Bad Things, Tamara Thorne, 1994
My favorite quote: “Icky Ricky, icky Ricky, come out and play.” (I hear that in my sleep sometimes …)
Notable characters: Rick Piper, a single father looking to rebuild his life; Robin Piper, Rick’s abbreviated (and very creepy) little brother; Jade Ewebean, their wonderfully nasty aunt; Dakota O’Keefe, Rick’s good friend; Big Jack, a dude you don’t want to meet on Halloween night
Most memorable scene: There are a lot of pretty unforgettable moments in Bad Things, but for me, it was Robin and the frog — because Jesus #*@%ing Christ. I’d like to be a little more specific, but I want to see your face when you get to that part. I won’t be able to see your face, of course, because that would mean I was watching you as closely as the greenjacks in Bad Things, but I can IMAGINE your face and that’s just as good
Greatest strengths: If Tamara Thorne excels at anything (and I happen to think she excels at a lot) it’s her characters. As is the case in all Tamara Thorne books, there are a lot of fascinating folks to get to know in Bad Things, human and otherworldly alike …
Standout achievements: For Bad Things, Tamara Thorne created a whole new monster — the greenjack — which she deftly brings to life (of sorts) in fascinating and terrifying detail (I’m a sucker for monsters I’ve never seen before and Tamara Thorne’s greenjacks top my list)
Fun Facts: Bad Things was previously published under the title, Panic, by Pocket Books. Get it? PANic??
Other media: N/A, but if they make Bad Things into a movie, I’m going to make Tamara Thorne watch it with me and use my terror as an excuse to fall all over her and act like one of those annoying teenage girls in movie theaters. Also, I’m going to buy her Red Vines. I will not, however, be sharing my gummy bears. The gummy bears are mine. Always. It’s a fact
What it taught me: That terror doesn’t always wear the same face. Bad Things made me afraid of things I never thought about being scared of before. Like tree leaves, for instance. And poodles. Thank you, dear Tamara Thorne, for giving me a whole new species of nightmares
How it inspired me: Tamara Thorne and I have been using greenjacks in our collaborative series, The Ravencrest Saga, and just recently (with Tamara’s approval, of course) I introduced these precious little monsters into my Crimson Cove series. When my book, The Midnight Ripper, comes out in 2022, you’ll catch glimpses of goldish-green eyes glinting in the forest beyond the Colter brothers’ cabin. Those are greenjacks — and they’re waiting for just the right moment to come out and play
Additional thoughts: According to Tamara Thorne, Bad Things is based on a childhood game she liked to play in which she looked for faces in the ivy at night. She did it to scare herself because, to her, being scared is fun. I happen to agree with her on that. If I’m peeing a little, I’m happy
Hit or miss: Hit!
Haunt me: alistaircross.com