Teen Shiver Tabs

October 18, 2011

Books That Go 'Bump' in the Night

Hey Peeps! I’m Jennifer Archer and I’d like to welcome you to the TeenShiver blog. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing group of talented Texas YA authors, and I’m especially excited that we all write stories about characters that are a bit – or a lot – unusual, or find themselves in unusual situations. My debut YA novel, THROUGH HER EYES, is that kind of book.

Tansy Piper, the heroine of THROUGH HER EYES, is like any girl you might meet at school, or living in the house next door. But when she moves with her mom and her grandfather to a small Texas town and into an isolated old house, Tansy’s life becomes anything but normal. As Tansy takes pictures around the property surrounding her new home, through the lens of her camera she sees glimpses into the black-and-white world of Henry – the teenaged boy who lived in the same house decades before and whose ghost now haunts it. Henry, the local legend, is rumored to have killed himself at the age of seventeen, but he won’t rest until his true story is known. In Tansy, Henry believes he’s found his messenger.

It makes sense that I was drawn to write a ghost story. I love most things eerie, creepy, quirky, scary and weird. Halloween. Johnny Depp. (Well, okay, Johnny isn’t eerie, creepy or scary, but he is sort of quirky and weird!) Books that go 'bump' in the night. As a reader, I enjoy the kind of books that make me want to lock all the doors, curl up in bed under the covers on a rainy, or snowy, or windy night, and read. Moody, eerie, atmospheric books. When I set out to write THROUGH HER EYES, that’s the sort of story I hoped to create.

I also wanted to write a character I understood, and I can definitely relate to Tansy. Like her, I never stayed long in one place when I was growing up. In fact, I moved more than twenty times before the age of eleven! My family finally settled in the Texas Panhandle, where the book is set, when I was sixteen.

Although I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age, I didn’t know how to pursue writing as a career, so I pushed that dream aside for a number of years. I graduated from college with a business degree and worked in the business world for a while before reigniting my desire to write by enrolling in a creative writing class. Five years later, I sold my first book, then went on to publish eight more novels and three novellas for adults before THROUGH HER EYES found a home at Harper Teen.

Hmm, what else...? I, of course, live in the Lone Star State, in the flat and windy Panhandle, home of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world. I have two awesome sons, one fabulous husband, and two fun-loving, crazy-making dogs – Harry, a dachshund, and Marge, a proud mutt.

Okay, that’s me. Now I want to know about you. Watch the trailer for THROUGH HER EYES, then leave a comment to this post telling me if, like Tansy, you’ve ever had a ghostly experience, and I’ll give one of you an autographed copy of THROUGH HER EYES. Have a happy, safe and creepy Halloween!


  1. Hmm, a ghostly experience. Alright here I go.

    After my mom got a divorce we moved in a refurbished trailer. I took the room at the end of the hallway. At first everything was okay, till I came home and my mother yelled at me for writing on the wall with crayons. I was shocked cause I was 12 years old. I no longer did that. I told her that I had no idea what she is talking about. Needless to say that I still had to scrub the crayon off the wall.

    It began at night. I heard a little girl calling out my name to come play with her. I awoke instantly only to find that the water was running in the bathroom. Getting out of bed, I walk in the restroom turning it off, only to have it turn back on as soon as I turn my back. I think right there, I must have aged 10 years. I screamed running to my mom's room. She came to investigate only to tell me that it was my "imagination." After that, things seems to settle down, when again crayon appeared on the wall. This time, my mom could not blame me cause I was away at my fathers for the weekend. My mom finally believed me. The crayon on the wall spelled out "Savannah and Jessica Friends Forever" let's just say I knew no Jessica.

    Mostly the ghost like to just cause chaos but really did no harm. After a few years, we moved out of the trailer and into a new home. My mother was giving the keys back to the man after inspecting that everything had was moved out and we left nothing behind. I whispered to my mom to ask him about the ghost.

    He admitted that he did not say anything cause he did not want to lose the deal on renting the trailer to us. He said that right before we moved in a little girl was murdered in the room at the end of the hallway and her name was Jessica.

    My eyes widen as my pulsed raced.I tighten my hold on my mother, not believing my ears. She thanked the guy and we quickly walked back to car driving away.

  2. Ohmygosh, Savannah! What an eerie experience! Thanks for sharing it. I can only imagine what a shock it was to hear that the girl was killed in your bedroom and that she had the same name as the ghost!

  3. The music in that trailer TOTALLY freaks me out! Lol :0

  4. When I was a kid, we moved into this old farmhouse that had a really bad smell in the basement. My 5 y/o brother started waking up screaming that a man with a bloody face would stand at the foot of his bed. He did this night after night. We'd also hear footsteps coming up from the basement in the evenings sometimes. When we found out a man had committed suicide by shooting himself in the face in that basement, my parents hired an exorcist. It worked. The smell went away and my brother could sleep at night.
    I know this sounds to creepy to be true but it IS! *gaa*

  5. I just checked Through Her Eyes out from the library! Can't wait to read it.

    I don't have a ghost story to share but I wouldn't be opposed to encountering a spirit from the beyond. I don't scare easily. :o)


  6. Lindsay, that wind chimey music is creepy, isn't it? Just the tone I wanted. ;-) Melodie, WOW. I've never known anyone who hired an exorcist. That sends a chill up my spine about your brother! I'm glad the exorcism worked! Lostnthestacks, I hope you enjoy Through Her Eyes! And just your comment alone enters you in the contest for the book.

  7. Lindsay, that wind chimey music is creepy, isn't it?! I thought it fit the tone of the book so well. The woman who designed my trailer did a great job, I think!

  8. Great post, Jenny! And I love hearing about how you found your way to YA. Or should I say, how YA found its way to you? ;)

    I'm tweeting this! And LOVE your book trailer, as you know. :)

  9. I agree that music had me looking over my shoulder and the book sounds totally awesome!!

    Ghostly experience..

    This experience involves my mom and me and it really freaked us out. It began when I was maybe 15 and my sister was around 8 when my mom began seeing smoky mists at night strangely it was usually always around 2 or 3 in the morning. The first episode my mom said she heard a whisper like somebody was calling her and she looked over my dads side of the bed and there was a light mist in a human form and she thought it was one of us kids but she said when she reached out to it it backed into my bedroom and was gone. She doesn't say anything figuring it was just a dream but the next time it happened she said she was awoken by a figure at the foot of her bed. She thought it was me and asked what was wrong? She said I walked around to her side of the bed and sat down and said I cant sleep for all this noise. By the time she sat up in bed and got her bearings she was about to ask what noise but she said I was gone. She said she actually felt the bed dent in where I had sat. Thinking something was wrong with me she got up to check on me but said I was fast asleep so obviously it had not been me!

  10. You don't know wind if you haven't lived in the Texas Panhandle. I am definitely going to have to read Through Her Eyes.

    Fellow Texas Panhandlelonian,

  11. I LOVED the trailer! The music was so eerie. I haven't had any ghostly encounters, I think. But, when I was little, I used to hear voices whispering in my room and think the eyes on pictures were moving. Needless to say, I was terrified to go to sleep.

    Thanks for the giveway!

  12. Just pointing out that Savannah is first again! She's a true TeenShiver fan!!!

  13. Love all the stories, girls. Thanks for sharing! I will number your names, toss the numbers in a hat and choose a winner in the morning. I'll post the name here!

  14. Hey there! I had a friend choose numbers and Andrea won the copy of THROUGH HER EYES! Thanks to all of you for posting and entering. I hope you'll keep visiting the blog. I'll be giving away more books with future posts and I'm sure the other TeenShiver authors will be doing cool things, too!