John Bladek grew up in Washington State (named for a dead president, but unfortunately not haunted by him). He’s always been fascinated by scary stories. The first story he can remember reading on his own was called Spook’s Bones, a tale of two boys who grant a ghost’s last wish to have his bones properly buried, and then enjoy sandwiches in celebration. He also liked listening to ghost stories on the radio and sneaking into the basement on Friday nights to watch the scary TV show, Ghost Story, which his mom did not approve of. Every day on his way home from school in 3rd grade, he visited a haunted house. Since then, John has stopped hiding under his pillow when listening to spooky stories, but he still enjoys a good scare. To fuel his cravings, John earned a PhD in History, where all ghosts come from. He loves to play trivia and wonders why he doesn’t run into haunted houses anymore.
John’s other books include the humorous middle-grade adventure, Roll up the Streets! (Kane Miller, 2010) and the funny ghost story, Lost in Ghostville (Capstone, 2016).
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember reading, certainly not the first I ever read, was a short ghost story called, Spook's Bones, about two kids who find the remains of a ghost and properly bury them so he can rest, and then enjoy some sandwiches. I always loved the idea of ghosts and this story has stuck with me. Looking back on it, it's not a great story, very little conflict, and some casual murder, mostly exposition, but it still had an impact on me love of hauntings.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I remember writing (and illustrating) was my own version of Moby Dick. I was in first grade, and I drew a picture of a whaling ship being sunk by a whale, and wrote a little story to go with it. I always rooted for the whale.