Ever since a violent robbery forced Josh Riley and his family to move to a new house, he's been on edge. There's a strangely unsettling new student at school, and he can't sleep at night.
The nightmares and insomnia from his anxiety are bad enough. But when he's home alone, something comes knocking at his front door. In the deepest, darkest part of the night, he hears the house rattle and the doorknob turn. He catches glimpses of unexplainable things - bloodshot eyes staring back through the peephole, strange symbols around the door, and racing shadows - but no one believes him.
Have the thieves tracked him down? Is it merely a neighborhood prankster? Or is Josh losing his mind? The Door is a heart-pounded, page turning thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Samantha Garcia comes from a very creative background. She studied Multimedia and continued her education in Advanced Programming and went on to study an Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) and earned a Computer Game Development Animated Diploma. Samantha is also a Technical Analyst in the financial markets.
Allison Garcia is a published author of two books titled 'Nothing North' and Áll the Owls Cry'. Her work has appeared in the media both nationally and internationally across various magazines and newspapers.
The Night Owl Chronicles: The Door Book 1
Authors: Samantha and Allison Garcia
Question: How would you describe The Night Owl Chronicles?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: The Night Owl Chronicles is the name of our book series. It is also the umbrella for our children's picture books, young adult paranormal/horror books and adult thriller books. Our title also describes us as writers – we're both night owls and many times we've found ourselves writing well into the night when everyone's asleep. We both love owls, so it was a natural choice when choosing a title. To us, the owl also represents mystery and darkness and we show this through our stories.
Question: What inspired you when writing The Door?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: The first thing that inspired us when writing The Door was experimenting with every day, normal situations and how they could go wrong, such as the front door of your home and sudden, unexplained knocking. We thought to ourselves: 'What would we do if we heard a knock at the door in the middle of the night and what if there was nobody there?" We wanted to write a story that was scary and spine tingling without explicit gore. There's nothing worse than knowing there's an unwelcomed knock in the middle of the night and that someone, or something, is on the other side of the door. When we imagined that scenario one night and it gave us the creeps! The Door also explores trauma and fear through the eyes of the main character Josh Riley. There are scenes in the book when Josh questions what he sees and we wanted to explore how trauma affects someone so young.
Question: How difficult is it, as sisters, to write together?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: We found it incredibly easy because we're always on the same page and we often complete each other's sentences when we're brainstorming. We are first and foremost very organised in the way we want to tell the story and how we want our characters to develop. It's important to listen to each other and work solid as a team. We get excited when one of us has finished a chapter because we get to read it and add notes. We write a chapter each and then we bring it all together. One of us might suggest to delete a paragraph altogether, but we never hit a wall because our ideas are always for the good of the story. We're lucky that we both have the same vision and before we start the first chapter, we already know how it's going start, why certain things are going to happen to the main character and how it's going to end.
Question: How do you hope to encourage Australians to fall in love with reading, again?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: Our aim is to entertain our readers and help them to escape from their busy lives. We want them to explore the world of The Night Owl Chronicles. If we can get them immersed with our books, then we know we have achieved our primary goal which is to write a story that entertains them. The horror/paranormal genre is often depicted as gory and full of blood, but we wanted to change that and create stories that keep you on the edge of your seat and hopefully leave you wondering how it will all end. We've always believed that a good book, no matter the genre, should make you want to read another one. Also, there's something special about creating your own personal library.
Question: What originally motivated you to begin writing books?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: We've both loved reading and writing from an early age and our taste in movies was different from our friends. We always gravitated towards horror and science fiction. About four years ago on a Saturday afternoon, we both started talking about how great it would be to join forces in a creative way. After discussing about our love for writing, it was then when we decided to create The Night Owl Chronicles book series. We were excited then and we're still excited now.
Question: Was it easier to keep positive through rejections, working together?
Samantha and Allison Garcia: It was to a degree because we were lucky to keep each other positive and help motivate each other. At the end of the day, we're human and there were times when we were both down from many rejection letters. Sometimes it was hard because we weren't moving forward, but we would regroup and remind ourselves why we were doing this – our deep love for writing and creating characters was worth it. We kept reminding ourselves to not stop, to keep going. Many people didn't believe in us, many people didn't like the idea but it was important to us to remain true to our vision.
Interview by Brooke Hunter