Guest Post – Talking Point by Lou Morgan
Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.
They were basically what I was reading and enjoying as a young adult and thanks to the author Juno Dawson, who started #PointHorrorBookClub on her website in 2013, I have started to re-read these books that I used to rush to the shops every weekend and buy and sit for the whole weekend reading.
Juno announced in January 2015 that she was no longer able to carry on #pointhorrorbookclub and with her blessing I am going to try and carry it on with version 2! Juno has done a fantastic job – I hope I can keep up her good work *gulps*
For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new please click here
I know lots of people who hold Point Horror close to their hearts and one of those people is author Lou Morgan, who when I spoke to her at #UKYAEXTRAVANGANZA seemed really excited to talk about Point Horror and her love for it. Therefore I have invited Lou to do a guest post for us all about her love for all things Point Horror!
Check out Lou’s YA Horror read – Sleepless! It’s awesome!
Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming – and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the friends begin taking the study drug. But as the side effects take hold they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams. “…creepy, claustrophobic and pant-wettingly scary…” Kim Curran, author of Shift. Lou Morgan’s terrifying novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.
It’s very exciting to have Lou here on Tales…I feel very honoured…so thank you so much Lou!
*Hands microphone to Lou*
I was at a publishing event a while ago when I was introduced to an editor I hadn’t met before. When I realised who she was, I made a strange noise and asked whether I could hug her. Remarkably unfazed by this, she didn’t even try to run away, and actually continued our conversation. I, meanwhile, was grinning like an idiot. Because the editor I’d just yelped at was Anne Finnis, and she was responsible for bringing us Point Horror.
The town I grew up in didn’t have much by way of bookshops when I was young: Ottakar’s didn’t show up there until I was in my mid-teens, so up till then the only high street bookshop we had was WHSmiths. Like most of my friends, I was knee-deep in a Sweet Valley High addiction and having read all the books in the series the library had, was always on the lookout for another one in town. I hung around that shelf a lot. So I remember when a couple of new books – ones I hadn’t seen before – turned up. I remember the slightly jagged font of the imprint name on the side: shaky and unnerving. I remember how different it felt to be picking one of those off the shelf. The Point Horrors had arrived.
I’d read horror before, of course: I’d had books of scary children’s stories when I was younger, and my best friend’s older sister was crazy about Stephen King (which meant my best friend was too). They’d lent me a couple of books, but these… these were different.
These were books about people my age, in school. They were about being popular (or not). They were about having friends, not having friends, doing well at school, not doing well at school; they were about girlfriends and boyfriends and being fed up with your parents. They could have been about me.
If I’d been, say, a middle-class American teenager who was most likely a cheerleader in high school and who spent all her weekends buying prom dresses at the mall… which I wasn’t. But, boy, did I want to be.
I fell in love with Point Horror very quickly. If I’m entirely honest, I’ll admit that the first book like this I bought wasn’t actually a Point Horror – it was Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter 2. (Because reading the first book in a series is for conformists, and I was a rebel. Or more likely, I bought it because it had black-edged pages and I knew it would annoy the hell out of my mother.)
I bought them as fast as they came into the shop, and pestered the poor librarians in our local library. Sweet Valley High was immediately forgotten, and my collection was traded for a stack of well-thumbed Point Horrors. Teacher’s Pet, The Cheerleader, The Beach House, My Secret Admirer… Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who’d caught the bug, and soon there was an unofficial book club going at school, swapping books and dissecting the stories.
My particular favourite – which a friend managed to track down a brand new copy of for a recent birthday – was always The Perfume. It’s utterly bananas, even by PH standards, but there was something so alarming about the idea of another person taking over your body, pretending they were you: how would anyone be able to tell, and which would be worse – if they could, or if they couldn’t? It stuck with me more than any other book in the series.
I still have huge affection for the Point Horror series. There was – is – something about them that speaks to the fears we have as teenagers, wrapped up in the kind of stories that I certainly loved back then, and still do. My love for them is part nostalgia and part admiration: they introduced a whole generation of readers (and writers among them) to horror that they could connect with, that felt like it was theirs.
So when I met Anne Finnis, it wasn’t just the adult me who loves YA and horror, or the me who had had the chance to write her own version of the books she loved growing up who wanted to hug her. It was the much younger me: the one who had just discovered something that felt like it was meant for her. And for that, for Point Horror, I will always be grateful.
Lou Morgan is an award-nominated adult and YA author. Her first novel, Blood and Feathers – an adult urban fantasy – was published by Solaris Books in 2012 and the follow-up, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion, was released in the summer of 2013.
Her first YA novel, Sleepless, will be published by Stripes / Little Tiger Press as part of their Red Eye horror series in January 2015.
She has been nominated for three British Fantasy Awards (Best Newcomer and twice for Best Fantasy Novel) and her short stories have appeared in anthologies from Solaris Books, PS Publishing and Jurassic. She has also written genre novel-related features for magazines including Future Publishing’s SFX.
Born in Wales and a graduate of University College London, she now lives in Bath with her family.
Or check Out Lou’s website here
You can also check out all of Lou’s books here
Check out another guest post by Lou Morgan about The Babadook and Sleepless Inspiration here
Also a Spotlight Post on Sleepless by Lou Morgan here
Why not join in Point Horror Book Club and the discussion on the 13th of every month?
You can find links to all #PointHorrorBookClub posts here
Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy
Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are the a whole load of cray cray?
A huge huge thank you to Lou for featuring on Tales and a huge round of applause for such a fab guest post!
*claps hands excitedly*
Do you remember Point Horror? Which was your favourite? Would you like to join in on #pointhorrorbookclub ?
Happy Point Horror-ing!