Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shirley McCann, Author of The Scarry Inn

the scarry inn, shirley mccann, shirley author, horror young adult, spooky ya
Today we are interviewing Shirley McCann, author of the YA suspense novel The Scarry Inn.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Shirley McCann has been writing short stories for over 20 years. Her work has been published in various publications including, Woman’s World, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and the Forensic Examiner.   YA has always been a favorite genre to read and write. She lives in Springfield, Missouri with her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.

Four teenagers traveling through a snowstorm on Christmas Eve have car trouble and pull into a gas station; the car promptly dies. The gas station owner and his wife are closing because of the storm, but take the kids to a nearby motel, owned by relatives Dick and Thelma Scarry, for the night. No cell phone service, no phone of any kind probably because of the storm. Strange things begin happening at the motel. And continue, becoming more creepy with each incident. Is it "atmosphere" to fit the motel's name? Or is it...something...else?

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

Definitely the YA crowd and young readers, but also the young at heart and anyone who loves a good mystery.

What inspired you to write a book about three friends stuck in a murderous inn, trying to reach safety?

The idea came to me when my husband and I were on our way home to Missouri from California. Our car broke down in a town called Ashfork, Arizona.  The motel was very run down. Then the writer’s mind kicked in.

Tell us a bit about the three protagonists.
Heidi Bowman, still upset because of her parents’ divorce, invites her three friends to tag along to her first meeting with her father, new wife and half-sister. Beau is Heidi’s boyfriend and confidente. Kara and Heidi have been friends for years, although Kara is a bit self-absorbed at times. Alex is Kara’s boyfriend, and a bit of a clumsy nerd.

The main characters find the atmosphere at The Scarry Inn to be unwelcoming. Can you describe the atmosphere for us?

Spooky, creepy, unsettling.

Are the owners of the Scarry Inn aware of how creepy their inn is? Or are they oblivious?

No. The people the teens encounter when they check in are people posing as the owners. One owner is already dead, and the other one is in an upstairs bedroom, passed out during most of the story.  However, the teenagers aren’t aware of this fact.

Who was your favorite character to write?

Harold Story. His wife, Madge, is related to the owners of the inn. But Harold’s character is a bit complex. He’s not friendly, but not unfriendly either. Very passive. The teenagers think he could be involved in trying to scare them.

Have you always been a fan of scary stories or is this something that developed recently?

I’ve always been a fan. Fear Street by R.L. Stine is still a favorite of mine. Also, anything by Lois Duncan.  I still read those from time to time.

What drew you to the young adult genre?

I’ve always been a fan.  Still read YA to this day. Guess I’m just one of those young at heart people.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?

Finding the time! I’m home with a bedridden, paraplegic husband, babysitting to three young grandchildren, and I work part time. Hard to find a balance at times. But it’s also a great escape. It’s true what they say – you can lose yourself in a good book.
 
Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it?

Nope never. There’s always a story of some kind out there. If I get stuck, I’ll just start a short story, which is also a favorite of mine.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

I’m already working on the sequel to the Scarry Inn. Hoping to have six books in the series.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

It’s the first in the series. It will set up the inn and the owners.  The sequel will involve a murder mystery weekend grand opening, which will obviously work out differently than planned.
 

A short excerpt from The Scarry Inn:
    “Nothing’s happening,” she said. She slumped onto the bed. “There’s no dial tone.”
    Alex reached for the receiver, following the same routine. His facial muscles tightened. “Damn it!” He tossed the phone across the room
    Beau slumped against a wall and closed his eyes. “Maybe we should just try the main house again,” he said. He shok his head. “I’m so tired of this I just want to get to a phone.”
    Heidi nodded. She stood suddenly and her calling card fell to the floor. “But maybe we should just hike down the hill instead.” Her voice cracked through her tears. “Maybe we can stop a motorist along the way and hitch a ride to a police station.” She reached down to retrieve her card, when her fingers touched something wet and sticky. “Oh, gross!” She grimaced. “What’s on this floor?”
    Beau directed the flashlight beam toward her face as she brought her hand up to reveal a brownish, red substance. In a fevered rush, Heidi felt the blood drain from her face. Her body sagged with a fear she’d never experienced before. She held her breath and followed Beau’s light as she slowly directed the beam toward her feet.
    Bile rose in her throat.
    Beneath the bed, Kara’s hair knotted around her face in tangles of dried blood. A jagged gash followed her neck from one side to the other. Her normally flawless complexion was now a distorted mix of shock and horror.
More Information
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UPMAN82
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121602205?ean=9781626942455
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/527672
KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-scarry-inn
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thescarryinn-1769266-243.html
BOB: http://www.blackopalbooks.com/shop-our-store/blackopalstore/the-scarry-inn
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/260024834/The-Scarry-Inn

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