Friday, October 25, 2019

Storyteller's Journey

Public Domain Photo
Why I Write Ghost Stories

When I embarked on my storyteller's journey, all of my fantasy stories seemed to have the natural world and/or anthropomorphic animals in them. In 2011 I was inspired to begin a middle grade fantasy novel that included those elements, but also included ghosts. The inspiration for this idea was not due to my love of spooky or frightening stories; it was due to something much more personal.

This photo is of me with my maternal grandmother. When I was in college I lived with her since her home was near the college I was attending. After her death, I purchased that house in the early eighties. Soon after, I was in the middle of one of my most challenging times of my life. While crying in my bedroom - which had previously been my grandmother's bedroom - I saw her ghost. It was as if she was alive again.

It wasn't a frightening experience; in fact, it was quite positive. I felt strengthened and encouraged by her specter, even though she didn't speak. I had always believed in an afterlife; this experience only solidified my conviction. Over the years I've seen her ghost only once more, but it was again during a time of trouble. However, knowing that she's nearby, somehow, has always been a comfort to me. I was extremely close to my grandmother, even closer than to my mother.

In the decades since this experience, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the spiritual world all around us. Not only ghosts, but angels and demons. Consequently, it was only natural that these beliefs would end up in my writing. (My MG protagonist encounters her mother's ghost!)

Have a happy and spooky Halloween! 🎃

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