Friday, August 19, 2016

YA Pioneers: Diane Hoh

YA may have blown up over the past decade, but it used to be a small section of bookstores.  In the early nineties, it consisted mostly of "teen thrillers," which featured dark mysteries and serial killers, although there was some supernatural fare as well.  The authors of those days were ahead of their time and built an audience in teenagers, and paved the way for the YA that is beloved by so many today.

Diane Hoh is one of the big guns in my opinion.  She cranked out a lot of books, mostly slashers, and had one of the biggest YA series of the 90's that you could even pick up in the grocery store.  The Accident was one of the very first teen novels I ever read and changed my life forever.

YA Pioneers

The earliest book that I can find written by Diane Hoh is Loving That O'Connor Boy in March of 1985, which was the 67th installment of a romance series featuring teenagers called Wildfire.  Hoh would go on to write another book in the series for Scholastic, Brian's Girl.  A few other teen thriller authors also had early book in this series, including Caroline B. Cooney and Barbara Steiner.  From there, Hoh would write another teen romance novel in the Chrystal Falls series, before moving on to high school drama with the Cheerleaders series, another series by Scholastic where several teen thriller authors began their careers, such as Christopher Pike and Carol Ellis.  Hoh wrote a total of six books for the series, before writing a stand alone romance novel in 1989, Slow Dance, which was the last romance novel by the author before she jumped head-first into horror.

In 1990, Diane Hoh wrote Funhouse for Scholastic's Point Horror line, a popular series of teen books that is known for launching the career of R.L. Stine.  Her next work for the imprint was a short story, Dedicated to the One I Love, which was included in the horror anthology Thirteen: 13 Tales of Horror, edited by T. Pines, and featuring the works of other thriller authors such as Carol Ellis, Lael Littke, Sinclair Smith, Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine.  Following this, Hoh would go on to write four more stand alone novels for Point Horror over the next two years, including The Accident and The Train, before launching her own spin-off series for the imprint.  In 1993, her book The Invitation was included in Point horror's first omnibus collection of titles, alongside A. Bates and R.L. Stine.

Nightmare Hall began in 1993 with The Silent Scream.  This spin-off of Point Horror would become a very successful series, with the first fifteen books featuring covers with cut-out windows, with a secondary cover that would reveal something shocking that the first cover only hinted at through the cut-out.  The series were stand-alone stories taking place on the same college campus, Salem University, and were mostly slasher novels, although there were books that featured supernatural elements.  Nightmare Hall would continue for twenty-nine volumes, ending in 1995 with The Voice In the Mirror.

Diane Hoh would contribute another short story, The Piano, to the anthology The Cat-Dogs and Other Tales of Horror in 1995, and would be included in three more Point Horror omnibus collections, as well as Point Horror: The Diane Hoh Special Edition, collecting The Fever, Funhouse and The Invitation into one omnibus edition of her work.

In 1996, Diane Hoh released another stand-alone novel for Point Horror, Prom Date, before launching another series for teens, called Med CenterMed Center was a departure from the romance and teen horror that Hoh had been known for up to this point, as it focused on young adults who worked in a hospital in various roles, risking their lives, and trying to save lives, during times of crisis, whether it was from an exotic illness or natural disaster.  This series of realistic hospital dramas ran for six books, ending in 1997.

Hoh would remain active through 1998, releasing more teen thrillers, including a book in the Horror High series.  In 1998, she released Titanic: The Long Night, following a group on teenagers on the Titanic the night that it sank, as well as its sequel, Remembering the Titanic.  Following these books, Diane Hoh abruptly vanished from the teen scene, after quite a prolific career.

Diane Hoh YA titles

Loving That O'Connor Boy (Wildfire #67) (1985)
Brian's Girl (Wildfire #78) (1986)
A Night to Forget (Chrsytal Falls #7) (1986)
Flirting (Cheerleaders #7) (1986)
Betrayed (Cheerleaders #10) (1986)
Staying Together (Cheerleaders #12) (1986)
Pulling Together (Cheerleaders #21) (1986)
Proving It (Cheerleaders #23) (1986)
Spring Fever (Cheerleaders Super Edition #27) (1987)
Slow Dance (1989)
Funhouse (1990)
The Accident (1991)
The Invitation (1991)
The Fever (1992)
The Train (1992)
The Silent Scream (Nightmare Hall #1) (1993)
The Roommate (Nightmare Hall #2) (1993)
Deadly Attraction (Nightmare Hall #3) (1993)
The Wish (Nightmare Hall #4) (1993)
The Scream Team (Nightmare Hall #5) (1993)
Guilty (Nightmare Hall #6) (1993)
Pretty Please (Nightmare Hall #7) (1994)
The Experiment (Nightmare Hall #8) (1994)
Night Walker (Nightmare Hall #9) (1994)
Sorority Sister (Nightmare Hall #10) (1994)
Last Date (Nightmare Hall #11) (1994)
The Whisperer (Nightmare Hall #12) (1994)
Monster (Nightmare Hall #13) (1994)
The Initiation (Nightmare Hall #14) (1994)
Truth or Die (Nightmare Hall #15) (1994)
Book of Horrors (Nightmare Hall #16) (1994)
Last Breath (Nightmare Hall #17) (1994)
Win, Lose or Die (Nightmare Hall #18) (1994)
The Coffin (Nightmare Hall #19) (1995)
Deadly Visions (Nightmare Hall #20) (1995)
Student Body (Nightmare Hall #21) (1995)
The Vampire's Kiss (Nightmare Hall #22) (1995)
Dark Moon (Nightmare Hall #23) (1995)
The Biker (Nightmare Hall #24) (1995)
Captives (Nightmare Hall #25) (1995)
Revenge (Nightmare Hall #26) (1995)
Kidnapped (Nightmare Hall #27) (1995)
The Dummy (Nightmare Hall #28) (1995)
The Voice In the Mirror (Nightmare Hall #29) (1995)
Prom Date (1996)
Virus (Med Center #1) (1996)
Flood (Med Center #2) (1996)
Fire (Med Center #3) (1996)
Blast (Med Center #4) (1996)
Date With Death (Horror High #5) (1996)
Blizzard (Med Center #5) (1997)
Poison (Med Center #6) (1997)
Blindfold (1997)
Don't Let Me Die! (1998)
Titanic: The Long Night (1998)
Remembering the Titanic (1998)

Here's a video where I show off the covers of Nightmare Hall:

Book synopsis samples:

The Accident

"She appears in Megan's mirror one day, nothing more than a wispy, shadowy plume, glowing with an eerie light. Her voice is faint and hollow, like a distant echo. The voice of a young girl.

Strangest of all is her request.

"I beg you to trade places with me, Megan. For just one week. Let me live again."

Megan is overcome with fear. Yet she is drawn to the shadow in the mirror, unable to look away. Fascinated by the oddly soothing voice, she listens to a tale of a horrible accident many years before. A tale she would never forget.

Gradually, Megan begins to realize that she has no choice. As terrified as she is, she knows she must make the trade...."

The Invitation

"For the high schoolers of Greenhaven, Cass Rockham’s fall party is the social event of the year. Each October, students wait by their mailboxes, praying for the gilt-edged invitation that grants entry into the inner circle of the most popular crowd. And now Cass has planned her finest party yet, with a new sauna, a hot band, and no parents for miles. But to make this party really killer, Cass tops it all off with a sinister twist.
Nerdy Sarah Drew is shocked when she and her friends receive invitations to Cass’s affair. For years she’s steered clear of the popular kids, and now they want her to come to their party? Sarah is wary, but her friends talk her into coming with them. But she regrets it quickly, for at Cass Rockham’s mansion, the only party favor is death."

The Train

"Hannah, Mack, Kerry and Lewis. Four friends enjoying Parker High School's cross-country train tour from Chicago to San Francisco - until they learn what is on the train with them...a coffin. Frog's coffin.

One by one, Hannah's friends guiltily confess all the nasty things they did to Frog before his sudden and horrible death, and then, one by one, they are viciously attacked.

It seems that Frog is out for revenge. But Frog is dead...isn't he?"

Prom Date

"Margaret Dunne’s afternoon job at her mother’s dress shop is usually tranquil, but in the weeks leading up to prom, her work is nonstop. She wouldn’t mind helping the popular girls try on dresses if she had a date too, but boys hardly look at Margaret. After a particularly grueling day taking abuse from three popular girls, Margaret finds a strange package in the alley behind the shop. Inside are the three girls’ dresses—mangled, muddied, and completely ruined. Plenty of people hate the popular clique, but why take it out on their prom dresses?
A few days later, Margaret sneaks off from the senior picnic to enjoy the view from the old lighthouse. A scream pierces the air, and Margaret sees one of the popular girls, Stephanie, dead at the bottom of a cliff. It seems someone at her school has her eye on Stephanie’s perfect date, and will kill to get her hands on him."

Captive (Nightmare Hall #25)

"Molloy, Lynne, Daisy, and Toni are headed for summer school at Salem University, where they’ll officially be freshmen in the fall. But their journey takes an unexpected detour when they’re stranded by a violent storm. They take refuge at the deserted Nightingale Hall, an off-campus dorm haunted by a tragic past.

What the four girls don’t know is that someone else has taken shelter there: a psychopath who’s on the run after murdering a prominent psychiatrist.

The electricity is off. The phones are dead. Someone has locked the doors from the inside and nailed all the windows shut. There’s no escape for Molloy and her friends, who are at the mercy of a madman with no intention of letting any of them leave—at least not alive."

Monster (Nightmare Hall #13)

"There’s a legend of a monster that preys on Salem University students—and now there is deadly proof that it’s real

Abby McDonald works harder than anyone to keep her straight A’s, along with her scholarship, even at the cost of not having much of a social life. Her understanding boyfriend, David, wants her to relax a little, but Abby is driven to succeed. She can’t let her emotions get in the way.

Plunging into a demanding schedule, she blows off the rumors of a vicious monster on campus—it must be a fraternity prank or drama club performance. The only time left to tackle her annoying chemistry project is late at night, which happens to be when her strange classmate Stan likes to work too. It’s better to be with someone than to be alone . . . right?

When the monster attacks someone close to her, Abby can no longer deny the rumors and discovers the shocking truth."

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