I am so excited to have Ripley here to share with us a special guest post just for Something Wicked. Her YA series the PSS Chronicles is fantastic and if you haven't tried it yet now is the perfect time because the first book in the series Ghost Hand is FREE on Amazon!
But now I am getting ahead of myself here aren't I?
Before I get onto the guest post, don't forget to check out today's other great stops on the tour.
Beth@Living A Goddess Life: Beth Wade: Phantasmagloria
Melanie@Dispatches from Hamletville: Melanie Karsak: Chasing the Star Garden
I love this series, I really do, it is unique and fun and just different, not to mention, very well written.
Ripley's latest book Ghost Hold, the second book in the PSS Chronicles is out as well so make sure and grab a copy of that one too!
Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she's not the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers' list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn't expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.
Ripley doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.
Frolicking with Monsters: Why Halloween and Dark YA are good for us
By Ripley Patton
Every year On October 31st or All Hallows Eve , adults and children of all ages dress up in guises of fear, monstrosity, and horror. They go out into the dark chill of the night, small and large, breathing heavily inside their masks, their hearts pounding, as the people they once knew as neighbors, friends and siblings become the creatures of their very nightmares. Adults do this too, yes. But this event is mostly for children and teens. The youngest of us dressed in blood and gore, carrying an ax and someone's severed head, and asking politely for candy.
What a strange thing to do. What an odd ritual to indoctrinate our children into. Except it isn't once you understand that every culture has a ritual for teaching its young people to face their fears. Death is a reality for every human being. That ghost, or ghoul, or rotting corpse stumbling past you on Halloween; that's all of us, eventually. That werewolf? Yes, there are animals in this world that will try to kill and eat you. That psycho with the Scream mask? Yes, there are bad people too. Very. Bad. People. There is darkness in this world we live in. Deep darkness. And our children know it long before we want them to. Should we protect them from that as much as we can? Yes. Should we equip them to deal with it for the times when they inevitably encounter it? Absolutely.
You see, frolicking with monsters makes us brave. Not just that, but putting on and becoming our own fear makes us even braver. When your child dresses up as a ghost or a witch or the monster that lives under their bed, they are defeating those fears. They are dawning the mask of their own terror and laughing through its very face. By becoming the very thing they are most frightened of, they diminish its power over them. And they do this with their friends and family at night, all while raking in the candy or playing harmless tricks on their neighbors.
This is where Halloween and dark, edgy, Young Adult books come together.
Fiction is a teenager's perpetual Halloween. No, it’s a perpetual Halloween for ALL AGES. Through books we become the characters we love, and despise, and fear. Books are the safe-house of our imaginations, a place where we can dress up as all manner of dark things without suffering the real-life risks or consequences. Through the magic of books we can date the ancient vampires or kiss the loyal werewolf, and decide which we like better (Go Team Jacob). We can grow up as a wizard and vanquish our own Dementors (you know there really are people who will suck the very life out of you). We can ride or tame the fire-eating dragon. We can win the desperate Hunger Games and free our oppressed society. Through books we can practice the bravery we need in our everyday lives. And we will get braver.
That is why I'm tired of hearing people say that Young Adult Fiction has gotten too dark.
I have two teenagers myself, and they have faced some pretty tough things in their lives. By the time I was thirteen, I had faced the death of two immediate family members, my brother and my mother. That's more death than many adults have dealt with. And reading fiction about characters my age dealing with death was a huge help to me. It still is.
So, yes, I write about death in my YA books. And I write about cutting and religion and about how kids are treated in the foster care system. I write about my own fears- of cancer and doctors of what it feels
like to be different. I write to face my fears, to put them on like a mask and laugh straight through them to the other side. I frolic with monsters every day.
And I intend to keep doing it.
I hope you'll come frolic with me.