for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations
In Skull Creek Stakeout (Zonderkidz, 2013), the story begins when a body is found on a golf course in Transylvania, North Carolina. The victim is discovered with fangs, bite marks on his neck, and a wooden stake driven through his heart. As a reporter for the Cool Ghoul Gazette, Nick’s editor asks him to solve the murder.
My friend Tim Shoemaker - author of Code of Silence and Back Before Dark - calls Skull Creek Stakeout “Scooby Doo meets Indiana Jones.”
Each book in the Caden Chronicles series involves one element of the supernatural. I want teens and their parents to discuss creepy things like ghosts, vampires, and zombies, but to do so from a Biblical perspective. We include study questions in the back of the book and scripture references that highlight dead things in the Bible.
Today we call this communion. We drink grape juice and eat crackers but we are still celebrating the drinking of blood which, if you think about it, is a pretty weird thing to do in church.
But when Christ said that He meant we would have no part of Him unless we surrendered ourselves to Him. And that’s what vampirism is all about – the giving over of ourselves to another individual. Only with vampirism your soul is eternally damned to walk the earth with a craving that can never be satisfied.
So in the Skull Creek Stakeout I show how vampirism has perverted the abundant and eternal life Christ promised 2000 years ago.
Vampirism today is all about romance and sex. It’s about consuming one another. But that is exactly the opposite message of Christ. In Christ, we do not devour another person: we die to our wants and needs so that the other person may live.
Throughout Skull Creek Stakeout Nick encounters people who are selfish and ruthless – individuals who have the mind of a vampire. Nick exposes their deeds of darkness but in doing so, he must descend into darkness. This too, alludes to the role of Christ and how He descends into the depths of hell to save those who are lost.
Skull Creek Stakeout is a fun, fast, and sometimes scary read that exposes the darkness to light. For Christians, that is one of our callings.
Eddie Jones is the author of nine books, including last year’s first title in The Caden Chronicles series, Dead Man’s Hand, which made the 2013 INSPY Awards shortlist in the category of Literature for Young People, and Skull Creek Stakeout (the second book in The Caden Chronicles).