Occasionally a thread comes up at one of the web forums I frequent asking what book or books read as a child hooked one on genre fiction.
For me it was a combination of the many dinosaur books I devoured from my local library and this book.
This is the book that was the spark that lit the fire. I ordered it through my school’s grade school book program. The cover in the ordering pamphlet caught my eye and has stuck with me forever. As an eight year old it enthralled and hypnotized me. The ghost. Was he stalking the boy? The boy with the flashlight and shovel. Where was he going? Was he going to dig up a treasure or perhaps… maybe even a grave? And his head was tilted towards the tree where the ghost was hiding! Had the boy heard something? Seen something? And the name, ‘Dibble Hollow.’ It sounded so deliciously mysterious and spooky. Behind the cover lay pages with so many intriguing possibilities! All these thoughts set my mind racing and my heart pounding.
This was the book that flipped a switch in my brain. Once I devoured it in a reading frenzy, a universe of potential stories to read opened before me. From here came the discoveries of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Stoker, Shelley, Bradbury and later King, Straub, Matheson etc and so many more.
It all started with the image on this book cover.