31 days of Halloween – Silke Juppenlatz
We don’t really have Halloween in Germany. Not like the US, anyway. There are parties, sure, but no one goes trick or treating. (At least they didn’t when I was a kid.)
We were introduced to the whole Halloween thing when E.T. was the hottest movie on the planet. That’s where we learned about Trick or Treat, about dressing up as monsters…and about M&M’s. Seriously. We’d never heard of M&M’s before.
Since then it has taken off not just in Germany, but in many other places in Europe. Here in the UK, the kids (and teenagers) really don’t get the concept of Trick or Treat. There will be a knock on the door and a kid will yell “Trick or Treat” — and be utterly stumped if you feel brave and say “Trick”.
In the US you probably get egged, or something. Here? They’ll blink and stutter, not sure what to do now.
Most people opt for treat, but again, the concept of this is lost on UK teenagers. Give them candy bars and they’ll pull a face. That’s not what they want. Oh no. The enterprising little sods want money. (Fat chance.)
Two years ago I went to the US, and I happened to arrive a few days before Halloween. Having never experienced it, I was looking forward to trouping around the neighborhood with my friend’s kids. I’d been given the choice of Halloween in Salem, or “trudging around with a bunch of kids in tow”.
No contest. Absolutely no contest at all. I wanted the real thing.
I am so, so glad I picked the latter option. I had a blast. I loved seeing all the carved pumpkins, the weather was fantastic, with a big full moon above and not a drop of rain. The kids stomped around and enjoyed themselves, Thomas, my friend’s son, explained all the different candies to me (he was incredulous that I didn’t know some of them) and Brady, the youngest, was in his element. It was his first Halloween, so naturally he was in seventh heaven.
I got to hand out some candies and see those huge smiles on the kids’ faces. There was so much laughter and the entire neighborhood was crawling with everything from toddlers to young adults — all in costume.
I had a wonderful time, thank you, Cyn, for letting me share your Halloween. (And dragging me around that pumpkin extravaganza after your husband and his friends introduced me to way too much Coors, and American Football.)
It kind of saddens me how much I can’t show readers about the characters I write. You see, when they introduce themselves, I get a three dimensional picture of them. I know what they like, and don’t like, what their favorite time of year is, and…how they would react to Halloween.
If you’ve read Howl, you will have met Tiffy.
She started out as a secondary character, but she intrigued me. Who was she? What made her tick?
Before I knew it, Tiffy introduced herself — and I knew what would happen to her. “Watch me” is her story. Now let me tell you, Tiffy would thrive on Halloween. She’s the kind of girl who would dress up as an evil fairy and ransack the neighborhood for candy. She’s also the kind of girl who would drag poor Keric along whether he wanted to or not. (And he’d have fun, watching her have fun.) God help the pack she’s with when she has kids.
Zalin wouldn’t do well on Halloween. He’d hand out candy — if Lucia made him do it — but there is no way he’d dress up in some silly costume.
Ash, from Smitten, would not only don the silly costume, he’d probably try to get away with pilfering candy. Actually, he would probably glue wings on his back and wear a halo held up by a wire, just for the hell of it. Jo would tag along, hiding behind his broad shoulders, and watch it all from a safe distance.
I often wonder what the characters from other people’s books would be like in day to day life. Birthday parties, grocery shopping, Halloween… I know how my own would react, but I think some of mine would probably surprise you. (Ash is a huge Yoda fan.)
Have you ever wondered what your favorite character would be like on Halloween?
Silke grew up in Germany and is used to things going bump in the night — and it wasn’t always the acrophobic cat, or someone hitting their head on a low beam on the ceiling.
She writes paranormal romance, usually at night, and blames Anne Stuart to this day for all her ambitions and strange stories, after reading one of her books.
These days the only thing going bump at “oh-dark-thirty” is her — usually when she smacks into the sofa while creeping to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Silke likes to hear from her readers. Feel free to contact her via her blog at http://www.evilauthor.com, follow her on Twitter, look her up on Goodreads or become a friend on Facebook and G+.