Meghan: Hey J.P. Welcome back to our annual Halloween Extravaganza? What is your favorite part of Halloween?

J.P.: I love the dressing up and pretending to be someone else aspect. As a kid, playing dress up and imagining myself in different roles and situations was one of my favorite things to do. And of course, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

J.P.: Decorating the house with my husband and son is always fun. My very favorite part of that is standing down by the end of the driveway when we’ve finished and looking at the lights/decorations. Last year (COVID) we weren’t sure if trick-or-treating would be possible, so we had a big outdoor Halloween party with several families in our neighborhood and my son’s friends and families. It was a blast and I really enjoyed our creative Halloween-themed snacks (puking pumpkin was a hit but maybe not as much as the spider donuts).

Meghan: If Halloween is your favorite holiday (or even second favorite holiday), why?

J.P.: Halloween is toward the top of my list. I just love the idea of everyone connecting with their creative selves—the decorations, costumes, the fun of walking the streets in the dark with kids as they go door-to-door, the movies and books, candles and coziness—there’s a lot to love!

Meghan: What are you superstitious about?

J.P.: No superstitions here. 😊

Meghan: What/who is your favorite horror monster or villain?

J.P.: I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time a few years ago. While I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of vampires and their eerie transformation from person to blood-sucking-villain, this book made the idea so much more real…and frightening. Highly recommend this book—the atmosphere Stoker created was incredible and the writing really beautiful.

Meghan: Which urban legend scares you the most?

J.P.: I read a scary book by Mary Higgins Clark when I was a teenager about a babysitter who was getting crank calls…and realized they were coming from inside the house. I did a lot of babysitting back then and it was at the back of my mind from that point on! I have heard variations of this as an urban legend but am not sure which came first—the story or the novel.

Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?

J.P.: Ohhhh, I do not like serial killer stories at all.

Meghan: How old were you when you saw your first horror movie? How old were you when you read your first horror book?

J.P.: I saw Child’s Play at a friend’s sleepover party when we were in the third grade. I was terrified. Afterward, my little overactive imagination saw Chuckie everywhere I went—behind the shower curtain, in my closet, under the bed….

My first horror book was Dean Koontz in high school, I think. I can’t remember the title but there was some sort of supernatural monster in it. I love supernatural suspense and the type of horror that causes all the fear and dread without relying on gore.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

J.P.: I think it was the year I made a Bride of Frankenstein costume. I bought a big Marge Simpson-style white wig and spray painted it black (cutting out lightning bolts first to keep the hair underneath white). I made a dress from an old sheet and my husband helped with the makeup. It was fun and I loved the way it looked in the end.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?

J.P.: I love Halloween songs! Thriller, Monster Mash, and Purple People Eater–they’re all great. My absolute favorite, though, is Little Red Riding Hood by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. Love it!

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween candy or treat? What is your most disappointing?

J.P.: I’m a huge chocoholic so anything with chocolate is a yes for me. If it’s paired with peanut butter (Reese’s PB cups or Butterfinger) makes it even better.

Meghan: Thanks for stopping by today, J.P. Before you go, what kind of Halloween books and movies are your go-to?

J.P.: Right now, I’m listening to Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie which I’m really enjoying. Anything gothic-y, dark, atmospheric, preferably set in the deep woods, a crumbling mansion, or a boarding school are my go-to choices for Halloween…and most of the rest of the year, too.

Thriller author, J.P. Choquette, writes atmospheric suspense novels with themes of nature, art, and folklore.

She started writing “books” when she was old enough to hold a crayon. These were held together with staples and left some painful scratches. 

In her career, J.P. has been a vet tech, a Montessori teacher helper, an administrative assistant, a case manager, and a buffet hostess, in no particular order. She’s been writing full-time since 2008. 

When she’s not working, you’ll find her sipping a hot beverage, reading, or in the woods with her family. 

Join her Readers’ Club and get peeks into her writing life, upcoming releases, thriller book recommendations, and other treats for book lovers.


Green Mountain Trilogy:
Let the Dead Rest, Shadow in the Woods, Dark Circle

Combined for the first time, readers of J.P. Choquette’s Gothic tales of suspense will be riveted by The Green Mountain Trilogy.

In “Let the Dead Rest,” a strange doll makes her appearance in the life of Isabel Joven, an artist living out in the boondocks of Vermont. When strange things begin to happen, Isabel is drawn deeper and deeper into the doll’s frightening past, even as her own world starts to fall apart at the seams.

Readers are calling “Shadow in the Woods,” a “fast-paced, fun thriller,” and remarked that it “hits the accelerator and never lets up on the gas.” In it, two mental health counselors bring a small group of patients for an “ecotherapy” weekend in the wilds of the Vermont mountains. But when the group is forced to take refuge from a storm in a cave, sinister things begin to happen. Six go into the woods, but only three come out.

Sarah Solomon is recovering from a traumatic experience in “Dark Circle,” and moves to northwestern Vermont for a fresh start. But strange things are happening in the gated community where she and her husband live. When Sarah sees the “gray lady” in the woods, she’s unsure if it’s a ghost or a real person. As Sarah digs deeper into the community’s past, she discovers secrets that others want very much to stay buried.

Now available for the first time in a trilogy format, readers can enjoy a collection of Choquette’s most popular supernatural suspense titles. Fans of Ruth Ware, Lisa Unger and Peter Swanson will enjoy Choquette’s atmospheric, chilling tales packed with twists and turns. All three novels are set in rural or small town northwestern Vermont.

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: J.P. Choquette

Meghan: Hi, J.P. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

J.P. Choquette: Thanks so much, it’s wonderful to be here. I’m a huge nature-lover, tea drinker, and of course, bibliophile.

Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?

J.P. Choquette: Hmmm, let’s see. I’m eclectic in my music tastes, a huge craver of chocolate in all forms, created a gothic garden that features all white and black flowers/plants, still compose handwritten letters to select people, and have my motorcycle license.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

J.P. Choquette: There’s a Monster at the End of This Book, a Sesame Street story featuring loveable, furry Grover.

Meghan: What are you reading now?

J.P. Choquette: I just finished, The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons and am still processing it. The most enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time.

Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?

J.P. Choquette: I’ve loved all the books I’ve read by Rosamunde Pilcher, who was an incredible storyteller, though her books fall outside my usual genre.

Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?

J.P. Choquette: I know it’s cliché, but I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil. My early “books” were held together with tape or staples. I would say that it’s harder for me to NOT write, than write.

Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?

J.P. Choquette: I usually write at my standing desk in my office. Kinda boring but it works. I like to listen to thunderstorms while writing fiction.

Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

J.P. Choquette: I’m really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type, so no, other than making a commitment to write 5 days a week.

Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

J.P. Choquette: Probably balancing everything. I write for a living (nonfiction work for clients) so I have to make it a point to complete my fiction writing first thing which isn’t always easy.

Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?I’d have to say my first novel, Epidemic because it took such a long, long time and I doubted myself so much through the process.

Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

J.P. Choquette: Oh, so many books have inspired me! I love Lisa Unger, Ruth Ware, Jennifer McMahon, and many “vintage” authors like Daphne du Maurier and Mary Roberts Rinehart who mesmerize me with their prose.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

J.P. Choquette: I love a story full of atmosphere, suspense and relatable characters.

Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

J.P. Choquette: I think characters that are as flawed as myself and people I know in real life. Personally, I’m bored by “perfect” heroines/heroes and can’t relate to them at all.

Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

J.P. Choquette: The character Sarah Solomon in my second book, Dark Circle, in many ways, because at the time I wrote it, I was anxious, neurotic and doubting myself like she does for most of the book. Luckily, my circumstances weren’t as extreme as hers!

Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover? To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

J.P. Choquette: Yes, I am turned off by a bad cover. I’m very picky about that actually, and have been known to shy away from a book that has a cover that doesn’t impress. I’m involved in my own cover creation to the point of offering suggestions and moods, but leave the rest up to the talented designers I’ve worked with. I wouldn’t work well having someone hovering over my shoulder and basically let the designer work his or her magic.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

J.P. Choquette: So much! I’ve learned a lot about the importance or writing/designing/marketing what the READER wants, not me. I’ve also learned that marketing (or “outreach as I call it), takes as much or more time than writing new things much of the time. Without an audience, why publish more books? I will always write—if for no one but myself—but I wouldn’t continue to publish necessarily if no one were reading.

Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

J.P. Choquette: Ugh, there have been a lot of these too. Rape scenes—even though told in past-tense—are difficult to write. Certain character’s deaths have been hard. Sometimes the most challenging thing of all is writing my character into a corner and then having to figure how the heck to get them out of there.

Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

J.P. Choquette: My books are an interesting blend of gothic suspense, modern day storylines and lots of flawed characters. There are plenty of twists and turns too, as I don’t know how any of my books will end before I write the ending.

Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

J.P. Choquette: This is a hard process for me—along with writing the synopsis. I do the best I can, get reader feedback, research other titles in the marketplace and then choose the one that feels best for the book.

Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

J.P. Choquette: Definitely writing a novel. I’m not a fan of writing short stories. I actually find them more challenging than writing a full-length novel.

Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

J.P. Choquette: An ongoing message that shows up in my books (unintentionally), is that of hope and of overcoming challenges that the main character(s) feel is completely out of reach. I love that theme. Women make up the majority of my readers, particularly those who like a lot of edge-of-your-seat suspense without a lot of gore/torture/dismemberment, etc.

Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

J.P. Choquette: Yes, I keep these actually. I have them in a folder called, “Deleted Scenes”—some I may use in the future, others probably not. This likely happens more often because I don’t make a very detailed outline.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

J.P. Choquette: I have a trilogy that I’m hallway through, which is a historical mystery. I’m not sure how/when it will be published, but look forward to that time. I may end up publishing it under a penname because it’s quite different than my usual thrillers.

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

J.P. Choquette: I’m about halfway through my current series, Monsters in the Green Mountains, which features a different folk legend from Vermont in each book. After that, I’m not sure. But something else deliciously creepy!

Meghan: Where can we find you?

J.P. Choquette: Thanks for the chance to connect. Feel free to connect with me on:

Website ** YouTube ** Instagram ** Twitter

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?

J.P. Choquette: Just to thank you again for all the hard work you do to connect readers with authors and vice versa. It’s a wonderful service you take on and much appreciated. Thanks again!

J.P. Choquette is the author of thriller novels set in Vermont. Her books, “turn pages, not stomachs,” and frequently tie in the themes of art, nature and psychology. A lover of Gothic books and movies, J.P. enjoys being in nature with her family, spending time in old cemeteries and visiting junk shops.

Monsters in the Green Mountains 1: Silence in the WoodsAmazon ** Other Digital Readers

In 1917, four friends and photojournalists set out in the woods looking for answers. Why have so many hikers and hunters gone missing in the area of Shiny Creek Trail?The two couples anticipate a great adventure, one they’ll tell their kids about someday. No one imagines the evil lurking in a remote cave. A horrifying discovery leaves one person dead and two others missing.Two months later, Paul, one of the four, returns to the forest to find his wife. But will he find her before someone—or something—finds him?