Monday, November 12, 2018

Night Writer - Deborah Schaumberg

I'm so excited to introduce to you to Night Writer, Deborah Schaumberg and the awesomely dark world of her book, The Tombs. I fell in love with this book at first sight, but it is sooo much more than a pretty cover.  So, strike a candle and follow me to the dark side.

About Deborah Schaumberg

Originally from Brooklyn, Deborah Schaumberg grew up renovating old houses with her family where she and her father would walk the rooms making up ghost stories. She studied architecture in New Orleans, loving the crumbling plantations, creepy cemeteries, and tales of voodoo magic. It was on a trek in Nepal that she imagined a girl with the ability to see energy, and the seed of THE TOMBS was planted. HarperTeen published THE TOMBS, her debut young adult novel, in February 2018. She lives with her family and dog in Maryland, just outside DC. She collects old bottles and her favorite holiday is Halloween. Visit her online at

About Deborah's Book


New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on ‘patients’…and no one knows why.

Deborah Schaumberg’s gripping debut melds history and fantasy, taking readers on a breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York, and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried?

My Q&A with Deborah Schaumberg

Was there anything that drew you to this genre?

So many things! Dark gas-lit streets, creepy mad doctors, a gruesome asylum…
I love throwing my characters into dark and disturbing settings and seeing how they find their way out. 1882 New York has tons of atmospheric imagery to draw upon.

What do you enjoy about writing for Young Adults?

I love writing for young adults. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen we go through the most confusing and tumultuous time of our lives. We are trying to figure out who we are and what is important to us. I love dealing with characters that are going through all that. Also, teen readers get so into their books, I love their passion.

What is your favorite Paranormal/Dark/Gothic novel?

There are so many, but I just read Kerri Maniscalco’s STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, and really loved it. My favorite classic gothic novel is WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Brontë.

What is your favorite Gothic Motif/Theme/Element?

Once again it’s hard to pick just one, but I would say madness and places of madness, (asylums), are the darkest and creepiest elements. Especially during the Victorian times when mental illness was feared and misunderstood. I also use the crow as a gothic motif in THE TOMBS. They represent mystery and death.

Which resource/s helped you the most in researching and/or writing your novel?

I read many books and studied websites about life in turn of the century New York, but my favorite bit of research was learning about falcons from a real falconer in Pennsylvania, Mike Dupuy. He introduced me to his birds and taught me what it’s like to raise them. A peregrine falcon plays an important role in THE TOMBS.

What's next for you? Is there anything you can tell us about it?

I am writing a book about the strange and unique experiences of a young girl growing up during World War Two. And she is a real person. That’s all I can say for now.

Do you have any advice or insights for other Dark and Gothic Writers?

There is so much information on-line but I think museums are an awesome way to gather information in a more sensory way. Two that I recommend are The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, and The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe, in Richmond, Virginia.

Let us know where we can stalk you?


Instagram: debschaumberg

Twitter: @debschaumberg

Facebook: WriterDSchaumberg

Goodreads: TheTombs

Thank you, Shadow Leitner, for hosting me on your blog!

You are so welcome, Deborah! Thank you for sharing so much with us.

As always, stay beautifully haunted, Night Writers,
♥ Shadow.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Night Writer - Leigh Goff

Come sit for a spell while I visit with Author Leigh Goff and talk to her about Witches, her books and writing Dark Fiction for Young Adults and the Adults who love to read them, and did I mention Witches. Did I mention how much I LOVE Witches? 

Alrighty then, let's begin.

About Leigh Goff

I live in Annapolis, Maryland, and I've always loved to write. Fun fact--I recently learned that I am the eighth great-granddaughter of an accused Chesapeake witch, and I didn’t stumble upon that interesting bit of info until after I wrote Bewitching Hannah. So I can say I’ve got witch in my blood! I'm also a University of Maryland grad and a member of SCBWI.

About her Books

Bewitching Hannah, 2017 from Mirror World Publishing.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald has always known she is descended from a royal legacy of dark magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial. However, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the danger that lies ahead.
Engaged in a deadly game and not knowing whom her true rival is, Hannah isn't certain she will survive, and if she loses, she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.


Disenchanted, 2015 from Mirror World Publishing.
A forbidden love. A dark curse. An impossible choice... Descended from a powerful Wethersfield witch, sixteen-year-old Sophie is struggling to hide her awkwardly emerging magic, but that's the least of her worries. When a dangerous thief tries to steal her mysterious heirloom necklace, she is rescued by the one person she's forbidden to fall for, a descendant of the man who condemned her ancestor to hang. He carries a dark secret that could destroy them both unless Sophie learns how to tap into the mysterious power of her diamond bloodcharm. She will have to uncover dark secrets from both of their families' wicked pasts and risk everything, including her soul to save them from a witch's true love curse, but it will take much more than that.

My Q&A with Leigh Goff

Was there anything specific that drew you to this genre?
I chose YA because I love to read it and it’s fun to write. I get to revisit the world from a sixteen-year-old’s point of view, which is a time of taking risks, feeling things intensely, and anticipating what’s to come. In YA the main character’s experiences are new and exciting. She’s discovering who she is and what she wants in life. It’s awesome!!

What do you enjoy about writing books for kids and teens?

My books appeal to kids and teens, but I don’t eliminate adults and thank goodness since half of YA readers are over eighteen (including me!). I find that YA stories, in general, are stories that have the same lessons and adventures with the same complexity as adult novels. However, in YA there is more emotional intensity and a coming of age perspective.

What is your favorite Paranormal/Dark/Gothic novel?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a favorite that has been made into a TV series starring Matthew Goode (no release date yet!!) and The Rules of Magic, the prequel to Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman. I have an affinity for witches. What can I say?

What is your favorite Gothic motif/theme/element? Any particular reason why?
Strange and mysterious settings are a favorite. I like to take my readers to places where otherworldly events happen such as Castle Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. One of my favorite settings to write in Bewitching Hannah was the old Calvert family chapel where Hannah’s love interest resides. Here’s how I described it.
Candlelight danced in a side window of the two-story, semi-hexagonal, brick chapel that looked like it had been abandoned a century before. My eyes flashed wide and without thinking, I threw my other leg over and pushed off. My body crashed to the hardened earth, rattling my bones. Ignoring the unpleasant jolt, I bounced up and raced toward the light.
I staggered to a standstill and cupped a hand to my mouth. “W?” I whispered into the breeze. My heart thumped fast as my imagination reached its peak.
I tiptoed along the cracked brick path where moss chewed away at the gray mortar. I inched closer to the narrow double doors, my curiosity dying to be indulged.
I reached for the handle, expecting it to be locked. With a click, it released. The scent of candle smoke and incense wafted past me as I peered into the glowing sanctuary with cautious eyes.
The imposing entrance segued into the main part of the old family chapel. Shadows flickered across the white wall as candlelight streamed down from an ornate iron chandelier cradling clear-colored hurricanes. Angelic sculptures hung between the arched windows and beneath the cloud-painted ceiling that Michelangelo himself would have envied, four wooden pews graced each side of the aisle.
I tiptoed farther in and spotted another black-lined white envelope on the altar. I was definitely in the right place.

Which resource/s helped you the most in researching for or writing your series?
I use a lot of exotic plants and flowers in my witch characters’ gardens, spells, and potions so I often refer to an online plant guide to understand the real effects they might have in a fictional recipe.  I also like to use a Victorian flower language guide, which explains the meanings of various flowers and flower combinations. Here’s an example of Sophie from Disenchanted recalling the meaning of a specific flower combination.
I stuffed the flashlight back in my pocket and plucked tiny flowers from the lemon verbena and valerian and a red velvety petal from a dwarf rose. I rubbed them together in my palms and brought my hands to my nose, unable to resist inhaling the sweet citrus scent. The smell summoned memories of summers long gone, but I struggled to recall what the combination meant. Was it protection and luck or purification? No. I shook my head and took another sniff. Hmm. Amantibus something. Ugh, I thought. The meaning hit me like a falling tree. I gasped. The combo was “lovers uniting.” The flowers were the main ingredients in Aunt Janie’s Forbidden Passion Potion. I wiped my damp hands against my shorts. That was not what I needed, standing alone in the garden. Bleh. 
What’s next for you? Is there anything you can tell us about it?
I’m working on my third YA novel. It’s tentatively titled Diamonds & Pearls and it takes place in a fictional Maryland coastal town. The main character doesn’t know it yet, but she’s not who or what she thinks she is and it has everything to do with a secret her mom and the sea goddesses in town are keeping.

And finally, is there anything else you would like to share with others who write or are looking to write YA Paranormal or Dark/Gothic fiction? Any tips? Any groups they should be checking out? Any places they should be visiting, etc.
Join a writing group such as RWA or SCBWI. These groups are a great resource for promoting your books and helping you network with other writers in your area. Also, find a great proofreader/editor, and make time to write. When you’re ready to query, I highly recommend visiting to research and narrow down the best agents for your manuscript.
Where can we find you?

I’ll be at the Cascades Library in Sterling, Virginia for their annual Eat Local/Read Local event on Saturday, September 29th from 10am-1pm. If you’re in the area, please visit me!  If you can’t make it, you can find me at the following links.

Thank you so much, Leigh, for sharing your brand of magic with us!
As always, stay beautifully haunted, Night Writers!
♥ Shadow.