1: Moments of transition
are vulnerable to the supernatural.
Ex: Moving to a new home / your old home burns down in a fire /
the first time you doubt your genitals in the dark / the first time you wear
a scary mask & feel alive / the first time you use a different name & say it
out loud / the first time you look at your friends truthfully & wonder
if they might turn out to be ghosts
2: When portions of the book get too frightening,
humor helps keep young readers feeling safe.
Ex. You’re being chased by monster blood & it’s amassing incredible weight,
swallowing whole cars & neighborhoods with its bigotry. You’re scared.
It’s already rolled over your best friend. But then your dog licks the green
blood & becomes gargantuan. Something about their giant bark sounds
like your correct pronouns
3. Cliffhangers at the end of every chapter
are effective at getting kids to keep reading.
Ex. It’s Halloween & all morning you’ve been researching hormone replacement
therapy. You’re getting older, every October the man-mask feels harder
to take off. But an act of love helped Carly Beth earn her face again.
You wonder if you love yourself right now. Can you? An empty
sack in hand, you enter the night of demons & masks