As a kid, I was obsessed with Halloween. Like most kids, I guess. I mean, free candy! Candy was extremely rare in our house, so each year on October 31, I’d amass as much of it as possible, come back to the house for the sister swap (I had three sisters, we each had different preferences, and usually at least one of us had braces that made some treats taboo), and then put my final collection in a shoe box. Showing willpower that I can only dream about today, I strictly rationed my stash so that it lasted as long as possible. My record was the year I stretched it till Valentine’s Day.
So it’s fitting that I now have books that bookend Halloween and Valentine's Day. Trick Arrr Treat, published a couple of years ago, started with the piratical wordplay of the title, and then I just went along for the ride. Pirates were a big deal to my son when he was little. When we went to the beach, we’d bring along his pirate hat and flag, and we’d bury some kind of treasure for him to dig up. This year, I have a new book, called A Valentine for Frankenstein. It's kind of a Halloween-Valentine's Day mash-up, and a story about feeling comfortable in your own (green) skin.
In both of these stories, one of the best parts of the writing process was coming up with the characters’ names. I think everyone should have a pirate name and/or a monster name. What’s yours?