I have always been fascinated by ghost stories, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. As a child I enjoyed dressing up in costumes, going trick or treating, and watching scary movies on television. I still do! Well, I enjoy the scary movies, ghost stories, and watching the children trick or treat at my door. I also enjoy reading and learning about the paranormal.
I’m a big fan of such movies as Ghost, The Sixth Sense, and such classics as The Portrait of Jennie, The Uninvited, and A Christmas Carol.
I had a lot of inspiration for writing my first young adult paranormal, A Kiss Out of Time. My interest and belief in the metaphysical, my own experiences and that of others who recounted their experiences with psychic phenomenon, and having taught young teens for a number of years contributed to my desire to write a ghost story for young adults.
Write What You Know: Ghosts?
I’ve stayed in a castle near Seville, Spain which I believe might have been haunted. It had been the site of ancient battles and been situated near ancient Roman ruins. I also sensed a presence near a wooded area in the west of Ireland. While staying in a relative’s home in Maryland, I woke up right before dawn’s full light and spied what I believed to be an apparition of a couple dressed in the style of the Civil War era. The man wore a gray uniform of the Confederate Army, and the woman wore a long flowing dress. They seemed to be in a struggle, and as the man held up his sword over the woman who crouched in supplication, the sun rose and the apparition vanished. Later I found out that there had been skirmishes during the Civil War not too far from the site. I’ve also spoken to ghost hunters, psychics, and casual observers of ghosts and related phenomenon. It’s not all that unusual, and I think close to half the population surveyed on believing or sensing ghosts have reported they have had similar encounters.
Since I have also had an interest in the arts, majoring in art in high school and studying at adult ed. programs over the past few years, I decided to draw upon that (no pun intended) to create my heroine, Georgina Claythorne, an art student and a ghost hunter. From her earliest years, Georgina experienced psychic ability and saw “dead people” who spoke to her and told her their sad tales. She used her abilities to help them to cross over to the Other Side. She also is aided by her best friend-turned-boyfriend, Jake Hanlon, a skeptic but loyal friend with a more scientific approach to the paranormal.
The location of A Kiss Out of Time and its follow-up A Dance Out of Time is Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Having been there many times, I’m familiar with the city, the boardwalk, the beach, Main Avenue with its shops and restaurants, nearby Asbury Park, and other sites mentioned in the stories. I try to use what I’m familiar with and interested in when I write.
National Novel Writing Month
I wrote both A Kiss Out of Time and A Dance Out of Time in the month of November during National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it’s called, gave me the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. So, I had to focus when I could after work, on weekends, and around my birthday and Thanksgiving holiday to get the writing done. I would advocate anyone interested in writing a book to try NaNoWriMo for the experience and the challenge. I know it helped me, and the website offers tips and encouragement in the writing process.
Writing a YA
As a teacher, I wanted to write stories which my young teenage students in the middle school, and hopefully older teens as well as adults, would read. Several students showed an strong interest in the paranormal, and I told them of my plans to write the books. Their encouragement spurred me on in my goal of writing my first YA.
Having the ability to see and to help ghosts is not an easy one for Georgina, and like many young people who are a bit different, she had to put up with teasing and bullying as a result. Unfortunately, bullying is an all too common occurrence for children and teens. It’s important to try to stop it when it happens, and to get help if you are the victim of bullying.
Thanks for visiting. Look for more of my blogs on ghosts, shape shifters, Wicca, and reincarnation in future updates.