I have been getting rather excited this week, since it's my favourite season - Halloween approaches! I may be 51 on Halloween this year, but I still feel a thrill when I drive past the pumpkin stall at the local farm, and 'Trick or Treat' goodies fill the shops. I was born just after midnight on All Hallow's Eve 1964, so I am definitely quite far into crone territory these days, but 'The Season of the Witch' excites me every bit as much today as it always did. All those years of parties!
I even got married at Halloween (in a black dress, with orange flowers, naturally!) - and then had a hand fasting to follow in a fabulous gothic library. I am Halloween Girl.
I have been thinking though - does 'The Halloween Effect' go even deeper than a love of candy corn and a penchant for all things pumpkin? It certainly seems to. It has affected my reading - I have a lifetime membership to 'Cemetery Dance' magazine and Ray Bradbury is my favourite author.
I'd say it affects my writing, certainly. I have written a significant number of supernatural and scary things, including series fiction about a haunted school - 'Too Ghoul for School' and 'Walking with Witches,' about girls haunted by the spirits of women from the witch trials in Newcastle in the 1600s. I have two writing projects currently; one is about a haunted metro station, and another is about a strange bat-like boy - so I think it is safe to say that Halloween is a rich thread running through my work!
I even make pumpkins and witches as part of my 'day job' - apart from writing, I teach craft classes in felting and creating altered books. The past few weeks have been all about Halloween! At Faerierealms, I have been making garden witches, pumpkin shaped altered books (from scruffy old books bound for the recycling bin) and tiny felted pumpkins. I'm even writing a craft book about how to make them.
So hopefully this week will be a productive time for me, writing-wise, as a result of the smell of pumpkin spice and candle wax - and the visits from little Trick-or-Treaters. Look out for my spooky offerings, coming to a bookshop near you. Happy Halloween!