I have a rule about my kids’ bedtime. They can stay up as long as they want—weekends, school nights, whenever—as long as they are reading a book. Though my own parents didn’t spell out that rule to me when I was a child, it was intrinsically there. My mom was a voracious reader and taught me that reading was on the top shelf of priorities, wedged between food and caffeinated beverages. Obviously, sleep was on a lower shelf. I have countless memories of reading well into the middle of the night, fighting off sleep like a cancer.
“One more chapter. Just one. Okay, maybe another. Just another page. Well, ONE more…” Sometimes I’d fall asleep with an open book against my chest. Sometimes, especially after a few hours of R.L. Stein, I was certain that something slimy and weapon-yielding was lurking under my bed. Those nights I drifted off with the lights on because I couldn’t gather the courage to jump out of bed to hit the switch.
I liked ALL the books, classics like Anne of Green Gables and The Giver, as well as the Sweet Valley Twin varieties. To this day I bounce from genre to genre. Books like Cutting for Stone and Twilight have been known to touch each other on my nightstand.
Even as grownup(ish), I fight sleep to catch just one more chapter. I wear a headlamp now, because I am just THAT stylish, and also because my husband does not have the stay-up-as-late-as-you-want-as-long-as-you-are-reading rule. Bless ‘im.
One genre has always intrigued me most, though. It is the Sleepaway Summer Camp Fiasco genre.
Okay, I just made up that genre name, but I get to do that because I am an author now.
A remote and beautiful location, minimal adult supervision, prank wars, summer romances—this is the perfect backdrop for anything and everything to happen! I especially liked these stories as a young adult and I have ALWAYS known that I would one day write one such story. Called Upon is that story! I did it.
And not only does Called Upon have all of the crucial elements of a Sleepaway Summer Camp Fiasco, it’s got layers. Like, dark layers. Like mysterious layers. Like MURDER layers. This is the sort of book that you might just stay up way past your bedtime to read. This is the kind of story that will make you laugh out loud. It might gross you out a little, too. It is the book that might cause your 12-year-old to sleep with the lights on because there might be something slimy and weapon-yielding under his or her bed.