For three decades, Richie Tankersley Cusick (b. 1952) has been one of the most prominent authors of horror fiction for young adults. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana—home to some of the country’s most ancient ghosts—Cusick grew up in a small bayou town called Barataria. Inspired by the eerie Louisiana swampland, she began writing at a young age. After college, Cusick took a job at Hallmark and moved to a haunted house in Kansas City, where she began work on her first novel, Evil on the Bayou, whose success allowed her to leave her job and begin writing fulltime. Since then, Cusick has written more than two dozen novels. She and her three dogs live in North Carolina, where Cusick writes on an antique roll-top desk that was once owned by a funeral director. The desk is, of course, haunted.