Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do I Really Want to Know?

So what's your ultimate haunted house? Could it be Hill House as dreamed up by Shirley Jackson? How about Hell House from the movie of the same name, or maybe even the Overlook Hotel?

Here's mine: it's the house I grew up in on the north side of Chicago. If you had looked at it while my family lived there, you'd never have guessed it was haunted. My parents had terrific taste in decorating and the interior of the house was warmly furnished and inviting, with the deep blue carpeting and the furniture arranged to encourage conversation, whether from the depths of the sofas in the living room, or around the huge family table in the dining room. There was light, there was laughter, and there were lots of friendly people.

Unfortunately, there was also SOMETHING ELSE in that house and if I ever get the nerve up, I plan to research the history of the place and find out what went on there before we ever moved in. What could have happened there, to leave the echoes of a baby crying, of furniture moving in distant rooms, or the cold disturbances that swept past us all at will, caressing with chilly fingers and leaving goosebumps and an uneasy shudder or two in its wake? I have already made a couple of tentative forays into finding out who lived there and when and what happened to them. Given some time and some energy, I hope to unearth the entire story. After all, there's got to be some kind of reason for that bricked-up room in the garage...

Any how, let's you and me swap stories! You tell me about your haunted house, and I'll tell you a little bit about mine. But just a little. I know there's a huge, huge story in there someplace, and when I learn it, well, y'all will learn about it, too.

Be sure to order my new story "Hunting Spirits" at Quake!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Baaaaccckkkk

So it turns out that while I was away from my blog station, no one filled in for me! No helpful elves or fairies, not even a (ha ha) ghost writer. But I haven't been idle on the ghost front while I was absent. During the past few months, my sister's house has been the scene of a fascinating haunting. And of course I'm not at liberty to discuss it, since it's neither my house nor my story, but heck, it could turn up disguised in a future novel.

I also took the official Ghost Tour in Door County, Wisconsin. They offer three of them at the moment, and I took the one centered around Fish Creek. There were at least two stories in this grouping that were disturbing enough to freak me out in the middle of the night and continue to haunt me for about a week. What fun!

Most of all, though, I took a little inventory of myself as a writer and decided that regarding the bottom line, ghost stories will always be my favorite. As if this were a shocking discovery! But all of us that write will venture into newer territories from time to time, try on something different for a change, and then realize we never really left where we started from. I remember a young man in my first writing for publication workshop. The workshop was being hosted by romance writers, a genre I don't read or write, but I wanted info on getting published and the presenting writers were extremely helpful. Especially to the young man who stood up and volunteered that he had gotten to page 40 in his romance manuscript and that was when the terrorists showed up. At which point they suggested that perhaps romance, big-paycheck genre it can be, was not his chosen area.

I can't seem to write anything without a hint of the supernatural creeping in. So be it. I like my ghoulies and they like me.

At any event, I will do my best to keep this blog updated, at least on a weekly basis, perhaps more frequently as my life permits. Thanks for sticking around. And hey, if you ever want to share scary stories with someone, you know where to find me!

By the way, I have a new downloadable ghost story available. You can BUY IT NOW at

And if I somehow screwed up the link (par for the course, with me) you can also link to it from my web site,
(Thanks, Dash!)