"The story intrigued me and it was so unique to the genre that I couldn't help but be mesmerized by it. I adored the characters and all of their flaws and loved what the author did with the male character in particular. And how he was introduced with the special part he played in the story line." - H.Lee, Goodreads
Published: September 4th, 2017
When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.
And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.
Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.
Symbolism in Paranormal Stories
I am really excited to be a guest on Mythical Books today! Thanks for having me.
My upcoming book, Summoner, is basically a creepy ghost story intertwined with a sweet love story. And I have to admit, out of the bump-in-the-night supernatural beings, ghosts were never at the top of my list of things to write about. I mean, I love a good werewolf story and vampires are fun, too. But ghosts are spine tingly in a whole different way. Just the idea of them being connected to the spiritual realm and death. The idea that they are souls with a past. Maybe even a past they miss. A connection to the afterlife.
I’m a very spiritual person, so some of that hit really close to home for me, and it wasn’t necessarily a topic I considered delving into . . . until I did. Because fiction is full of symbolism. I love symbolism. I love layers to a story and new things to uncover—new meanings to find—every time you read something, whether for the first time or again. So when you guys asked me to write about the symbolism of paranormal stories, I was all in.
I want my stories to have re-readability, and when I started looking into the possibility of ghosts and symbols (and MOONS, oh, we’ll talk about the moons, too), I started to see a story that was about people being haunted not only physically (by a crazy, vengeful ghost) but also emotionally. And this beautiful theme of forgiveness and redemption started to blossom out of my plans for this book. And I found it—even in the middle of blood and fear and guilt and creepy hauntings—beautiful.
And of course, I fell in love with the world and the idea and the characters and just had to write Allie and Cody’s story.
Ghosts make people think of the afterlife, of the reality of death and its finality, of hauntings, and of being afraid. All those themes creep up in Summoner, and the crazy, vengeful ghost in the center of it, pulls all of that together.
One of the cool symbols that cropped up when I was writing about the ghosts, was moons—especially full moons. It’s such a normal, integral part of the night sky as well as all kinds of symbols.
I don’t know about you, but when I watch or read any story that has to do with the supernatural and the moon comes up, I know something is at play. Remember in Harry Potter when Remus Lupin’s most feared object was revealed to be the moon? I immediately thought werewolf. Well, I mean the words “Remus” and “Lupin” kinda already gave that away, but still. Oftentimes when we think moon, we think the ruler of the night, the master of things that go bump in the night. Werewolves are bound by it. Vampires can come out in its light. It’s surrounded by darkness, so the creatures of the dark are more active when the moon rises.
Did you know that different full moons have different names depending on the month they are in? When titling Summoner, my editor and I narrowed it down to two titles—one being Summoner, obviously, but the second option was Cold Moon. To be honest, I didn’t choose the latter because I already have a book out titled Scarlet Moon, and the series (Children of the Blood Moon) is totally unrelated.
Cold Moon is the name of December’s full moon, and it occurs during the longest, darkest nights. So in other words, it has a lot of creepy potential.
The moon invokes thoughts of eternity and bondage of darkness. It can shine a light through the darkness and make us think of the different phases of life. Then there’s the component of the moon’s relationship with water. It controls the tides, in folklore, it’s often thought that the moon affects rain. There’s just SO much you can do with the moon in literature.
So much of the redemptive arcs as well as the feelings of being trapped by curses and darkness in my book have a spotlight shined on them directly by the moon. It’s so cool to see how these things in literature that seem integral to the genres we know and love can actually invoke a certain mood or mindset.
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About the author:
S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at: