Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cover Reveal—Phobic

Today, I am so excited to have Cortney Pearson here revealing her cover for her new novel, Phobic and also revealing her inspiration for the novel. Take it away, Cortney!

Series: The Forbidden Doors #1
Genre: YA Horror
Release date: September 2014


Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.


Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates books for young adults. She lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.
www.cortneypearson.com | twitter.com/cor2ney | FACEBOOK

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As writers we are constantly gathering inspiration (whether we know it or not). An overheard conversation, watching people interact, teenagers laughing together, hearing others tell stories. I believe we subconsciously refer to our life experiences as we write and create stories. We have to. In order to generate realistic emotion and detail that readers can relate to, we have to have some kind of jumping-off-point to base them on. I'd like to share just a few things that sparked ideas for me as I created the world of PHOBIC, a world which is based on the ethereal aspect of seemingly ordinary places.

Inspiration #1
My great aunt lived alone in this fantastic old house built by her father, my great-great grandfather. And it felt like stepping back through time every time I walked through the door. BUT. Right off from her back door--the entrance we always used--was a staircase. It wasn't long. It wasn't even hidden like those in my story. But this staircase led to Aunt Vay's basement with its concrete floor and old cast iron stove and that pair of metal roller skates that always sat alone on a shelf. I hated going in that basement, especially by myself.

Looking back at these pictures now I wonder why I'd been so scared, but as a kid that basement was terrifying!

The basement in PHOBIC plays a huge part in the mystery of the house Piper lives in. It's a place she's been forbidden from entering, but this time she's determined to find out why.

Inspiration #2
Another instance happened at Aunt Vay's when my mom, sister, and I had pulled in late at night to sleep after traveling from California to Utah all day long. We were tired. It was cold and windy outside. And my mom couldn't find her key to the back door. We tried that knob several times and then as I went to reach for the knob again, the door opened. All on its own. OPENED. My mom, sister, and I all exchanged looks and when I checked the knob (on the now open door), it was still locked. True story! So it prompted the opening and this scene in PHOBIC:

My best friend Todd’s red pickup appears at the curb, spewing exhaust like the truck has a cigarette up its backside. I jerk up. My pulse kicks at the sight of him. That’s been happening a lot more lately, my insides flaring up and doing some sort of spastic dance whenever I catch sight of his alluring smile and dark curls.
Leaving the second Pop-Tart on the table, I stuff my phone in my pocket and snatch up my backpack and clarinet case. I dart past the round, velvet-topped table in the wide hallway to the front door.
I reach for the knob. It won’t turn.
Heart pounding, I try again. One way, then the other. Chick. Chick. The lock mechanism is vertical. The door isn’t locked.
“Not now,” I say under my breath. “Please not now.”
The hairs at my nape skulk up one by one until they all stand on end. My wrist flicks, and the obstinate knob makes the same chick chick sounds. The eerie feeling spreads down the length of my arm, making the knob cold under my touch. What is going on? I’m used to my house doing strange things, but why won’t it let me out?

Inspiration #3
The Winchester Mansion in California has also been intriguing to me, especially the staircase that leads to the ceiling. This whole house is completely creepy, but especially this:

Piper's house also has a hidden staircase similar to this one. Her discovery of it knocks her sense of reality way off course, and she begins seeing flashbacks of the original residents of house. Which leads to...

Inspiration #4
I LOVE romances, along with Victorian/Regency-era stories. So my final inspiration for the story--particularly the flashbacks that Piper has to the past--is:

Downton Abbey (I know it takes place after the two eras above-mentioned. But still, inspiration.) It was after watching the first few episodes that my two star-crossed servants in love sprang into my head.

There were many other sources of inspiration as well, but these are the main ones. What about for you? What inspires you when you write?


  1. Creepy cover.
    Ever visited the Winchester Mystery House?

    1. I've never been there, but it was definitely a source of inspiration! So creepy! :)

  2. Congratulations Cortney! Basements scared the heck out of me too (and still do if it's dark and no one is home...hey, I never claimed to be brave!)

  3. Ah, basements. I've never had a basement.

    What inspires me as I write? Everything.

  4. Congratulations Cortney! Cover gives me the chills but the premise sounds intriguing. All the best!

  5. yay for cortney!! and i wouldve been scared in that basement today! eek! suspensefully fun!

    and kristin, thanks for commenting on my broken branch falls blog tour at crystal's!

  6. Awesome. We had a basement in upstate NY (a house built in 1801) with -- I kid you not -- an actual meat hook dangling from the ceiling, electrical systems that looked like they belonged in a Frankenstein book, and those bare, dangling lightbulbs. We wanted to host a haunted house down there because just the idea of creeping down those narrow stairs was enough to freak me out. Love your inspirations!

  7. Whoa, I'm scared...but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Cool post:)

  8. Replies
    1. It was great having you here, Cortney! Love your cover and the premise of your book! I think we are all excited for the release date in September. :)

  9. Ok, I've seen the cover a couple of times now, and I STILL shiver each time. I love it!!!! Congrats again, Cortney!

  10. Congrats to Cortney. The cover is very creative--certainly making a potential reader start browsing.

    The Winchester Mansion stairs are certainly the start for a memorable nightmare. Yikes.


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