"The Phantom Thief" & "My Friend's a Werewolf"
THE PHANTOM THIEF: The first time Alfie sees the boy, he appears as if from nowhere in the school detention room - the 'padded cell'. There's something odd about him and Alfie is definitely not pleased when he realizes the boy has nicked his new jacket. But a ghost? That's what his new friend Sarah thinks - and she's so certain she's prepared to ghost-watch with him. That's when the warning message appears, scratched out on the blackboard by a phantom hand . . .
MY FRIEND'S A WEREWOLF: Kelly always thought werewolves only existed in stories and late-night films. Until Simon moves in next door. Kelly and Simon become instant friends, but Kelly just can't help noticing that there's something very odd about her new friend. For one thing, he wears black gloves all the time, even at school. And could that be hair starting to sprout on his face? Last, but definitely not least, there's the howling at night . . .
"Often the best ideas for stories occur in the middle of the night. This is what happened with The Phantom Thief.
"I needed to think of a spooky setting for a ghost story. I wanted something original, different. All day I paced around: but no ideas came. Then, much later, when the darkness was at its deepest, I suddenly remembered the padded cell.
"It was the detention room at our school: it was dark and cold, with a window the size of a thumbnail. And it was right down at the end of a long corridor. We all thought it was haunted. You'd be writing out lines when you'd stop, certain you'd heard footsteps, a muffled cry . . . once I looked up and just for a second, I thought I saw a shadowy figure in the doorway. It vanished before my eyes.
"Now I had my setting: ideas began to grow. I sat up for the rest of the night, writing, and shivering with excitement.