Author Erika McGann was kind enough to let my students interview her. Here are their questions and her answers:
1. Why did you choose the title, The Demon Notebook?
The book always had that title, even before I started writing. I knew the notebook would be important for the girls, something that the demon would latch onto. And I think, as a title, it sounds a little bit creepy too.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for the story?
It’s based on me and my friends at school. We were also aspiring witches – we were also terrible at it. Unfortunately – or should I say fortunately – we never discovered real magic. The book is my take on what would have happened if we had gotten everything we wanted back then. I’m glad we didn’t!
3. Why did you choose to write a scary story?
I loved scary stories when I was younger. I was a big fan of the Point Horror series as a pre-teen and, when I started writing my own book, I wanted to go back to that feeling of being afraid but eager to read on. We all enjoy being a little bit scared now and then.
4. How did you choose the names of the characters?
The characters are based on my friends from secondary school, and we’re all still very close. I didn’t name characters directly after them, but they’re similar.
5. How long have you been writing?
I’m a bit of a newbie to writing. I loved coming up with stories when I was very young, but stopped in my teens and didn’t take it up again until my late twenties. The Demon Notebook was my first go at it, so I’ve only been writing for a few years.
6. How did you come up with the wishes that the girls have recorded in the notebook?
Some of them were actual failed spells of mine as a teenager! I remember trying to make a boy pee his pants in school because he’d been mean to one of my friends. Looking back, I’m so glad it didn’t work. I would have felt really bad.
7. Why does Andrew Wallace pick on the girls? Is he just being mean, or is doing that boy thing of aggravating a girl he likes?
No, he definitely doesn’t have a crush on Grace or the other girls. He’s just being mean.
8. How did the demon well get there, since it was there before the school was built?
It’s always been there. It’s a soft spot in the world where beings can travel between planes so, given the right conditions, demons can slip through. It’s not visible to the naked eye, though, so over the years there were various changes to that piece of land. Eventually, there was a new block of St John’s school built right on top of it.
9. What does the demon well actually look like?
You can’t see it but, if you’re magically inclined, you may be able to sense it. In the sequel, The Broken Spell, we travel back in time and see how another young group of witches discovered the well, and what that meant for Grace and her friends in the future.
10. What does the demon look like when it isn't possessing someone's body?
Black mist. They can’t take corporeal form in our world, so when they emerge from the well they’re in a smoky state that’s easily dispersed unless they find a host quickly. The mist forms a kind of body shape as it reaches out for someone to possess. The girls see this first hand – it’s one of the scarier moments in the book!
Book Description (as shared on NetGalley.com)
What will they do when their "harmless" curses suddenly start coming true?
Grace and her four best friends, Jenny, Rachel, Adie, and Una, are failed spell casters-and they have a notebook full of useless spells to prove it. But one night, when they use a Ouija board for the first time, they stumble upon real magical powers-and their notebook takes on a diabolical life of its own. The girls watch, helpless, as one by one, their spells start to work, moving relentlessly toward the worst one of all...Can Grace and her friends stem the wave of powerful magic before disaster strikes?