Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
Rating: Four out of five stars
There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.
Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.
A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.
Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.
A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?
I actually was asked by Leydy from Once Upon a Twilight to review this book! You can find my review by clicking here! Overall I really loved this book, it kept me up at night and is the PERFECT Halloween read.
Before jumping into this discussion, I would like to thank Hillary Monahan for taking the time to answer these questions! I really do appreciate it. If you guys want to learn more about Hillary and her books (which you should totally do!) check out her website. You can also follow her on twitter, she’s very sweet and tweets fans back! Okay, now it’s time for the discussion:
Before writing Mary: The Summoning, did you know the details to Bloody Mary’s history or did you start researching her when you came up with the idea? What information did you find most interesting?
I didn’t know much about Bloody Mary except for my own childhood experiences. I hadn’t even seen the Supernatural episode about her yet (which I get asked a lot—I SWEAR, GUYS, I SAW IT ABOUT A MONTH AFTER I SUBMITTED DRAFT ONE OF MARY TO MY AGENT IN 2011 AND PROMPTLY FREAKED OUT THAT I WAS A DERIVATIVE JERK. Fortunately my first draft was a full historical and had nothing to do with the Mary in Supernatural.) At any rate, I was traumatized by the legend as an early teen, or my town’s variation therein, so it was perfect fodder for a book.
Researching her didn’t get me very far, frankly. Bloody Mary became a THING in the States in the 1960s. Beyond that, it was girls in a bathroom—sometimes alone, sometimes not—a candle, and the name said three times. From there, the details all sort of wandered. Even the name of the ghost was different in different places. I didn’t get my hands on the English toilet bogey variant (based on Bloody Mary the queen) until after I’d completed the book.
Have you ever tried to summon Bloody Mary? If so what was your experience like?
Funny story. I was supposed to do the ritual, went into the bathroom at the school (as that’s where this urban legend popped up) and . . . chickened out. But because I was afraid people would make fun of me, I ran outside swearing I saw something in the mirror.
Which I think is how this urban legend lives on. Girls like me. Being really dumb.
I noticed that you love the horror genre, what is your favorite horror movie, book, and/or TV show of all time?
I could go on and on about this for a while. My favorite horror books are probably THE SHINING, THE WITCHING HOUR, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, and a new favorite is Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS.
Movies? Shaun of the dead. The Exorcist. Kubrick’s The Shining even though it has almost nothing to do with the book. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Tucker and Dale Versus Evil delight me. So do a lot of Burton movies. I love Nightmare Before Christmas so much, I have the merchandise everywhere. I also adore the heck out of his version of Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd (to be fair I liked Sweeney Todd as a musical far before Burton came along.)
TV shows? I did a whole blog post about this recently, but I’m a big fan of some of the early X-Files episodes. Buffy, American Horror Story, Supernatural though I came to fandom late. I’m also loving the HECK out of Hannibal for a psychological trauma show.
Were there any scenes in the book that terrified you?
Not scenes so much, though I think the church scene is one of the scarier ones simply because of where Mary comes from. I also don’t dig bugs, so anything that had the beetles made me shiver. Why I put so many bugs in the book, I do not know. I think I hate myself and all my readers a little.
What are your top three favorite urban legends? If you had to ever choose, which of those three would you prefer to haunt you?
The Boogie Man, Bloody Mary, and the Hook Hand. Honestly, none of them are invited to my tea parties, but I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be the Boogie Man as he’s based on fairy lore and I can get my hands on some iron and horseshoes to keep him off my doorstep. Or locked in the closet indefinitely.