Children say the scariest things

19:43, Oct 28 2013
baby teeth book
Fangs for the memories: Baby Teeth authors, back from left, Michael Parry, Paul Mannering, Dan Rabarts, Sally McLennan. Middle: Jack Newhouse, Eileen Mueller, A J Ponder. Front: Jenni Sands, Darusha Wehm.

Kids say the darnedest things - and sometimes kids say eerie, creepy, disturbing things.

A group of almost 30 authors have explored the scary world of children's comments in a book of short stories Baby Teeth.

The book, which has been published by Paper Road Press, is being sold to raise money for Duffy Books in Homes.

But do not mistake it as a book for children. The stories are in part spine-tingling, bone-chilling or completely terrifying - with a few humorous ones thrown in for good measure.

Editor Dan Rabarts challenged authors to write short stories earlier this year after discovering a list of creepy things said by children on the website Reddit.com.

The result was a group of science fiction, horror and fantasy stories, where children are monsters, can talk to ghosts or see faces in their closets and under their beds.

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"The stories started coming in and they just got better and better and more people were [saying] they wanted to write, so I realised we've got to do something with this," Rabarts said. Publisher Maria Hodgkinson, of Paper Road Press, says it would be easy for the children to be the creepy element, as seen in horror films like The Shining, but the authors have been clever with the way they have used children.

The book's publishing was funded through Pledge Me and, because it was a collaborative effort, everyone agreed to donate the proceeds to Duffy Books in Homes.

Author Eileen Mueller says child literacy is very important, so it was natural to use the book to raise money for the charity. "Children's literacy, that's something I'm quite passionate about."

Rabarts adds: "As a writer you need readers, and you could almost say reading is under significant threat at the moment."

Hodgkinson says she was attracted by the unusual concept for a short story collection.

"I thought it was a great idea. There's something twisted about using scary horror stories about children to raise money for a children's charity."

THE DETAILS

Baby Teeth is being launched at Quality Hotel Cuba St tomorrow at 5.30pm. All welcome. Visit paperroadpress.co.nz to purchase a copy.

The Dominion Post