David Neilsen Talks to Me About His New Book, Beyond the Doors

Book Review, Middle Grade
Beyond the Doors by David Neislen. A creepy book for kids that like time travel books. Scary books for kids. | Scary books for 10 year olds | Middle grade adventure stories | Books for kids that like scary stories | batchofbooks.com

David Neilsen is back with a brand new creepy book just in time for fall. I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions about his latest book, Beyond the Doors.

If you need your memory jogged, he’s also the author of Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, which my kids and I read, reviewed, and interviewed last year.

Also, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after using one of my links, I will receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it does help me keep the blog going.


My interview with David Neilsen

1. What gave you the idea for Beyond the Doors?

Beyond the Doors literally came from an image I had in my head. That image, which would eventually go on to become the cover of the book, was just some number of kids standing in this massive, empty, circular room with scaffolding all around and a single door sizzling with energy in the middle. I didn’t know where that door went or what was going on, but that was the genesis of the book.

2. How long did it take to write?

It took about four or five months from the time I started writing in earnest until the time I turned in my first complete draft.

3. Did you find writing your second book to be easier or more difficult than your first?

Writing this was more difficult than writing Dr. Fell. But Dr. Fell came extremely quickly and easily. From the moment I began writing Dr. Fell, I had almost the entire story written in my head. It was different with Beyond the Doors. The story took different turns as I wrote, and there were multiple times when I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going. It was also more difficult to write because of how I chose to structure the narrative–in alternating points of view of the Rothbaum children, while still driving the story forward. It was challenging.

4. Do you have any hidden talents?

Well, it’s more ‘widely unknown’ than hidden, but I am a professional storyteller. I live near Sleepy Hollow, NY, and spend much of October telling spooky stories to folks of all ages throughout the New York region. I also get gigs throughout the year at private parties, and I host murder mystery parties as well.

Thanks for the interview, David!


Our Thoughts on Beyond the Doors

Miss K’s Review

I thought the book was amazing! I liked it because it was like traveling in time for the Rothbaum children.

My favorite part is when the kids find their Mother in the MemorySphere, but I liked the whole book. My favorite character is Zack because he is the only boy in the family!

I did not think this book was too scary. It was just right because it is all exciting fun! If I had a door to the MemorySphere, I would want it to lead to William Shakespeare’s memory!


My Review

After reading Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom last year with my kids, I was pretty stoked to see David Neilsen was coming out with a new book. Beyond the Doors is not connected to Dr. Fell in any way, but the good doctor does make a short cameo appearance, which made my kids scream in excitement.

Such an interesting concept lies behind this story. The idea of a MemorySphere is fascinating, and it makes you wonder if such a thing were real, would it be as terrible as it is in the book?

My kids thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story. I read it out loud to them at bedtime. It took us a couple of weeks to finish it, and they begged for another chapter every night.

I really liked the sibling relationships in this story. Like most siblings, the Rothbaums spend a fair bit of time disagreeing, but they look after each other and will do anything to keep each other safe.

The characters are so much fun. Between the nutty Aunt Gladys, the weepy social worker, and Gramps yelling absurd phrases, the story was entertaining and humorous. Of course, this is also a horror story, and those parts were just the right amount of scary for the age group.

Cover love: This cover is so much fun. I love the illustration and the look on Zack’s face. It gives off a wonderful, creepy vibe.

Content: Some scary/perilous situations and a few instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Source: The publisher sent me an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this book.


Find the Book

Beyond the Doors by David Neislen. A creepy book for kids that like time travel books. Scary books for kids. | Scary books for 10 year olds | Middle grade adventure stories | Books for kids that like scary stories | batchofbooks.com

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


Other Books by David Neilsen

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen #MGlit | batchofbooks.com

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom – (our review)


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  • Reply
    stephanie robinson
    August 8, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I have had David’s first book on my TBR list forever! I bought it for my school library, but it is constantly checked out. I should have taken it this summer. 🙂 Beyond the Doors looks and sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      August 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      I’m not surprised it’s always checked out. It’s been really popular with kids my daughters’ age. They love the creepy-funny books. I hope you get the chance to read it. I think you’ll like it too!

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