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Scary story

n one day, author Ann Gerfin ’71 may write a children’s tale about wizards and magic and an adult horror story for Blood and Midnight magazine. It’s just another day for an author specializing in both children’s literature and adult horror. “Writing to different audiences keeps my writing fresher,” she says.

Gerfin didn’t plan on writing for such a varied readership. An elementary education major, she taught fifth grade in Marlton for six years. Her experience with children made her want to write for them. But as she started developing her craft 17 years ago, she began to dabble in books for older audiences, too. She wrote a few romance stories and eventually moved to the horror genre. “I decided to take on the pen name Ann Griffen for my adult books,” she says. “I don't want kids reading one of those!”

Gerfin earned her first byline in 1992 when the magazine Gothic Light ran one of her horror stories. In 1995, she wrote Shrinking Lessons and Spies on Wheels when bePUZZLED, a children’s publisher, hired her to compose two mysteries. She also reviewed Stephen King’s novel, Salem’s Lot, for Tenebres, a French magazine. She received three awards in a Writer’s Digest writing competition and was a semifinalist in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest.

Gerfin continues to work on a novel about the supernatural she started eight years ago. She also plans to write a mid-length book for children. “I ideally see myself writing 50/50 for adults and children,” she says. “I like to keep a lot of different pots cooking at the same time.”

from spring ’01

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