There he stood, carved out of wood so dark it was almost black— wearing a scowl and a ring through his nose and a grass skirt that should have looked silly but didn't. He looked angry and strong and mean.
I tried to swallow, but my throat was too dry.
Jane is terrified of the masks hanging along her grandmother's stairwell, and even more scared of the Spirit Man in her grandmother's bathroom. After a week of avoiding him during a summer visit, she finally summons the courage to face him, minutes before leaving for the trip home. But her moment of triumph marks the beginning of a year of trouble for Jane and her family, trouble only Jane (and the Spirit Man) can fix.
When my girls were small, they were scared of the masks hanging above the stairs of their grandma's house. One day they snuck down the stairs, holding hands, so they could stick out their tongues at the masks. When my mom reminded me of this, years later, I thought it would be great for a story.
I created a timid girl, Jane, who's scared of the masks and even more scared of a statue in the bathroom (he's real, too). Then I kept adding absurd story bits from our family life, like the emus.
Cursed has been selected for Resource Link's Year's Best 2010
CKUA Radio Network - February 2011
10 minute radio interview in which Brenda Finley asks about Cursed, Feather Brain and how it felt to be treated like a rock-star in Lethbridge.
"Cursed! is the story of a Jane, a young girl who has to overcome her fears to face the malevolent spirit who haunts her and who is responsible for a growing list of unfortunate events, from bad weather to household problems and difficulties at school. Though she remains nervous to the end, Jane learns that you don't have to be brave to show courage."
"Written in easy to read prose, the setting, timelines and development of the story can easily be discussed among the younger experienced readers, while challenge those just beginning."
"Cursed! represents Jane's notable development from a frightened child into a brave young girl who can conquer her greatest and ever-present looming fear: Spirit Man."