Hey friends! I’ve made the decision that this month will be my vacation month. By “vacation,” I only mean there won’t be new blog posts except my Reading Challenge Update. Meanwhile, I’ll be finishing up my final readthrough prior to sending my manuscript to my editor as well as working on expanding on the sequel book. Enjoy some blasts from the past this month!
Today you’ll learn just how I, someone who hates horror, ended up writing a horror story.
Halloween, 2018. The day before NaNoWriMo starts. I thought I had my idea all planned out for my story. I planned on writing a spy spoof story (I still plan on writing it some day), so I wasn’t too particularly worried. I was a bit nervous. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is not for the faint of heart. I’d tried a couple times in college, but I guess I was never too serious about it then. I think the most I ever wrote was 5,000 words.
My husband and I were sitting on the couch eating chocolate and watching ghost shows on TV, praying no kids came by for candy. We barely had enough for us to eat ourselves.
We were watching the Ghost Adventures “Live Investigation,” to be exact. Things had happened in previous seasons of the show that had me wavering in my skepticism, but as time has passed things have gone off the rails. It’s beyond fake, but it makes for a great evening’s entertainment on Halloween.
The live investigation was abominable. They kept hyping up that they were going to open a box containing a dybbuk (a malicious spirit in Jewish mythology), then not doing it. The problem wasn’t that it was all fake, it was the way the lead investigator, Zak Bagans, behaved. He was unusually over the top, obnoxiously terrible. He was beyond rude and blamed it on the spirits and the stress of the evening.
We had a good laugh about the whole thing and went to bed. The next day, November 1, I sat down to write my story. I was about 150 words in, and I realized I didn’t have it in me to write the spy story yet. I did have, however, this little kernel of a story growing. A team of amateur paranormal investigators meets with a team of “professional” investigators who have a show, one is over the top crazy, and bam–you have the beginnings of my story.
Of course, it evolved way more than I thought it would, but so far, it’s been pleasantly surprising. I still have a lot to write to finish my first draft, but I’m almost there.
Here’s an excerpt from my book, Swanpoint.
Madame Borges’ real name was Emily Smith, but she had to change her name for business purposes. No one was going to come see the mysterious Emily Smith. She was a practitioner of Wicca in the Los Angeles area, a member of a coven of good, honest souls. She was what people would call a medium, though she hated that word. She could communicate with the dead; that was no small matter. She was a firm believer in the theory that if more people were open to the concept, they would be able to speak to them as well. Death was not the end– it was just a change.
She sat in the back of one of the SUVs they’d traveled in, preparing herself mentally and physically. The minute they drove on the property, she felt an overwhelming sense of aggression emanating from the house. She saw a few people walking across the lawn, and unless they were costume characters, they were residents from the past.
From what she knew of the house, the entities she was most concerned about were Marietta Thompson and Pearl Owens. They had the worst deaths of anyone, it seemed, and she wanted to make sure they were at peace. She checked her bag of supplies– various talismans, a few bundles of dried sage, matches, crystals– and checked the cork on her bottle of holy water from the Jordan. It wasn’t her flavor of religion, but the Roman Catholics knew what they were doing when it came to getting rid of demons. She didn’t expect any demons, but her personal experience taught her that the one thing you’re going to need, you’ll need it when you don’t have it.
She looked at all the people on the lawn, watching them for any strange behaviors. Just because they were outside the house didn’t mean that whatever was here wouldn’t start it’s work early. Her eyes fell on a woman with fiery red hair. Her hand was on her stomach, but she acted as if she’d just realized what she was doing and she dropped her hand quickly. She was pregnant, very early but Emily could tell easily. She would have an easy pregnancy and safe birth. The signs told her that. She would probably still recommend a couple remedies for her to help with the morning sickness, but only if the woman let on that she was pregnant.
She felt a jolt of something– it felt like delight, but in an evil sense– shoot through her. She looked up at the house and saw a woman standing in the window. That’s who it was coming from. The woman in the window was looking at the woman with the red hair.
Secrecy be damned, she had to warn the red-haired woman.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt! More to come soon.
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