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Dawn Kurtagich Books In Order

Publication Order of The Dead House Books

The Dead House (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Naida Tapes (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Creeper Man (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Teeth in the Mist (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Dawn Kurtagich is an author of spooky, creepy and psychologically sinister young adult fiction where grown-ups often have dark secrets, boys see men as monsters and girls go insane. She published her debut novel “The Dead House” in 2015 and has never looked back since. By the time she was an eighteen-year-old, she had studied in fifteen schools in Africa and the United States. The reason for this was that she was born to a single mother and a British globe-trotter and hence she spent much of her young years in the African deserts, cities, and the bush. Growing up in Africa, she has been witness to a lot of strange things such as a troop of baboons stealing underwear, an elephant stampede, and a giraffe’s tongue. While she has a lot of interesting tales she could put down on paper, she prefers to save such for Halloween festivities. As a sixteen-year-old, she aspired to be an astronomer and author and even spent a month at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge as a form of internship. She currently blogs about young adult thriller and horror on “YA Scream Queens” and is also a member of the Young Adult League.

Dawn Kurtagich had been writing for years when she decided she wanted to become a professional author. She was prodded into it when her husband told her to pursue her passion for telling stories. While it sounded so simple, it was very difficult but it was the push she needed. Unlike her contemporaries, she loves to read in many genres and has asserted that she reads historical fantasy from the likes of Juliet Marillier and literary fiction from Kazuo Ishiguro. Dawn loves a great thriller and loves a good comedy and has enjoyed cozy mysteries and crime novels though she has always loved horror. While horror is her first love, she got into it by accident when she started writing the manuscript for “The Dead House,” her debut novel. At the time, she never realized that she was writing a horror novel as she was just in a scary situation waiting for a transplant being very sick. It was those moments of her life that she then transplanted into her manuscript and combining the horror of what was happening to her, she wrote her novel. Nonetheless, she tends to prefer darker stories and as such even though she writes fantasy narratives, they tend to cross over into fantasy horror. Kurtagich also wrote romance horror in her novel “And the Tree Crept In.” She has always loved her dark stories given that they have a lot to explore and she just likes that there is a lot to think about and enjoy in the genre.

Dawn Kutargich was inspired to write her debut novel “The Dead House” from a combination of factors in her life. Things came to a head when she went into liver failure as a twenty-four-year-old and had to spend more than a year very sick and bedridden as she waited for a liver transplant. She became a victim of inversion syndrome as she experienced sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night. Her story came when she started thinking about what it would be like for someone who only knew that life. It was from such questions as Would she suffer? or What would she go through during the day? and What would her family do? that was born Kaitlyn the lead protagonist of her novel. At this time, she was being taken care of by a relative with Dissociative Identity Disorder who had difficulties looking after her and developed several alter egos. All of these things – losing control of her body, inversion syndrome, illness, thinking about losing an organ, mortality, and death and the afterlife resulted in a story of a girl who does not know who she is. Kaitlyn is told what she thinks she is not real and is fighting to prove that it is though she sometimes finds it hard to believe it herself. While the novel came from a very dark time in her life, it was her form of catharsis and she is very proud of it.

“The Dead House” by Dawn Kutargich introduces a girl with a dissociative identity disorder. She is Kaitlyn during the night and Carly during the day. Kaitlyn is a paranoid, fidgety, and cheeky girl that is prone to harming herself while Carly is a friendly and demure girl. Both girls are looking forward to getting out of the small town of Claydon and head to the big city, where they believe they can be free. But then the girls go to school and are hoping everything would be fine but Kaitlyn is a bad mental state as she hears voices. The voice is whispering some terrible things to her during the night. Kaitlyn gets out of bed one morning to find Carly has disappeared without a trace. She now needs to go to the “Dead House” and use magic to get back her sister. Will she keep her sanity in the mid of such horrors? She flits back and forth between schizophrenia and normalcy, but she is totally unpredictable. She sees a range of hallucinations from the Dead House to dead girls. Nobody knows what to make of it, with the doctors affirming that she is sick while her friends believe it is all voodoo.

“The Naida Tapes” is a novella set after the mysterious incident of the debut novel of the series that had raised more questions than answers and caused several deaths. It is the story of Naida following those mysterious events, where she had cut out her tongue and made herself dumb. Cutting out your tongue is a horrifying ordeal but through notes, diary entries, and video footage we get insights into why she self-harmed in that way. She was dealing with a demon and some things that may have been too much for her to bear. She had been scared that had she not cut out her tongue at the Dead House, something terrible would have happened. But now comes the realization that the demon is still out for her and Kaitlyn, and she has to go back to deal with it. Similar to the debut novel, the audience gets insights from the notes, videotapes, and diary entries of the protagonist. It is a creepy tale full of secrets that takes the audience down dark and shadowy corridors.

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