Tag Archives: The Thicket

Interview with Author Noelle Ihli

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I wrote and edited for other people long before writing under my own name. But after fifteen years in marketing content and editing (all while hurrying home to finish the latest thriller or horror novel on my nightstand) I decided it was time to tell my own stories.  

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I can’t get enough of scary things. And that includes haunted houses. The effects are sometimes so real that I couldn’t help but wonder if these attractions could be a real target for the right sociopath. If I screamed for help, would anyone really notice? After all, everyone around me was screaming. A couple of years ago, my husband and I went to a sprawling outdoor haunted attraction in Albion, Idaho (the inspiration for The Thicket“). The old buildings and history were supremely creepy. And there’s this image burned into my mind of a security officer looking down at his phone while a person with a chainsaw chased a screaming girl around the dark campus. They were actors, of course. But the screams sounded real to me. And of course, nobody did a thing. Because we all trusted it was part of the fun. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Sometimes there’s a very thin line between our fascination with horror and reality. One person’s scary story is another person’s actual nightmare. And in this novel, the two sides of this dynamic intersect: Norah’s horrifying tragedy becomes this mythical, exciting draw for horror-lovers and thrill seekers who want to attend the “real” haunted house.


4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve loved scary stories for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I checked out every single book in the library’s “Scary Stories” section (there weren’t that many; it was an elementary school). And I’ve been reading horror and thrillers ever since. That said, I’m a total wimp and I check my locks three times every night. 

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

That’s a hard one. I love Norah so much, so I’d have to choose her. But what to ask? I’d really like to know (given the scene at the cemetery) if Norah and Taylor rekindled their friendship. 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook is still such a great place to connect with other amazing authors and readers. I’m gathering the courage to venture onto BookTok (so watch out!) but for now, Facebook is where I’m at! 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Just do the next thing. Don’t let the distance between where you’d like to be and where you are keep you from just taking the next step. 


8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m hard at work on my next thriller/horror novel. Look for it in early 2022! 

About the Author

Noelle’s two great passions are murder and horses (separately, never together).

Noelle is a boy-mom to Luke and Max, and a cat-mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows.

The Thicket by Noelle Ihli Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman struggling with the loss of her brother in a heinous crime returns to the place he lost his life, a haunted attraction in their small town, in hopes of discovering what exactly happened to her brother. However she isn’t the only one, as thriller seekers hoping to keep the place open arrive, as does the mystery killer who caused the chaos in the first place, in author Noelle Ihli’s “The Thicket”.


The Synopsis

Would you recognize a real scream on Halloween?

That’s the question haunting Norah Lewis.

She can’t shake the guilt that’s stalked her since the night her brother was murdered. She heard —and ignored—his last screams. Just like everyone else at the Thicket, a haunted attraction in tiny Declo, Idaho.

But as Halloween approaches, Norah’s personal tragedy is overshadowed by a media circus. Parents’ groups and PTAs lobby for a shutdown while thrill seekers far and wide clamor for a chance to visit the notorious haunted attraction.

Many of Norah’s classmates eagerly plan a visit. And, reluctantly, so does Norah, who is driven to retrace her brother’s last steps.

But the man in the grainy security footage whose masked face is plastered across the news hasn’t chosen the Thicket at random.

And, like Norah, he’s planning a return visit. 

The Review

What a truly amazing and inviting horror read! Horror fans everywhere will love this intricately detailed and plotted thriller. The author does a great job of painting an image of the narrative in the reader’s mind, delving into our modern world’s obsession and love of all things terrifying and macabre. As a fan of haunts myself and with friends who run a haunted attraction, I could relate to the life and atmosphere of these attractions clearly. 

It was the atmosphere and characters that really drew me into this narrative. The author managed to capture the unique mindsets of teenagers who have trouble thinking past their own needs or desires, while the chilling mind of the killer and what created his need to kill were both fascinating and haunting. Nora will break your heart, as she evolves over time from a former moody teenager who is faced with regret and pain at her brother’s loss, to a horror heroine facing her brother’s killer head-on. 

The Verdict

A memorable, engaging, and chilling horror/thriller, author Noelle Ihli’s “The Thicket” is a massively entertaining novel of 2021, and a great first novel in the author’s fictional writing career. One of my top choices for the horror novel of 2021, this novel will stay with you long after you have read it, and the author perfectly captures the tone and feeling of tension that both the haunt and the killer bring into this narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Noelle’s two great passions are murder and horses (separately, never together).

Noelle is a boy-mom to Luke and Max, and a cat-mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows.