BLOG TOUR: Rules for Vanishing by Katie Alice Marshall + What Inspired the Author to Write This Story

I’ll be honest with you, I about lost my mind when I heard about Rules for Vanishing by Katie Alice Marshall. Not only does it sound like my dream book, but Penguin Random House was kind enough to send me an early copy of the book. Let me tell you, it’s even BETTER than I could have hoped for. I shared a special unboxing on my Instagram page, which you can spy there on my posts and on my story highlights.

What can I say? Any book listed to be in the same vein as The Blair Witch Project is exactly what we need, even if we don’t deserve it. Here’s a preview:

Are you ready for a bone-chilling summer read about a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and a young girl determined to find her sister – at all costs? Told in transcripts and found footage from the night Sara sets out in search of her missing sister and the aftermath, this terrifying novel is unlike any horror story you’re read before.

Rules For Vanishing Cover

Okay, first off, the cover is gorgeous. I feel like the longer I stare at the cover, the more I notice. Genius design. And wonderfully atmospheric.


In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister–at all costs.

     Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose….

Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago–and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it.

When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world, and it has its own rules. Every mistake summons new horrors. Vengeful spirits and broken, angry creatures are waiting for them to slip, and no one is guaranteed safe passage. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid.

Sara knows that if she steps onto the road, she might not come back. But Becca needs her.

And Lucy is waiting.

Where to Buy

Penguin Random House



Barnes and Noble


Katie Alice Marshall Answers an Important Question…

What was your inspiration for this book?


It started with Lucy Gallows, and it started with the road.

I read something years ago about the way that roads persist, after the places they led to have faded. Sometimes it might be stones still set in the ground, and sometimes it might only be suggested by the unnaturally straight line of the trees—the road they were planted beside long gone. When the destination is gone, the road dies. But what if some part of it lives on? What does a ghost road want?

It wants travelers, I decided, and I wrote a story about a girl named Lucy Gallows who ran away from her sister’s wedding, only to stumble onto an endless road, inhabited by strange beasts. The story lived in a drawer for years, but I never forgot little Lucy.

Then came the Files. I’d been wanting to experiment with a “mixed media” story, using descriptions and transcripts to play with point of view. The camera is objective—but something might be just off screen. A scrap of a document or clip of a video might give the reader information the characters don’t have, letting me manipulate tension and mystery and timelines in creative ways.

But the Files needed a subject, and that’s where little Lucy came in. Someone who read the original Lucy Gallows story told me that her name was too unlikely—it needed to be changed, or have some explanation. I thought about a book I’d read and loved, Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, by Colin Dickey. It’s not just history and it’s not just a collection of ghost stories; it explores what our ghost stories tell us about ourselves, and how they come to be. I started to think about how a legend about a girl named Lucy Gallows might come to be. I came up with the ghost story, and I came up with the “real” story—let’s say her name was Callow, not Gallows, and there are other details off, and really what happened was she got lost in the woods.

And then, I decided, I would come up with the third story. The one that turns both the ghost story and the “real” one on their heads, that’s wilder and more magical and more dangerous than anyone imagined. And of course I needed someone to stumble across the truth, and risk be devoured by it. That’s when I met Sara, and Becca, and all the others—the people who would uncover my little Lucy, and discover just how dangerous she is.

They wandered down the road, and alongside them, I found out just what awaited them.


Author Katie Alice Marshall Bio

Kate Alice Marshall started writing before she could hold a pen properly, and never stopped. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with a chaotic menagerie of pets and family members, and ventures out in the summer to kayak and camp along Puget Sound. I Am Still Alive was her YA debut, followed by Rules for Vanishing. Visit her online at katemarshallbooks.com and follow her on Twitter @kmarshallarts.


Blog Tour Schedule

Follow this book on tour at the awesome book stops below.

Week One

September 16 – Kculver88 – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

September 17 – Falling Down The Book Hole – Dreamcast

September 18 – YA Books Central – Review

September 19 – Confessions of a YA Reader – Inspired by the Book: Scary Ghost Legends

September 20 – Just Add a Word – Moodboard + Review

September 21 – Pop The Butterfly Reads – Creative Instagram Picture

September 22 – Scared Straight Reads – Creative Instagram Picture


Week Two

September 23 – Beauty and the Book – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

September 24 – Keep Holding On To Books – Inspired by the Book

September 25 – The Midnight Society – Author Guest Post

September 26 – Fear your Ex – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

September 27 – The Book Deviant – Horror-Themed Quiz

September 28 – It Starts At Midnight – Listicle: Things you should be Afraid Of

What do you think?

Planning to pick this book up? Already read it? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be finishing this book soon and losing my mind and I can’t wait to share it.

Much love and spooky books,


  • MaryRajotte
    September 25, 2019

    Oh wow! This sounds like a really cool book! I love the idea of looking at it from different views and combining classic storytelling with a modern twist. I’m going to have to pick this one up! I also loved the interview with Kate and her details of how the story came to be.

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