the scenario imagining a young Asian punk rock girl standing against one of the doors, head phones on, tapping to her own rhythm as something appeared out of the dark in the glass behind her. That image lingered after the subway started back up. Who was that girl? What were those creatures? The first chapter took shape in my mind.
Almost two years have passed since that happened: two years of tumultuous upheavals, big and small, in our little corners of the globe and around the world. There’s never been a period in my life that so much change seems to be happening to so many in such a short period. The Shadow Of All Things was written in that whirlwind and I’ve tried to do my best to write an entertaining story that also touches on the fear permeating our times.
I’d like to thank the artist Colleen Stiles for her patience as we navigated this long strange trip. I missed several deadlines and we went back to the drawing board on the cover and illustrations (that I’ll reveal in the not far future) several times before we settled on the one you are looking at now. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. The cover pays respect to NYC and also captures a foreboding, anxious quality in the text.
Thanks so much to my family, friends and of course, the readers of my books for bearing with me. The Shadow Of All Things will be coming out in late May. Stay tuned for more details including an autographed copy of the book, illustration reveal and more.
A review of "Nightfall Gardens" by the Read to my Heart's Content blog.
"Mr. Houston wove an exciting tale that flows smoothly throughout the story. I really had a hard time putting the book down. I am pretty much obsessed with this series now."
For the complete review, please visit Read To My Heart's Content
A review of The Shadow Garden from Scarlet's Web
"The story was as imaginative, dark and full of wonders and horrors as the first one. "
For the complete review, please visit Scarlet's Web
Here's an interview that I did with Brittney Porterfield of BrittneysBookNook about the Nightfall Garden series and the next series that I'm working on.
What was your inspiration for Nightfall Gardens?
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.