Sunday, August 1, 2010

a scary old house & the haunting of hillside school

The old house was just uphill from the ocean in Manhattan Beach. As kids, we'd pass it on our walks to Becker's Bakery where we loaded up on sugar cookies, two for a nickel, then would run out to the end of the pier and back. On our way home we'd stop in front of the house. The place was scary: weeds in the sidewalk, windows boarded up. We dared each other to peek through the cracks. Once we heard a frightful moan and saw a figure creeping around inside, or at least we thought we did, so we raced away screaming.
Haunting Of Hillside School (Cabin Creek Mysteries)
The idea of an old mansion where strange things happen stayed with me through the years and inspired The Haunting of Hillside School. It's #4 in the Cabin Creek series where the cousins try to solve the mysterious music and a face at the window. My editor Kristin Earhart picked the name Hillside School, and it turns out practically every town in America has one by that name. 

[PHOTO ABOVE]: In 1963 I convinced my friends Chris and Martha to pose by the broken door so I could take their picture. We were in 7th grade. The image is too small to see our little paper bags from Becker's Bakery.

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