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Help, I’m Haunted! Why a ghost is in my novel & how it’s freaking me out!

Seriously, I don’t know how thriller and horror writers do it.

Write scary stuff that is.

As soon as I write or even think about something scary my mind becomes hypersensitive to anything and everything around me. I jump when the phone rings. I flinch when a strand of hair falls loose onto my cheek. I even gasp when the toast pops up (C’mon, I bet you’ve done that too, right?). Yet for some reason I’ve decided to create a ghost character in my new work-in-progress.

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone over to the dark side to write horror novels, I’m still writing humorous and heartwarming fiction. It’s just that I’ve thrown a ghost into the mix to liven things up in my story, appropriately titled: Haunted Housewives.

This is the second in my ‘Touch of Magic’ themed romantic comedy books, the first being Fast Forward (which involves time travel). My aim with these books is to create fun stories of modern life but with some sort of magical or paranormal twist.

So I thought a ghost would be a perfect inclusion into one of these stories to spice up the tension and create some funny scenarios.

Until freaky things started happening.

Since starting this story I have almost started a fire in the kitchen, had a plate slip right out of my hand and break even though I was sure I was holding it firmly, and opened the fridge to find the drink tray on the door filled to the brim with milk (almond milk – we don’t do dairy, but that’s another and totally irrelevant subject!). And my cat is acting like he’s possessed, biting me for no apparent reason. Okay, so those things could just be because I’m a worn out mother going on little sleep (and the milk was probably my son despite insisting he put the lid back on tightly and closed the door gently), but I’m a writer. I like to stretch the imagination a little. Or a lot. 🙂

But this is interesting... When I was deciding on a name for the main character, a name popped into my mind. I liked the first name but the surname didn’t feel completely right. I asked myself ‘What would a better surname be?’ and instantly another one came to me. I googled it. The name was the same name of a murder victim, and (with tears in my eyes) I read about her terrifying ordeal in an online newspaper. Then I gasped. The article mentioned a street name not far from her house which had the same name as the original surname I’d thought of.

Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

I decided to keep the first name (Sally) for the character but change the surname to something different. However, I am thinking of dedicating this book to the woman who died to honour her memory.

So for the next few months or so, ghosts will be on my mind. I’ve always loved ghost stories and movies and television shows with ghosts in them, so I’m excited to be writing this ghostly character and seeing what mischief she gets up to and what challenging and funny situations she puts the main character into. It’s definitely not a spooky story by nature, but I hope there will be a few shocks and surprises throughout.

Do you have a favourite ghost story or movie?

Do you have any spooky experiences to share?

Oh, here’s another one… I didn’t even realise this blog post would be on Halloween! How appropriate. Happy Halloween! (And don’t visit my house for Trick or Treating because I’ve already eaten all the goodies. 😉