Let’s Talk with Terry Odell

October 29, 2015

Halloween Treats

by Terry Odell

Jason Zombie

Where I live, out in the boonies, Halloween is a low key night. Our houses are too far apart, the roads aren’t paved, no street lights, and it’s really hilly. Too much effort for too little reward. Instead, our community hosts a “Trunk or Treat” one afternoon before the big night, and after a party with games and food, the kids go around the parking area and the grownups give out candy.


When my kids were in elementary school, Halloween was a big event. The kids made costumes and creativity reigned. One year, one of my daughters and her best friend went as squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard. A family tradition was carving jack o’lanterns. In fact, when my twins were born, my husband was late picking us up from the hospital because he and our son had to stop at the pumpkin patch to buy 3 pumpkins. As the kids got older, they started doing their own, and our son was mighty handy with the pumpkin carving kit. He did this one all on his own – no template, just his keen eye and deft hand.



Deadly Places by Terry OdellIn my latest release, a new Mapleton Mystery, Deadly Places, Ed Solomon’s 12-year-old son, Jeremy, is making a costume for the town’s Trick or Treat Parade. He’s working with 3 of his friends, and keeping it a surprise from his parents. (Part of the reason is because I wasn’t sure what a 12-year-old boy would think was “cool” for Halloween.)

Here’s a snippet:


“Hang on a sec,” Ed said. “You boys planning on the Trick or Treat Parade this year?”

Jeremy’s eyes lit up. “I’ve got a cool idea for a costume.”

“And how much is this cool idea going to cost me? And how much time will it take?” Mary Ellen asked, a twinkle in her eye. “I don’t seem to recall anyone asking whether or not it can be done.”

“No problem, Mom. Kirk, Ramon, and me—I—we—are going to do it together. If my allowance doesn’t cover what we need, I’ll do extra chores. But it’s a surprise.”

“I’m too old for that stuff,” Mitch said, shooting his brother an arrogant look.

“Yeah, but don’t expect me to share my candy,” Jeremy shot back.


What do you think Jeremy’s going to be? And what ‘cool’ Halloween costumes do you remember, either yours, your kids’, or just someone who showed up at your door? Deadly Places is available for pre-order at the reduced price of 99 cents. Price goes up on release day, November 9th, so reserve your copy now. All buy links are on my website, here.

Enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win one of 3 copies of Deadly Secrets, Book 1 in the Mapleton Mystery series.

Seeing Red 200x300As for my Halloween this year? I’m going to be in Nashville for my first “Killer Nashville” conference. I’m really excited that my collection of short stories, Seeing Red, is a finalist in their Silver Falchion contest. I’m definitely a long shot to win, since the winner is determined by votes cast by attendees at the gathering, and since it’s my first, nobody will know me. Oh, and did I mention the other finalists are C.J. Box, Jeffery Deaver, Craig Johnson and Carol Joyce Oates? I’m still tickled to see my name right up there with the big guns. That’s enough of a Halloween treat for me.


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Posted in Let's Talk, with Terry Odell, zed: Former Authors • Tags: , , , , , , , , |  10 Comments


10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Terry Odell

  1. I love seeing what costumes kids choose… two years ago, a kid came wearing one he made by hand… he was the Whack a Mole game… so creative!

  2. I think kids are influenced by what’s popular in movies and TV. Now there are lots of Star Wars costumes in the stores. Superheroes are always popular with boys.

  3. We made our costumes as kids in our rural neighborhood. But it’s been so long, I can’t remember the kinds of things we were. Ghosts come to mind. My favorite Halloween ever was the neighbor who had all us trick or treaters come in and she fixed banana splits for everyone. Yum.

    1. Wow — that’s generous. One of my memories is living outside of Beverly Hills, and one year, Mom drove us down to some of the big stars’ houses. Edward G. Robinson left a basket with big squares of English Toffee on his porch.

  4. A couple of years ago we went to the mall on Halloween and were surprised at the number of trick-or-treaters going from store-to-store. It was a great experience and I think we’re going back again…but dressed as ourselves, not superheroes!

    1. A lot of communities have these sorts of things — it’s designed to be safe for the kids, but it also draws business to the stores. Just be prepared to answer, “I’m the famous author, Terry Ambrose” when people ask who you’re supposed to be!

  5. The cutest costume I saw this year was online — a little one about 4 or 5 dressed as Willie Nelson. He was precious!

    My best costume ever was Madame Hooch, the Flying Instructor from Harry Potter. I won a $25 gift card in the Texarkana College costume contest — hands down — and my gift card was stolen the next week along with my purse. Talk about highs and lows!

    1. There were some clever (and elaborate) costumes at Killer Nashville this year. I confess I was a “reclusive Colorado writer” (meaning I wore my normal clothes). The little Willie Nelson would have fit right in. And so sorry that your purse and prize were stolen. That’s awful.

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