Jinxed Trilogy, #1
by Thommy Hutson
Date of Publication: March 13th 2018
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Cover Artist: Sam Shearon
Genre: YA Horror/Thriller
Tagline: High school can be a real killer
Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack
Innocent childhood superstitions…
But someone at the Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.
Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren't random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.
Will Layna's opening night also be her final bow?
There’s no way off the island until Monday,” Daniel said to Max, after returning from checking the perimeter. He shook off his hat, which was slick with moisture. “What we need to do—”
“Listen, asshat,” Max exploded. He picked up the manuscript splayed out on the table. The thing that had caused so much trouble, so much pain. So many secrets.
“You don’t get it, neither of you,” he added, looking from Daniel to Parker and back again. “It’s all right here in these pages. What’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen. The messed up thing is we still don’t know why, and I blame McKenna for that. If you two don’t do something to get us off this rock, one by one, we are going to die.”
Max looked at Layna, whose eyes roamed across everyone in the room. He knew she was thinking exactly what he was.
Who would be next? Who was doing this?
Max also wondered who was going to help them, if not Daniel or Parker.
Nancy grabbed the script from Max’s hands. “Jesus Christ, if you’re all gonna sit there and act like Helen Keller, I’ll figure it out.”
“What I’d like everyone to do is calm down,” Parker said calmly. “We’ll find everyone, stay together, and we will get off the island safely.”
“You did a bang-up job with Alice,” Max said. “If you had listened to me—” But he stopped himself. More to the point, the lump in his throat stopped him.
Layna grabbed his hand and locked her fingers with his, turning toward Nancy as she flipped through the script. “Well?”
Nancy stopped turning pages and slowly ran her finger across the lines of black ink. “It isn’t specific,” Nancy offered, “but this is what it says.”
Parker stood. “Before anybody starts jumping to conclusions, let’s remember this is a piece of fiction.”
Max shook his head in disbelief, even as he watched Daniel nod his. “It’s a piece of fiction somebody wants to turn into a really cuckootown crazypants version of MTV’s True Life,” he stated. “Maybe, ‘I Was a Teenaged Murder Victim?’ So, I’m all ears, Nancy. Go ahead.”
Parker cocked his head and Max felt the man was unhappy with the attitude he was throwing. But Max didn’t care. And he didn’t like the detective.
Nancy read, “Should the white hare cross the wayfarer’s path from right to left, his journey will be disastrous.” When she was done she realized the room was silent.
It was Daniel who broke the stillness. “I thought a rabbit, at least the rabbit’s foot, was lucky.”
It sickened Max he hadn’t thought of it before. That his friend, their friend, was out there alone, maybe hurt, maybe worse, and here they were, locked away safe and warm and talking about their fate in a way that felt strangely, frighteningly cavalier.
He turned to Nancy and frowned. He knew she would be affected the most. “White rabbits?” he asked.
“Oh, God,” Nancy yelped, dropping the script. “Crosby’s next!”
Thommy Hutson is an award-winning screenwriter, producer, and author who is considered the foremost authority on A Nightmare on Elm Street. A graduate of UCLA, Thommy also wrote and produced critically acclaimed genre projects such as Scream: The Inside Story, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, More Brains! A Return of the Living Dead, His Name was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, and Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.
Thommy was born and raised in New York but now resides in Southern California with his husband and their cat.
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Interview with Thommy Hutson . . .
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I’d say my writing is fun, snarky, and dramatic. I’m also pretty descriptive. I love putting words together and finding ways to say things in an interesting, off-kilter, or funny manner. Words are awesome and having my characters do or say things as they would, and not how someone thinks they should, is the best part. We’re all different, so why shouldn’t our characters be? What we think someone should say, do, or be like doesn’t mean that’s the way it is, especially in a world created by an author. If I can shatter expectations, and take a reader for a ride, I will.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
My daily routine in terms of scheduling is broken up between the books I am working on and the screenplays I am working on. I tend to be pretty disciplined in keeping “standard” hours. I’m not one of those people who can write until the wee hours in the morning. I wish I were! When I am working, I love to have chocolate covered raisins. It’s like my little comfort!
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
For me, it is all of the above. I find that my characters grow and change in great ways as I am writing them. I like to put together a little about who they were and how they came to be where they are. Then, though I know where they are headed, they sometimes surprise me! And I absolutely, definitely people watch. In fact, I people listen. I love hearing the things people say and how they say it. As I mentioned above, I think people tend to have an idea of how characters should speak instead of how they are speaking. I find that when you really pay attention to human communication, it is far more interesting, fun, and verbose than we think it is.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
I really enjoyed writing for Nancy. She’s a fun girl who has an interesting viewpoint on the things around hr. She is definitely the person you want to hang with to have a good time. I also found myself drwn mor and more to Layna. I’m sure lots of authors “fall in love” with their lead, but I’m probably closest to Layna. She is someone who wants to be a good person, figure things out, and keep people together. But she still knows how to have fun!
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Tons of them! I feel like I have lots of people percolating. I have an idea for something that is pseudo-biographical in terms of some events that happened when I was a kid. Fun, adventurous stuff with a hint of mystery. I can’t wait to create those people and see where they take me.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Not really that I couldn’t control. When I want to do something or try new things, I just go for it. Life is too short not to.
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