Horror Writers Association
Email us.
Slasher TV
HWA on Instagram
Visit Us
Follow Me

Halloween Haunts: Halloween Mom by Nancy Holder


For many years, I dreamed of having a daughter, but no daughter came. When Belle finally showed up, I couldn’t imagine anything better—except that she missed being born on Halloween by three days. I thought that would have been perfect. But turns out that Belle and I share a lifestyle that includes Halloween as a season (and pretty much a year-round pursuit) so we have a house filled with a black Christmas tree up all year round, pirate and horror-themed art (and dishes, and table cloths) and a general love for gothy goodness.

I’ve hosted about a dozen Spooky Sleepovers that weren’t too spooky for the elementary-school set, including an entire backyard carnival complete with bounce-house, games, and prizes.  The emphasis was on cute-scary for a long time.  Hocus Pocus was almost too frightening, and we found ourselves putting away our elaborate props (I think we have three hundred Halloween items including a righteous fog machine) so Belle’s more timid (or religious) friends could manage to stay the entire night.

Before Belle came into my life, I spent many nights leading up to Halloween watching horror movie marathons while I packed for the World Fantasy Convention. Now I usually miss WFC because it’s too close to her birthday. And I keep the TV off because she’s got homework. As she’s turning Sweet Sixteen, I imagine that sooner than I’d like, I’ll be going to WFC again and watching all the movies I want whenever I want.

When I became a mom. I got much more timid about my horror-writer proclivities–I found myself toning down my writing. I became very protective of the psyches in my household. When we got our puppy, I put blankets up around his X-pen and watched Psycho on earphones so he wouldn’t be scarred by seeing or hearing it. I also hired a babysitter to make sure Belle never got to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I was writing all my Buffy books.

Now that she’s getting older, I’m getting bolder. Turns out she likes the scary! We’re getting ready to watch some creepy stuff together (Scream trilogy is on the docket) and I can’t wait!

Besides adoring Halloween, something else that Belle and I have in common is a love for Disneyland. Belle has “saved” a bunch of new stuff (Cars Land, for example) by not going to the Mouse for an entire year—no mean feat when you live 90 miles away and you have an annual pass. In three days from this post, we’re taking three of her best friends and staying at the Grand Californian Hotel, which is the most expensive hotel I’ve have ever stayed in in my life. Disneyland will be totally decked out for Halloween. The Haunted Mansion will be costumed in The Nightmare before Christmas overlay, and Belle has got some costume-y things arranged for her friends’ goodie bags. I’ve etsy’ed my way to a pumpkin theme featuring orange Birkenstocks.

So this is what it’s like in the Halloween house of a horror writer—we find real joy in our favorite season, and being the mom of my Halloween baby really is perfect.

Professionally, I’m very excited about my new venture with Chris Marie Green and Linda Sundstrom-Thomas. Together we are GothicScapes, and our first offering, UNDEAD FOR A DAY, is out just in time for Halloween. It’s a set of three novellas celebrating Samhain, and we’re planning another one called STRANGE SPIRITS, centering around the winter holidays. I hope you’ll check them out! Here’s the skinny: http://selenaillyria.com/2012/09/gothicscapes/ And here’s our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GothicScapes?fref=ts

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY: Nancy Holder is offering one copy each of her books Possession, The Evil Within, and The Screaming Season. To enter post a comment in the section below or e-mail memoutreach@horror.org and put HH CONTEST ENTRY in the header. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

Nancy Holder has received five Bram Stoker Awards from HWA and nominations for two more. Her novel Teen Wolf: On Fire is out now. She has stories in Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes  (November) and Shards and Ashes (February.) Additionally, she’ll appear in Deep Cuts and she has a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer tribute book coming out in December. Her twitter account is @nancyholder and you can check out her website at www.nancyholder.com

Read an excerpt from Possessions.

Read an excerpt from The Evil Within.

Read an excerpt from The Screaming Season.


















9 comments on “Halloween Haunts: Halloween Mom by Nancy Holder

  1. I loved Posessions, am getting ready to read The Evil Within, and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win The Screaming Season!! Great writer and Great series!

  2. I fell in LOVE with Nancy’s writing style when
    I read her book “Pretty Little Devils” (which I still have on my bookshelf)!!
    Honestly, wining these books would be like Christmas in October! <3
    Thank you & Nancy for making this sweet giveaway possible, I am
    crossing my fingers & toes for good luck lol

  3. Ha, Hi Nancy – waving! My name is, of course, Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, not the reversed last name, for those who wondered about that. LOL LOL Halloween has always been fun in our household, though there are no kids around here now, and I plan to celebrate with candy and scary movies with my UNDEAD FOR A DAY beautiful print book in my hands.
    Happy Monday!
    Great blog post.


  4. My husband and I are huge horror fans and that has changed to a certain degree after the birth of our daughter. We hope that she will like the suspense aspect horror and not just the gore. So far she thinks Halloween is great because of the candy.

  5. HH Contest Entry
    A woman after my own heart. A horror enthusiast and a Disney fan. Love Buffy as well.

  6. I hope my kids will take to horror as they get older. Right now my son is at the daily nightmare stage. My daughters is now 10 and has started to enjoy Twilight Zone, so I’m working her up to some other fun stories. They both love Halloween….and Disney of course. Fun share. Hope you enjoy your visit; it sounds wonderful. Thanks, Nancy.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial