The Crossroads Tour: Day 3 Judith Graves

Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween. Go HERE to get today's question and links.

Today's guest for the Crossroads Tour is author Judith Graves.  She is actually the organizer behind this really cool author/blogger tourfest. I had a wonderful privilege of reading and reviewing Under My Skin (Skinned, #1) just before it came out.  To read my review, click here.  Her second book in the Skinned series, Second Skin, will be out in 2011.  Not sure I can wait until the next book is out....wonder if I can hack into her computer when she isn't look.  I need some more Alex!  *sigh*

Did you have a book that you read either in Middle School or High School that scared you the most? What was it and what about it scared you?

Stephen King books freaked me out in high school. They still do, that’s why I love his stuff. ;) Ray Bradbury’s stories were favs – not scary, but odd / disturbing tales.

Did you have a paranormal experience that prompted you in writing the story that you did?

I have a phobia – I’m scared of creepy old dolls. Yes, there’s a story behind my fear. Let’s just say dolls so lifelike they seem to be breathing…well, maybe they are! Eryn shares my distrust, which made a lot of Second Skin, Book 2 in the Skinned series, fun to write. She runs into a few devilish dolls I wouldn’t want to mess with. Better her than me.

Where did you get the idea for your story? Did you use a real life situation and put a twist on it?

Kind of the opposite. I took an unlikely situation (mythological beasties from different regions fighting over one bit of unclaimed territory) and plunked it down in a small town similar to mine.

Did you have a favorite paranormal/horror story writer as a child/teen that you wanted to emulate? If so, who and why?

Not consciously, but if I thought I’d managed to give my readers the heebie jeebies in a few key scenes, then I’d likely credit Stephan King. I’m forever looking over my shoulder when reading his work.

What kind of research did you do for your story and did you run into anything weird while you were doing research?

While researching the windigo (a mythological creature of First Nations origins that I mention in UMS, but we actually get to “see” in Second Skin), I discovered the term “Windigo Psychosis.” Even today people swear they have “turned windigo” and crave human flesh. There have been murder cases with this as a defense. Is this a purely a cultural response or something more?

What helps you to create characters that people will feel passionate about either in liking them or disliking them?

I like to read, and write, about characters with flaws. Perfect people are perfectly boring. I endeavor to make my characters multi-leveled, layered like onions…to have hidden depth or unexpected quirks. And you never know if you can trust someone until you’ve battled werewolves together. ;)

Thanks Judith for stopping by and answering a few questions.  And thanks for organizing this great tour.

For more information about Judith Graves and her books, check out her website:

You can find her on twitter: @judithgraves