Cate: Please welcome Tory to my special Halloween celebration. Tory, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tory: Hi, Cate! I am a dark fantasy writer, and I live in the south of England. I’m crazy about horror, and so Halloween is definitely my favourite holiday.
Cate: It ranks right up there with Christmas, doesn't it? What do you love most about Halloween?
Tory: The energy surrounding it. People make far much more of an effort with their costumes at Halloween than they ever would for other holidays, probably because it’s more fun, and more people like to get involved. I also love monsters and ghouls, and the randomness of walking down the street and into a zombie kinda pleases me!
Cate: I agree, it's great having Fantasyland for an evening. Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Tory: My friend Amy holds the town’s biggest Halloween party, everybody flocks to her house. One year, two of her uncles got into a fight. Not a funny statement in itself, but as one was dressed as Yoda, and the other Uncle Fester, it was easily the funniest thing I have ever seen!
Cate: Would've made a hilarious video, I'm sure! Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Tory: I have actually. Recently, I've been waking up feeling like somebody’s woken me, like they’ve been shaking me awake. It’s happened probably five times in the last month. And I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve turned around because I was sure I heard my name called. Although this is in my house, and I live alone.
Cate: Yikes! How spooky. What frightens you the most?
Tory: Hmm. I’m not sure! I’m not easy to scare. I love the dark, not bothered by ghosts, and I think the zombie apocalypse will be an eye-opening experience. If I had to pick something though, I’d say being chased. I cannot stand slasher films where the killers walk after their prey. How rubbish is that? Who’d be frightened of something which frankly, you could roll away from? No, they’re ridiculous. I'm far more nervous of the fiends that run at you like their lives depend on it. There’s a desperation there to catch you, and that really gets my blood pumping.
Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Tory: I did! I was once involved in an overnight investigation with around twenty other people. We were in an old, dilapidated mansion in the middle of the English countryside. It was a very unusual night, and many things happened that was hard to rationalise later on. And I tried to.
Also, randomly, I once filmed a re-enactment piece for an episode of Ghost Hunters! That kinda counts, right?
Cate: Too cool! That sounds like fun. Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Tory: Not a recipe, but if you're bored of carving pumpkins, you can make a water melon brain. I like it because it’s easy; You peel the water melon, then carve through the light green pulp in little channels so that it looks like a big, juicy brain!
Cate: Oh, I love it. Thanks for the great pic. Please tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Tory: My book is the first in the supernatural series Darkseed, and is called Darkseed: Awakening. It’s a teen horror series, and involves ghosts, magic, and occult stuff. The feedback I'm consistently getting is that it is “actually really creepy”, so if you like things that have you looking over your shoulder and searching the shadows for ‘things’, then you’ll probably like it.
It’s available from my publisher MuseItUp Publishing, but I recommend first downloading the free sample on Amazon. You’ll get the idea from the first few chapters as to whether you’ll enjoy it
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Tory: Sarah Walton hasn’t had a great year. First, her parents divorced and she had to move out of the only home she has ever known; her uncle is unwell with a serious illness, and on top of all this, she is studying hard for her end of school exams.
And then there's the ghost in Sarah's bedroom. The one who is desperate to get her attention…
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Tory: I love the supernatural. I’ve always been fascinated by other-worldly experiences and ideas. I find spirits, mediums, Ouija boards and magic all compelling subjects, and the Darkseed books are really there for me to explore them all.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Tory: I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, and I’d love to see photos! Post a picture on my wall at www.facebook.com/DarkseedAwakening or tweet them to me @toriley by November 5th, and my favourites will get a free eCopy of the book.
Cate: What a neat idea!
Thanks for being part of the Halloween fun, Tory!
According to an old saying, if a candle's flame goes out on Halloween, then a ghost is visiting you.
If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one looking out for you.
Ancients believed ghosts could be weighed down, so used tombstones to keep them in place.
Because some believed spirits could only travel in a straight line, mazes found at the entrance to many ancient tombs may have been intended to keep the spirit of the dead from returning to the world.
Some people believed that a person's soul remained for 24 hours after death. Members of the family, or friends of the deceased, often sat with the body of their loved one to prevent the devil from stealing the soul.
If a dead person’s eyes are left open, he’ll find someone to take with him.
If you touch a loved one who has died, you won’t dream about them.
If you look at your shadow in the moonlight on All Hallows Eve, death will find you.
Thunder following a funeral means that the dead person's soul has reached heaven.
If you see an owl diving on Halloween night, it's coming to take your soul away.