by Corey J. Popp
Scifi and Scary Book Reviews’ Top 10 Reads of 2015
Sixteen-year-old Claire Young is tormented by a recurring, prophetic nightmare and visitations from gruesome ghosts. She’s convinced the apparitions intend to harm her widowed father, but there’s little she can do locked away in Saint Thomas Psychiatric Hospital. Her situation is hopeless until a mysterious priest delivers the name of a man who may be the only one willing to help. Claire launches a daring scheme that leads her and her best friend to a former paranormal investigator.
But Claire’s father, convinced his daughter is schizophrenic, will send Claire back to Saint Thomas permanently if he discovers she’s still clinging to her delusions. Claire and her friends must tread lightly to complete the investigation, for amid bizarre twists and chilling encounters, she’ll discover her home’s basement is hiding something far more sinister than just ghosts.
“Beneath Claire’s House is the best YA Horror book I have read in ages. It is a goosebump-raising read filled with fantastic lines and vivid descriptions, and at least one twist that will take the reader by surprise. It manages to do all this while at the same time being absent of any mentions of sex, illegal drugs, alcohol, lust/love, or even excessive goriness.”
“Thrilling and not to be missed!”
“This was an awesome and scary read!”
CIR: What inspired this book?
POPP: As I lay awake in bed one night, I could hear the voices of family members in the basement through the furnace vent. I thought to myself, “What if I were home alone?”
CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this?
POPP: I wrote the book so it would be compelling through at least two readings. The first time through, many readers will simply enjoy the frightening story and its twists. If I did my job, those same readers should feel the urge to read the book again to discover the clues and anecdotes they may have missed during the first reading. I think they’ll be very satisfied when they do. It was a lot of work, almost like working through a 240-page mathematical equation, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.
CIR: Did this require any research, and what kind?
POPP: I did some research into ghost hunting and ghost folklore. For the sake of keeping the story believable, it was important to me that I make sure I got the ghost hunting technology correct, even if it was out in the periphery of the story. The most fascinating research, however, came when I began to research schizophrenia. The first part of the story takes place in a psychiatric hospital, and I spent more time there than I initially expected simply because the research helped make that piece very compelling.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
POPP: Tying it all together. As I mentioned earlier, I wrote the book with the intention of it being read twice. That meant everything had to tie together and make sense. From red herrings to clues, there could be no mistakes, no errors, no oversights. From start to finish, the novel took about three years to write and edit.
CIR: Is there more coming?
POPP: Yes. Although Beneath Claire’s House is a complete standalone novel, the story takes place in and around a fictitious city named Mount Herod. I’m currently writing another book that takes place in the same city. The series will feature a common setting and a few common characters, but each book will focus on a scary standalone story.
Learn more about Corey J Popp at www.coreyjpopp.com