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Check Out My Article About Vengeance on Trespasspers, My Debut Novel - As Featured on Reader's Magnet

            As a child, reading scary books was equally as much of my escape from reality as my inspiration. In particular, I recall several memories of reading Goosebumps or Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark at the most anticipated school event of the year: Camp Read-a-lot. Perhaps it was the ambiance that made reading those books all the spookier. With the lights turned out, students tucked away in sleeping bags, and using our flashlights to read while munching on countless goodies, it was the perfect storm for a spooky reading session. This was the feeling that I wanted to trap readers into when writing and illustrating Vengeance on Trespassers.

            Most summers, I was forced to attend a reunion at my Grandpa’s campsite in Black Lake, NY. Aside from having to deal with annoying cousins, horseflies, and muggy weather, the campsite always offered exploration at the very least. So many mysteries were left up for us kids to untangle during our adventures wandering around the woods. How cool would it have been if I’d discovered something sinister about the property’s past? How shocking would it have been to have discovered that the remote piece of land was, in fact, a dumpster for murdered victims? This was precisely what inspired me to create the world within Vengeance on Trespassers.

            The story follows Craig, an indoorsy teenager, who’s forced to spend the entire summer camping with his two hillbilly cousins and nature nut uncle. Yet, his fear of summer-long boredom is short-lived and soon turns into fear for his life. When gruesome bodies start turning up on his watch, he’s brushed off as crazy. After all, who could believe a teenager who’s just trying to get out of camping? Though, the omens become hard to ignore and Craig is forced to enter a race against time. His only shot at saving his family from death and possession is to dig further into the property’s past before it’s too late.

            I originally began writing the novel in high school, when I was about Craig’s age. Although I basically rewrote the book nearly a decade later, I was careful to preserve Craig’s relatable teenage mindset. My hopes are that readers, particularly teenagers, will be kept on the edges of their seats as they follow Craig through a horrific, gruesome adventure. Unlike most other young adult books, I’ve included a handful of illustrations. My artwork for the books was largely inspired by Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Essentially, I wanted to create the suspense of a Goosebumps book with the eeriness of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, all while maintaining more mature themes.

            Vengeance on Trespassers is just the first novel in the Phantom Features book series. Most books in Phantom Features will be designed for young adult, new adult, and adult readers. Currently, I’m working on the next novel for the series, which will feature a completely different set of characters in an all-new horrifying adventure. My plans with Phantom Features is to branch off into multiple book series, including a children’s line and “shorts.” The latter will consist of horror books that contain mash-ups of short stories, poems, recipes, and more.

            I’ve been in love with the horror genre most of my life and was first introduced to the genre by the television show Are You Afraid of the Dark? Since hiding behind couch cushions during the scary parts of the show, I’ve been largely inspired to create art and write stories that largely encompass horror and science fiction themes. My go-to hobbies are writing horror stories (shocking, I know), drawing, watching movies, and crafting. I am a big exercise fiend as well. Most days, I can be found taking my energy out at either the gym or with my dog on runs.  

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