Scott Tracey has stopped by today to let us know some of his favorite books as a child.
My absolute favorite book when I was a child was The Secret Garden. In my ten year old brain, there was nothing superior than a creepy manse located near the moors. Just think about it, a fearsome but rarely seen uncle, a scary house matron, a secret cousin, a wild friend, and a hidden world locked away that only you could enter. I loved the idea of a hidden world, of a place no one else knew about. I was always on the lookout for the next hideout (under the cab of a trunk my uncle had left behind our garage, a tiny hill in the woods, etc).
I never actually owned a copy of the book - I checked it out of the library so many times I might as well have, though. And I was someone who regularly checked out 10-12 books every time, so to get the same book over and over again (and waste the slot for another book) was a big deal. Even when I'd already moved on to reading adult books when I was in the fifth and sixth grades, I would still go back and reread TSG whenever life was less than stellar. The Secret Garden is, and always will be, my perfect rainy day book.
One of my other favorite series growing up was the Three Investigators novels (less popular than Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, but infinitely more appealing to me growing up), and they, too, had a secret hideout where they met up to discuss their cases. I mean, they had a secret hideout. Of course they were vastly superior to the Hardy Boys.
And then there's my favorite unappreciated author. I say that, because growing up, I never knew anyone else who'd ever read one of her books. Zilpha Keatley Snyder wrote The Headless Cupid and The Egypt Game, which were two of my favorite books growing up. When I was in high school I found out she'd actually written a lot more than those two books, and got to get reacquainted all over again.
Also, for the fear factor, there was John Bellairs. He wrote scary stories - kind of a precursor to the Goosebumps series, but more serious and creepy. He was kind of the book version of Are You Afraid of the Dark (and if you remember that show, you are super awesome). The House with a Clock in its Walls, The Face in the Frost, and other books absolutely fascinated me, and were some of the first books I remember reading, that made me want to write, too.
So there it is. Some of my favorite books from my childhood. Secret rooms, scary stories, and headless supernatural creatures. I'd say that explains why I write the things that I do.