Happy Halloween Everyone! I'm very excited today to turn the blog over to young adult author Daniel Waters who's going recount for us some of his most memorable Halloween costumes as a part of the promotional tour for his latest release Break My Heart 1,000 Times, complete with a truly spectacular visual aid at the bottom of the post. Win. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Daniel!
I thought I would wrap up the Break My Heart 1,000 Times blog tour with something a little lighthearted, so here is a recollection of a few Halloween costumes I have worn:
1. BATMANThis is the first costume I can remember trick or treating with, when I was five or six. The costume was plastic, and had one of those stiff plastic masks that were held on your head by a thin rubber band. A mask like that was the costume de rigueur in the suburban development where I grew up. They held in the heat, and the little breathing slits at the nostrils and mouth were insufficient to permit airflow, so invariably one would snap the band of one's mask ripping it off just at the point it became unbearable. Batman was my favorite superhero, and likely I wore the costume, maskless, for months after Halloween was over as I battled crime.
2. SPOOKY GHOSTThe first improvised costume I remember wearing was the classic simple white sheet with eyeholes, which for reasons unknown and unremembered I decided to wear with one of my grandfather's fedoras. A necktie, too. "Ghost with Hat and Tie" like some Dadaist statement. I think I was eight. There are many, many ghosts in Break My Heart 1,000 Times, but I can't remember if any is wearing a hat. If so, I hope it is a fedora.
3. AXE MURDERERSadly, I have little memory of the rest of my trick or treating costumes in the remaining years, except for the year my beagle escaped and I lost my vampire cape chasing her down. But I do remember the last year I walked the neighborhood, because two of my friends and I wore the same "costumes"; we wore paper bags on our heads and carried axe handles. We didn't go door to door for candy, we just walked around looking ominous. A fireman patrolling the neighborhood asked us if the axe handles were really necessary, and I, as head bagman/spokesperson said, "Of course–would you be scared if we just had bags on our heads?" But in retrospect, I think we were just being jerks. I'm sure we were frightening to little kids and parents alike, but for the wrong reasons and in an inappropriate way. Our costumes violated the spirit of spooky fun that Halloween is supposed to be for little kids. We should have dressed up as something more amusing, like evil clowns.
4. GHOSTBUSTERI remember wearing this to school when I was in high school. Bill Murray was and is one of my heroes. My costume was a ghostbusters t-shirt, camo pants and for my Proton Pack I carried a very large and very old steampunk-looking spray canister that may or may not still have contained traces deadly insecticide. I've no doubt that if I was attending school today I would be sent home immediately, and rightfully so. The costume looked pretty cool, but was definitely a tactical error, as it weighed about fifty pounds and the kids on the already overcrowded public school already hated me because I went to Catholic school. Veronica and Kirk, in a way, are ghostbusters in BMH1kx but they don't carry around any bulky steampunk gear. Maybe in the sequel.
5. THAT ROAD WARRIOR GUYSee below for the only known photo of me in a Halloween costume–this was probably junior or senior year of high school. Football pads, my Clash Combat Rock "Straight to Hell" t-shirt (my version of rebellion in Catholic school), unstrung plastic bow and sporty bandana. That's my real hair in a mohawk, too–mom was a hairdresser. She sprayed the heck out of my hair and it stood up all day through the slit I made in a bald head wig. I was obsessed with the movie the Road Warrior, and my costume is meant to be The Humungus's main henchman. His name is Wez. He's the guy whose blond boyfriend was hit in the head and killed by a boomerang, which has got to rank as one of the most ignominious film deaths ever, especially since said boomerang was flung by Feral Kid and not "Mad Max" Rockatansky himself. I was too ignorant at the time to realize that boomerang guy was Wez's boyfriend; I just thought he was his pal in post-apocalyptic mayhem. As pretty much everyone else at my school was ignorant of the Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior movie and the existence of Wez, this little factoid passed without comment. Thank you, Julie Mei, for preserving this haunting memory of me as Wez!
(I made this picture nice and large for all to enjoy. No thanks required Daniel) ;-)
More information on Daniel and his books can be found here:
BREAK MY HEART 1,000 TIMES
Living in the aftermath of the Event means that seeing the dead is now a part of life, but Veronica wishes that the ghosts would just move on. Instead, the ghosts aren't disappearing--they're gaining power.
When Veronica and her friend, Kirk, decide to investigate why, they stumble upon a more sinister plot than they ever could have imagined. One of Veronica's high school teachers is crippled by the fact that his dead daughter has never returned as a ghost, and he's haunted by the possibility that she's waiting to reappear within a fresh body. Veronica seems like the perfect host. And even if he's wrong, what's the harm in creating one more ghost?