News from Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You Have To Believe To Write About The Supernatural

A sense of place is all important in writing fiction. Readers can sense the credibility in your writing if you’ve been there. To be able to write about the supernatural you have to believe ghosts and paranormal events exist. How can a writer describe how it feels to encounter a spirit unless they’ve experienced terror when confronted with a mist that is slowly taking human form? Paul, Samantha, and Andy Barlowe, the principal characters in my new novel, The Haunting of Aaron House, to be published by Rogue Press in September 2015, have never seen a ghost, although Sam declares she can “feel” the previous owners of the antiques she finds. Writing this book, about ghostly possession and hauntings was easy for me because spirits have always been a part of my life, taken for granted.  I grew up believing in ghosts, spells, and the supernatural in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for the book. Today I live in Eureka Springs, Arkansas where all things metaphysical are accepted as real.
 My paternal grandmother was a faith healer who cast spells. They were called PowWow Women. In the novel, I use a spell given to my mother when she was a young girl to rid her of a persistent boyfriend, although for a different reason in the story.
     In Aaron House, Paul Barlowe, and his company, Barlowe Films, are shooting a documentary history of the region. He’s brought Sam and Andy to help on the film, so they are all staying in a rented farmhouse, by chance furnished with the antiques Sam loves.
They don’t know that for the last 170 years it has been haunted by two ghosts, Amalie and Phineas Peale, waiting for a human couple, because each needs human energy to gain enough power to destroy the other. Since the Civil War only men have lived there, the Aaron Brothers being the last.
The plot follows Paul, Sam and Andy during the making of the film at various historical sites while Sam, who has been told of the ghosts, tries to unravel the mystery of what has kept them from moving on. Soon, Amalie, who by now inhabits Sam's body, causes her to flashback to the 1860s, and gradually revealing the sinister secret that has kept these two ghosts at war. Paul knows there is something wrong, but cannot believe in ghosts, no matter what Sam tries to explain. One day, when he is alone in the house, he encounters the evil personage of Phineas and realizes they need help to get free. Even worse, Phineas later possesses him during an intimate moment with Sam, which terrifies him.
 The book has a roaring climax, but I won't tell you more, except, to relieve the tension of the ghost scenes and add some humor, I've added a very tender love story between Paul's wealthy playboy partner, Lloyd, also working on the film, and Penny, the terribly repressed and shy assistant working as a script girl. Penny is confused. She's never had a boyfriend, especially a millionaire hunk like Lloyd. He is totally smitten and pursues her. There is also a stray dog who is not exactly what he seems.

 The book will be available on Amazon, as are all my books, in both e-book and paperback, sometime in late September.

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