Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gretchen McNeil

Gretchen McNeil is a former coloratura soprano and was the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys, and she currently sings with the L.A.-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is a founding member of vlog group the YARebels—where she can be seen as "Monday"—and is an active member of the Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle-grade fantasy writers. Her latest novel is Ten.

Last month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Since it's Halloween, and I'm about to start writing a new horror pitch after the holidays, I'm rereading some of my favorite scary stories for "inspiration." Here are my two favorites...

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I love a good ghost story (even though James himself insisted this novella isn't actually about ghosts...whatever), and this turn of the century tale of a governess with possibly supernatural charges is one of the best. Kids can be creepy, and Miles and Flora take that to a whole new level. You've got possession, murder, lust, revenge - all tied up in two very disturbed children. This novella is drippingly gothic, and James spins the setting and tension so tightly, the reader is practically in a frenzy to find out what happens.

Hell House by Richard Matheson. Haunted house books are, by far, my favorite scary read. And Matheson, better known for another horror classic I am Legend, delivers the best, scariest, freakiest, creepiest, down right horrifying haunted house novel ever. Belasco House is the epitome of a haunted house, what all others should aspire to, as much of a character as the four fools who have to spend the night there. It's simultaneously scream-inducing and gory, page-turning and horrid. Like watching a train wreck - you literally cannot put this book down, even though you'll want to.
Visit Gretchen McNeil's website.

--Marshal Zeringue