Cassie: NYCC – Let Me Hear You Scream Panel

If you guys haven’t been following along on social media, Good Books and Good Wine hit up New York Comic Con this year in New York City! I attended Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By mid-day Saturday, I was all conned out and felt that I had done what I needed to do. And thus I skipped Sunday. Please forgive me.

One of my favorite panels that I attended was the “Let Me Hear You Scream” panel produced by Epic Reads. This panel brought together four young adult writers in the horror genre.

IMG_0114 nycc

Madeleine Roux: She loves writing horror and is the author of the Asylum series. The series is a paranormal psychological horror set in a creepy asylum building renovated into a college dorm.

Jake Halpern: Jay is a journalist and co-author of Nightfall. Jay gave an awesome, descriptive summary of the book that I just cannot do justice. The man has a way with words. Anyway, it’s basically about kids that go missing when the townspeople are getting in boats to escape for the night. They only have a few hours to find the missing before really bad things happen.

Danielle Vega: Danielle is the author of  The Merciless and Survive the Night. Merciless is basically witchcraft meets Mean Girls. The popular girls in school kidnap the “freak” and perform an exorcism on her. Survive the Night is about a NYC rave that turns deadly with a girl torn apart. Everyone must try to escape by racing around the subway system.

Emmy Laybourne: Emmy is the author of a new thriller, Sweet. The novel is about a cruise for reality tv people that want to lose weight quickly. Once on the boat, they are given a drug that allows them to rapidly drop weight. They become so addicted to the drug that they want to kill each other for it. They can literally smell it in each other’s blood. Emmy talked a bit about how Sweet focuses a lot on the body hating issues in today’s society.

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The authors talked about how you have to find a personal connection for the reader when writing in the horror genre:

Danielle tried to do that with the typical mean popular girl that most people can relate to in her book Merciless. “When do you say I won’t torture the girl tied up in the basement?” Danielle also tried to tie bullying into her novel as this is something certainly most people experience in their adolescence.

Madeleine tried to connect with readers by writing about the anticipation of will we be friends after high school. Most adolescents wonder what the future will hold after high school and whether the people who stood by them will continue to be there in the end. She also tried to connect with readers about mental illness. The main character in Asylum has a lot of hidden anger issues.

Jake talks about one of his kids who said there were ghosts in his head and he is scared of them. It really resonated with Jake and so he wanted to drive that emotion in his book. What happens when kids are left without their parents during a scary crisis? Jake also discussed how it’s an American thing to not have to worry about horrors happening.

Emmy talks about body shaming issues that are very prevalent in today’s world. I’m sure if you asked every person in the world if they wanted to lose 5 pounds for free and with no effort, 75% would say yes. People are bombarded with images of the perfect person countless times every day.

What is next for the authors?

Emmy is coming out with a new novel titled Berserkers about a Norwegian immigrant who has to flee in 1933 because of a power she possesses.

Danielle is releasing a new book under the name Danielle Rollins called Burning which is basically Orange is the New Black meets Young Adult. She also mentioned a book set at a boarding school at Christmas with a bunny and terrible things that happen.

Jake is working on an new novel set in the same world as Nightfall called Edge Lands. Again, Jake gave a wonderful description that I just could not capture! It is about an island that hosts funeral rituals for the world.

Madeleine has another book in the Asylum series about the beginnings of the asylum when it was active in the 1960s called Escape from Asylum. The cover was revealed a few days ago:

Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux

Lastly, the authors listed their favorite horror novels:

Danielle: House of leaves by Mark Denielewski

Jake: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Madeleine: The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Emmy: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Directly after the panel, I bought The Merciless, Sweet and Asylum. I hadn’t read any of these authors before but they really sold me on their novels! I’m in the middle of the Merciless now and it’s great!

P.S. I was able to get Sweet and Asylum signed afterwards. Madeleine told me she is actually too scared to visit old abandoned asylums! I told her that she should check out the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia as it is preserved from it’s abandoned state and not scary,

P.S.S. Did you know that Emmy played a major role in Superstar?! What?! She is the second from the left in the pic below. Did I also mention that Emmy reminds me so much of Libba Bray? Their humor is so similar and Emmy told me they are actually really great friends!

Emmy Laybourne

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Cassie is a 24 year old working full-time in the marketing industry. In her spare time she likes to play video games, read books, exercise, and cuddle with her cat.

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About Cassie Conant

Cassie is a 24 year old working full-time in the marketing industry. In her spare time she likes to play video games, read books, exercise, and cuddle with her cat.


  1. What a great recap! I’m expecting Nightfall in the mail. Let me know if you want me to give to Ryan to give to you!!

  2. Great recap! I have actually read both of Danielle Vega’s books and they are pretty creepy. Her new books sound different from what she’s written but I’ll definitely check them both out. Also, I had no clue that Emmy Laybourne was in Superstar. That’s such an interesting tidbit.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I haven’t heard great things about Survive the Night and she barely mentioned it at the panel, but I’m really enjoying the Merciless!

      Right? I can’t believe she doesn’t mention it more often! I think that is how I would introduce myself to people. “Hi I’m Cassie and I played a large role in Superstar!”