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Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, THE DEAD HOUSE, is out now and has been optioned for TV, won an Earie award and was nominated for an Audie award. Her second novel, THE CREEPER MAN / AND THE TREES CREPT IN is due for publication in 2016.
By the time she was eighteen, she had been to fifteen schools across two continents. The daughter of a British globe-trotter and single mother, she grew up all over the place, but her formative years were spent in Africa—on a mission, in the bush, in the city and in the desert.
She has been lucky enough to see an elephant stampede at close range, a giraffe tongue at very close range, and she once witnessed the stealing of her (and her friends’) underwear by very large, angry baboons. (This will most definitely end up in a book . . . ) While she has quite a few tales to tell about the jumping African baboon spider, she tends to save these for Halloween!
When she was sixteen, she thought she’d be an astronomer and writer at the same time, and did a month-long internship at Cambridge’s prestigious Cavendish Laboratories.
She writes over at the YA Scream Queens, a young adult blog for all things horror and thriller, and she is a member of the YA League.
Her life reads like a YA novel.
- THE DEAD HOUSE (Orion Publishing Group, August 2015/Little, Brown, September 2015)
- THE CREEPER MAN/AND THE TREES CREPT IN (Orion Publishing Group, July 2016/Little, Brown, September 2016)
THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich
Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .
Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers. (more)
“What an evil and original story. You can’t stop reading Kaitlyn’s diary. But is she real? It’s a mystery inside a mystery–and the shocks keep coming. Scary stuff!” — R.L. Stine, best-selling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series
THE CREEPER MAN by Dawn Kurtagich
When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath’s country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.
Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer. . . (more)