with scary stories?
Scary stories are a safe way to test your limits and flirt with danger. Young readers are in a period of self-discovery and establishing their identities. Horror is a fun way to see what you’re made of.
Did you read scary stories when you were younger?
The deepest I went were the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, which were scary enough for me. I preferred the horrors of real-life friend drama.
What can we expect from this series?
This series is flat-out fun. The Graveyard Girls have funny inside jokes, creepy rituals, and rapport that is so genuine readers will want to either join their group or start one of their own. The horror is top-notch, but it won’t keep you up at night. The page-turning plot will.
R.I.P (Read in pieces!)
Graveyard Girls, 1-2-3-4 I Declare a Thumb War is written by Lisi Harrison and Daniel Kraus. It is illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino and published by Union Square & Co.