Friday, 27 September 2013
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to have Majanka Verstraete on the blog today. Lets see what she has to say..........
Find something that scares you When I started writing Fractured, I knew I wanted to write the kind of book that would scare people. The kind of scary that creeps up on you when you least expect it. The problem is that scaring people isn’t all that easy. Then I came across an image of a mirror on the internet. The mirror was cracked, and a pale figure was locked behind the glass. The figure resembled a phantom, with a long, grey face and hollow eyes. The first thing I thought when seeing that image was: this is it. Mirrors have always scared me.
When I was a kid, I came up with this stupid idea (that still has me traumatized). I stood in front of a mirror and looked in the eyes of my reflection. I invite you to give it a shot. Calm your breathing and stare into your own gaze. I lasted about five minutes like that. But the key is that, the longer you do it, the creepier it gets. You can see black shadows from the corners of your eyes, for instance. And you start to feel like that person looking at you from the other side of the mirror isn’t even you… Clearly, I’m not the only person who thinks mirrors are frightening. In Victorian times, people covered up all mirrors in the house when a person died, because they feared the deceased’ soul may enter one of the mirrors and get stuck forever.
When playing the Candyman game or Bloody Mary, one has to stand in front of a mirror and say “Candyman” or “Bloody Mary” a number of times before the ghost appears. And we all know the already stereotypical scene in many horror movies. A character stands in front of a mirror and suddenly a ghost, or something else that makes us jump in our seat, appears in the mirror reflection, standing behind the character. Lots of cultures think mirrors are gateways or portals to another world, some kind of spirit realm. I wanted to combine this lore along with many urban legends I read about mirrors, into a story. That’s how Fractured was born. However, to be able to scare people, just finding an item that would scare me, wasn’t enough. I had to make the main character, Piper, go through things that would’ve scared me too. I had to crawl inside the darker corners of my mind and think about what would be truly terrifying. While writing, I often glanced behind my shoulder, half and half expecting to see something there, a vague shape or a dark shadow, or something worse. Shivers crawled down my spine and one day, I even had a nightmare based on what I was writing. But I saw all of that as good stuff. When you’re writing horror, and you can’t even scare yourself, then how can you ever expect to scare someone else?
About the book
About the book
When Piper discovers an old antique mirror on the attic of her new home, she has no idea what terror she unlocked. Eerie shadows lurking in the night and estranged voices crying out for help are only the beginning. As Piper’s world comes crumbling down, she realizes everything that she believed was imaginary, might have been real all along. Something is very wrong with that mirror. And if she doesn’t find out what, the mirror might end up killing her. With some help of old and new friends, Piper tries to get to the bottom of the mystery. One thing is for certain: the mirror preys on the guilty. But what exactly is she guilty of?
NOTE: The Mirrorland Series is a trilogy of young adult paranormal books focusing on the mirrorland, a world where lost souls dwell and are being tormented by nightmarish creatures – purgatory.The ruler of this Mirrorland is none other than the Horseman of Death, a legendary creature and harbinger of the Apocalypse. After spending years taking care of the souls of the deceased – hunting them down to bring them before the judges, who decide whether they get thrown into hell or ascend to heaven – the Horseman comes up with a plan to escape this hellish dimension, and to come back to earth. But in order to do that, he needs someone to break one of the seals of the Apocalypse… Fractured is the first book in this series.
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Majanka Verstraete is a twenty-two-year old Belgian law school student. Writing is her passion, and has been ever since she learned how to read.
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.
Her debut picture book, Valentina and the Haunted Mansion, released on May 20th, 2013. She has four books coming up in September 2013. The first is another picture book in the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series, titled Valentina and the Whackadoodle Witch. Then there’s the first two books of her debut chapter book series titled Weirdville, The Doll Maker and House of Horrors. Her debut young adult novel, Fractured, the first book in theMirrorland series, will release in September as well.