The ‘Star Wars’ Author Who Gave Us Geode Is Now Tackling The Haunted Mansion

Claudia Gray, the ‘Star Wars’ author who gave readers a rock for a character, that she named Geode, is now being given a Haunted Mansion book. It is entitled ‘The Haunted Mansion: Storm and Shade.’ Yeah, I’m not too excited and worried for where this will go.

I will start off by saying that this article will contain opinion as well as fact. So consider that as you progress.

Gray, had written a few ‘Star Wars’ books including: ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars, ‘Bloodline,’ and ‘Leia: Princess of Alderaan’ before moving onto the ‘High Republic’ series.  While working as part of ‘The High Republic’ she wrote ‘Star Wars The High Republic: Into The Dark.’  This is where she gave ‘Star Wars’ fans the character of Geode, who is basically a rock slab. It of course led to many jokes and eye rolls.

Now, Disney has put her on a Haunted Mansion book. I hope this time we aren’t getting sentient rocks. But what we are getting is a girl who has an anxiety disorder and stories about how ghosts get scared too?

The Disney Parks Blog interviewed Gray and here’s what she said:

Q: Without giving too much away, can you tell us about the story, specifically our protagonist, Audrey?

Audrey has just moved into the city from the suburbs, and so she’s having to adjust to a new school (with the world’s worst uniforms), new friends, and a not-quite-long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Chase. This would be tough for anyone, but Audrey has also been dealing with terrible anxiety attacks. Therapy is helping, but guess what’s right down the street in her new neighborhood? And just when she thinks the Haunted Mansion is as terrifying as anything could ever be, Audrey realizes that even the Happy Haunts can get scared….

Oh no. The world’s worst uniforms. Actually, that could be scarier than the ghosts in the mansion. Bad drip can seriously lead to social issues for YA readers. I’ll give her that one.

Moving is also super hard so that is relatable and I’ll give her that one. But she has an anxiety disorder and so do the ghosts?


Q: Claudia, we can’t wait for your take on the Haunted Mansion! It’s always been my favorite attraction at the parks, but what about it inspired you to write an original YA novel centered on it?

I’ve adored the Haunted Mansion since my very first trip to Walt Disney World back when I was 9 years old. But the real inspiration came when I realized that the Disneyland Haunted Mansion is canonically located in my very own city of New Orleans. This is a magical place with its own folklore (more houses haunted per capita than anywhere else in the country, I think?), and such a perfect setting for a Mansion story. Of course it would be here! It’s not hard to imagine that you might find it if you just turn the wrong corner.

Thank God it’s the Disneyland version and not the Walt Disney World one.

Q: If you had to play favorites, which of the 999 Happy Haunts do you like best?

Oh, no no no no. Do you think I would ever risk ticking off the other 998 Haunts by not picking them? Then what happens the next time I’m on the ride? My lips are sealed. 

The book will go on sale on Sept. 5, 2023. You can pre-order it now on Amazon for $17.99 (affiliate link because I can’t change this but I can make money on the book to spite it.)

My eyes can’t roll any harder.

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