The idea of “Nightfall Gardens” started with a dream that I had of a teenage girl who was performing on stage in front of an audience. In the front row, there was a man with shocking white hair and a scar across one of his cheeks. I woke up and jotted that image down.
As I started writing the first chapter I realized that I wanted to tip my hat to the books that I loved as a kid like Treasure Island, Dracula, Great Expectations, H.P. Lovecraft and so on. There’s a little nod to all of those works in the series.
I also set out to try and write the creepiest YA trilogy that I could. I feel like most Middle Grade or YA books that purport to be scary, actually shy away from delivering real chills as if the author (or publisher) doesn’t think that kids can handle it.
The scenes of the monstrous staff that takes care of the haunted house in “Nightfall Gardens” and the creatures that live in the ghostly gardens outside of the house are the things that I get emails about the most. I think kids are more resilient than they are given credit for.