In just a few short weeks, the third book in the Cemetery Tours series, After Death, will be available on Amazon and Kindle (and Nook shortly thereafter). I can’t wait. This is a book I’ve been working on for over a year. I knew what I wanted for it, but for some reason, it took TWO rewrites to get it to where I wanted it to be. It would have been easy to simple finish the first version and publish it, but I would not have been happy with it. There was no real plot. My characters and especially my readers deserve better than that. So I started over from scratch.
Two days after the release, I will also be speaking to a small group about me and about my books. I’ve got to tell y’all, I’m not that great at talking about my books, but I’m even worse at talking about myself. I’m just really not that interesting. I have interesting stories. But me as a person? Kind of boring.
I’ve been trying my best to come up with ideas for my presentation. I will certainly include a synopsis of the first book as well as a little bit about the next two. But you know, the question I get asked most often is, “So what inspired you to write a ghost story?”
I know I’ve answered this question multiple times on my blog, but those posts are lost in the binary infinity that is the internet.
My love for ghost stories began at a young age. I grew up in a house that celebrated Halloween the way most people celebrate Christmas. My whole family just loves it. Ghosts, witches, vampires, zombies, I could never get enough. My mother and I were (and still are) particularly fond of all the ghost-hunting and unexplained mystery documentaries that aired around All Hallows Eve. I remember learning about notorious haunting grounds, such as the Del Coronado Hotel. I knew then that I wanted to have a ghost experience of my own.
It never occurred to me to actually write a ghost story until 2010, when I suffered a very sudden and unexpected loss in my family. Long story short, I was devastated. I’d never hurt like that before. I actually felt my heart breaking. I turned to my faith in God to help see me through. But I also turned to the paranormal.
I became obsessed in proving to myself that life did continue on after death. I visited libraries and bookstores seeking rock solid testimonies of psychics, mediums, religious figures, and those who’ve endured Near Death Experiences. I scoured Scripture for passages that referred to death and life eternal. Perhaps most importantly, I began tuning into ghost hunting shows, particularly one called Ghost Adventures.
It was during that time that I began writing a story about a guy who could see ghosts and a girl who was haunted by a spirit of a loved one. It was a mess. Of course, I never really intended to publish it. It was just a story that I began writing to make myself feel better.
It didn’t really become something more until I was over at my friends’ apartment one night watching Criminal Minds. Now, I’m a huge fangirl. You all know this about me. That night, I was introduced to Dr. Spencer Reid portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler and let me tell you, it was love at first sight. Crazy? Perhaps. But I knew then and there that I’d found the inspiration for my main character. He just looks like the kind of guy who would see ghosts and who would be an adorable mess trying to figure it all out.
Shortly thereafter, I realized my story was missing one key element: An enthusiastic ghost hunter. Cue Ghost Adventures and the creation of Luke Rainer.
After that, the story naturally fell into place. I knew going in that there would be at least two books in the series. That soon turned to three. Now the plan is five. Both books are already planned out and I can’t wait to write them. I can’t tell you a lot, but I can tell you that the fourth book is going to be set in Scotland. It’s going to be so much fun to write I can’t even tell you. Hopefully it will be just as much fun to read, if not more so!
Until then, I hope you enjoy After Death. And if you haven’t read the first two, I hope you’ll enjoy them as well! Preferably before you read the third. But you know, there’s no law that says you have to read a book series in order. Just do me a favor and don’t tell me if you do.
Love you all! Talk to you soon!