Happy Halloween! Holiday Traditions of Coastal Magic Convention Featured Author Gail Chianese

Hope everyone who celebrates Halloween has fun things planned for today!! There is so much history, and so many traditions — we thought it would be fun to make our Author Spotlight for #CMCon23 Featured Author Gail Chianese all about this holiday!

Hi, everyone. Happy Halloween weekend!

I’m Gail Chianese, an attending author at the 2023 Coastal Magic Convention and I’m so excited. Is it February yet? No? Okay, guess we’ll let the holiday season have it’s time first, which is fine, as I love Halloween. Before I talk about Halloween traditions, I should tell you that I write romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal in them and contemporary romance (some with and some without paranormal aspects). I’ll also be diving into full on paranormal in the near future. I read across genres, so it makes sense (to me) that I write across them as well.

So, what’s everyone doing this weekend? Costume parties? Binge watching scary movies (or Disney favorites)? Going on a ghost tour? Or is it business as usual at your house?

We’ve done all of these things in the past, as our family loves Halloween, especially when it falls on a non-weekend day. We have three kids. When they were little, it was all about them. Carving pumpkins, school parties, etc. As they got older, we introduced them to other fun Halloween activities.

On October first, we start watching Halloween movies. When the kids were little that meant Casper, Halloween Town, The Littlest Vampire (which still creeps out my middle child who is now 23!), and of course, Hocus Pocus. As they got older, we introduced them to the classics: Abbott and Costello, Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein. They still love those movies and Abbott and Costello’s Time of their Lives is one of their all-time favorites (Costello is a ghost in this one, and picks on Abbott). As adults, the movies get creepier, but I avoid gruesome. I’ve seen Nightmare on Elm St., Halloween (just the first one), Friday the 13th, but really avoid some of the new ones as they go a bit farther than my taste (or bravery) allows. We still watch Casper and Hotel Transylvania as it’s all about balance in life.

Another fun tradition we’ve enjoyed is costume parties. Up until last year, we had two wonderful couples that we’re good friends with who threw the best Halloween parties. They were a blast. Their houses and yards looked like they should have been neighbors with The Adams Family or Munsters. And it was fun and freeing to be kids again for a night and somebody you totally aren’t the rest of the time (kind of like living out a book character). Sadly, one couple decided that after throwing their party for 30+ years, they were done. And the other couple moved to Virginia. But it just so happens that the hubby and I are in DC this week, and guess what we’re doing tonight?

Ghost Tour!

Since our friends love Halloween just like us, we’re all going on a ghost tour in Old Towne Alexandria tonight. I’m stoked to hear the stories. This isn’t our first ghost tour. We’ve done ones in New Orleans (highly recommend if you’re ever in the area), Mystic, CT, Salem, MA, and even Edinburgh, Scotland. The great thing about a ghost walk is you don’t have to wait for Halloween. But, of course, Samhain is when the veil between the living and not-so-living is the thinnest.

These are just a few of my favorite Halloween traditions. Sunday, I’ll carve pumpkins (don’t want the evil spirits coming in, after all) and we’ll probably decorate the yard. Normally, this would have been done at the beginning of the month, but life has been busy. We’ll also watch a few more movies (we’re very behind). Then on Monday, I’ll do one of my favorite things and pass out goodies to all the kids. We have lots of littles in our neighborhood and I love seeing their faces when they pick something from the cauldron, and of course the great costumes.

But I’m curious. What kind of Halloween traditions does everyone else practice? Have you ever been on a ghost tour? Share with us in the comments. You never know, you might spark a new tradition for someone else.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween, everyone.

If you’d like to join Gail and a whole slew of fellow readers and awesome authors for a weekend of bookish shenanigans by the beach… you should DEFINITELY check out the Coastal Magic Convention. February 23-26, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida, Gail and I will be there with everyone for discussion panels, meet & greets, chill time, and a big book signing. **Masks will be required for the duration of the event.** We’d love to see you there!! http://CoastalMagicConvention.com


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