Point Horror for a new generation: Amy McCaw talks about Mina and the Undead – HITC

Vampires are back with a bang in Amy McCaws debut YA horror. Hailed as Buffy meets Charmed, this is one April release we cant wait to get our fangs into.

Can you tell us a bit about your debut novelMina and the Undead?

Mina is staying with her sister in New Orleans for Fang Fest 1995. Shes thrilled to land a job in a horror movie mansion, reconnecting with her sister while they scare the tourists. When Mina stumbles upon a body at work, shes dragged into a murder investigation. Someone is replicating New Orleans darkest myths, and Mina must discover the truth before she becomes the latest victim.

There have been a lot of comparisons between your book andBuffy the Vampire Slayer(which I know you love) but are there any lesser known influences?

I still havent got over these comparisons!Buffy the Vampire Slayerhas been my favourite TV show since it aired, so its pretty much the biggest compliment anyone can give me. Its a shame my book was set before the Buffy series came out, so I could only reference the movie!

As well as watching Buffy, I also spent a good chunk of the 90s reading Point Horror. They were fast-paced and gory, and I loved how they leaned into my favourite horror tropes. I think a lot of that has seeped into my writing.

My dad also owned a video shop when I was growing up. Though I was fascinated by the horror section, they were the only videos I wasnt allowed to watch. I used to read the backs of cases and imagine those stories of bloodthirsty dolls and possessed children. I first came across many of the horror-movies referenced inMina and the Undeadduring that tantalising early exposure.

What is the first piece of fiction you ever remember writing?

My first attempts at fiction were nothing like what I write now. I read a lot of Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton, so my early books were heavily influenced by them: lots of plucky talking animals and girls at private boarding schools.

The first book I can remember being committed to was a series of short stories about The It Family (which I now realise was a shameless combination of Cousin It and The Addams Familys names). The It Family were a group of fluffy aliens who got into all kinds of trouble when they came down to live on Earth. I wrote it on individual sheets of A5 paper with a line guide and hid it in a shoebox in my wardrobe. Id love to read it now, but its probably wedged somewhere in my mums attic.

My first proper YA book was also about vampires, not long beforeTwilightcame out and every agent on the planet was inundated with vampire stories. I havent read it for ages so I might cringe now, but at the time it was the book that made me think I could get something published one day.

Which of your minor characters do you think deserves a spin-off story?

Della is one of my favourite characters and shes got a big back story in my head, some of which is alluded to inMina and the Undead. If I get to write a sequel, her story will feature heavily in that!

Which novel (other than your own) do you think would make a great TV adaptation?

Thats a really tough question there are so many! Im going to have to cheat and pick three.

It would be fantastic to see the spooky, suffocating village ofHarrow Lakeby Kat Ellis brought to life onscreen. The village is famous as a horror-movie setting, so itd be the perfect subject matter for a horror series.

Im currently listening to the audiobook ofTeeth in the Mistby Dawn Kurtagich, and Id love to see how a production company would adapt that book. The scenery would be absolutely stunning, and I can already feel the simmering creepiness building.

Last One to Dieby Cynthia Murphy would also be fantastic onscreen! The London setting, with those familiar locations repurposed for dark and scary scenes, would be brilliant.

Which song would be the perfect soundtrack to your novels closing scene?

How Soon is Now by The Smiths would definitely have to play over the closing moments over the book and into the credits. Its one of the songs referenced in the book, and it would be a nice nod toThe Craft, one of my favourite 90s movies.

Mina and the Undead is published on 1 April. It is available to pre-order from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here and all other good bookshops and online retailers.

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Point Horror for a new generation: Amy McCaw talks about Mina and the Undead - HITC

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