The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief by Charles Day
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Publisher: Tantrum Books
As the townsfolk sleep, something creeps into the neighborhood. Hidden in shadows, its presence is as old as time itself, its intent not born of goodness.
Nick, a teenager who fancies himself a detective, wakes to find his carved masterpiece missing. Now a mystery is afoot, and Nick has his first assignment, to find out who or what is snatching up the town’s pumpkins and why.
Unfortunately, as with all great detectives, obstacles stand in Nick’s way—the neighborhood bully and his cronies, and the strange old lady and her dog who share the run-down house at the end of Nick’s block. As Nick investigates, an urban legend unravels . . . .
The Legend of The Pumpkin Thief.
Nick fears the legend as he embarks on the most dangerous adventure of his young life. Collecting clues, getting ever closer to the true nature of evil, he learns that curiosity comes with a high price.
Guest Post By Charles Day
What motivated you to choose the horror genre, and write The Legend of The Pumpkin Thief?
As a child, I always loved Halloween, including the night before. The cool, crisp autumn winds howling outside. The brisk air racing through my open windows. The colors of changing leaves, a golden brown or bright red and orange. These reminders always seem to get me in that halloweenish mood. But above all, it’s the costumes, the candy, and the scary movies played over and over on the TV, right around Halloween. These are the kinds of things that send chills up my spine, goose bumps all over my flesh, and make me love this holiday each year.
When I was young, Halloween was the night when all my friends and I would dress up and head out to cause terror and mayhem in our town. We’d gather our eggs and pick a few of the neighbors we despised all year long, and we’d send our yolk filled projectiles flying toward their windows, their doors, at whatever we could hit on their property. It was fair game for us.
Yes, we were twisted kids. We were out to cause trouble, but not only to our neighbors in town. There were the older kids, the seniors in our high school. Some of them were jocks, linebackers on the football team, or wrestlers who’d easily twist us like a pretzel if they managed to grab a hold of us. Of course, after a few Halloweens tossing eggs their way, or using shaving cream to cover their bikes or cars, they eventually caught onto us and found a way to exact their revenge.
I can still remember that one Halloween night years ago. You see, after finally catching on to our antics, they set a trap for us and unfortunately . . . we fell for it. Almost had my thirteen-year-old butt kicked by some really big boys that Halloween night. I’ll never forget. True fear of unknown proportions visited me in the dark woods that late evening.
They were successful in their trap because they armed themselves with walkie-talkies (hope I’m not showing my age here,) as part of their devilish idea. Dressed in their Halloween costumes and safely hidden behind masks, they strategically placed each other in different areas. Two were at one end of our block, an additional two at the other. Another was waiting on the opposite block for us. This was because many times we would jump over a neighbor’s fence, cross through the woods and come out on the next street over. Well, they knew all our secret paths by now. We were dead before we knew what was coming.
So, early this Halloween night we all left my parents’ house and headed on out to do some damage again in our neighborhood we always terrorized. We had our own costumes and our usual ammunition of eggs, shaving cream, and socks filled with baby powder. We were so ready.
When we finally found a few of these high school seniors congregated at the local country store, we were already hidden in a section of the woods, just a ways back. We secretly moved in closer, still safe behind large oaks and maple trees, and we tossed our eggs as far as our young arms could throw them, before running through the woods to the other street, scared, excited, full of adrenaline. Yes, the high from this chemical racing through our blood was so addictive. And then the screams were heard. “We’re going to get you little punks this year. You’re so dead!”
I’ll never forget the fear that Halloween night when we saw them coming from everywhere. We backtracked to get to our street, but they were already in front of my house, and two others were walking down the block toward my friend’s house. We were blocked in. Trapped!
They caught a few of us that night and drenched us in a mix of vinegar, oil, and who knows what else. Yep. Now that I look back, I’m just glad they didn’t kick the living snot out of our scrawny bodies. I’m guessing now that they felt we were too young, and the concoction they made up would have a lasting effect. Well, it sure did.
Halloween’s after that experience were still fun mind you, still filled with candy, parties, and scaring each other, but we did our best to hide whenever we saw the seniors roaming the neighborhood. I miss those days, though. But now I get to relieve these in my forthcoming children’s horror novel, THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF, which is making a comeback fall 2016 with Month 9 Books middle grade imprint, Tantrum Books. And I’m already working on the sequel. So I hope you all enjoy . . . The Halloween Legend.
The characters of my youth—both good and bad— only their names are changed, return to share their story again. I’ve added a new character to help me this time, a supernatural and evil, Pumpkin Thief, who decides to rein terror on this small fictitious neighborhood and especially those older kids who once messed with me. Now I call the shots. Hehehe!
This was my first YA novel, and soon after its first release back in 2012, it garnered many fans, caught the eyes of the Horror Writers Association, and quickly became nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award®. I didn’t win, but I received an awesome certificate as a finalist in the YA category.
After having 12 short stories published, I went on to write this Halloween tale, and never looked back. I wrote three more novels, getting them published over the last few years. Going into 2017, I’m still illustrating a comic book series based on my ADVENTURES OF KYLE McGERRT trilogy, trying to find a publisher or agent for my second middle-grade series, THE UNDERDWELLERS, and have started penning my third YA novel, MY FATHER, ASSASSIAN, a thriller set in NY.
I totally love writing, especially children’s fiction. I also love illustrating and drawing and sharing what I’ve learned with writing and how the publishing industry works. So, again, thank you for having me on your blog.
Keep imagining, reading and doing whatever makes you feel passionate.
Charles Day M.P.A., B.A.
Author & Illustrator
Author & Illustrator
Charles Day is the Horror Writer Association’s Mentor Program Chairperson, Co-Chair for the NY/LI Chapter, and a member of the HWA Library committee. He is also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association, the American Library Association, and the Young Adult Library Services Association.
He is also the Bram Stoker Award® nominated author of the YA novel, THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF. He’s also published his first adult novel DEEP WITHIN and the first book in his Adventures of Kyle McGerrt trilogy, a YA western heroic fantasy, THE HUNT FOR THE GHOULISH BARTENDER, and his first coauthored novel with Mark Taylor, REDEMPTION
His forthcoming publications and projects in development for 2014 include a comic book series
based on the ADVENTURES OF KYLE McGERRT trilogy, his first middle grade series, THE
UNDERDWELLERS, and his third YA novel, IMMORTAL FAMILY.
On the publishing business side of things, Charles is the owner of Day Media and Publishing in New York, which houses the successful imprints, Evil Jester Press, Evil Jester Comics, and Hidden Thoughts Press (mental wellness collections,)
He’s also an artist and illustrator, who is passionate about creating the many characters he’s brought to life in his published, or soon to be published works. You can find out more about his upcoming writing projects, check out his illustrations and art, or find out what he’s cooking up next with that evil dudeinthebox, the evil Jester, by visiting his Facebook page.
Giveaway Information: Contest ends November 4, 2016
One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief by Charles Day (INT)