Sunday, May 31, 2015

Writing the Paranormal Mystery Series

I was just thinking about this the other day and decided to write it down. Why did I want to write this series—what attracted me to writing a mystery series about a psychic female private investigator who could communicate with ghosts? What contributed to my interest? I get ideas for writing from everywhere and everyone but never actually use specifics from the instances and persons all around me. However, it sparks ideas for totally unrelated subjects. 

Just last week my husband and I were talking about cloning. Not sure where the conversation started, but we were wondering about how a soul comes into play in the overall scheme of this process. Does the cloned person even have a soul? Well, the what-ifs started and I have a futuristic, science fiction book on the back burner, meaning that I have an idea about one that I want to write. So, I added some thoughts about cloning to that file, and I’ve downloaded some books about cloning for research. Anyway, this is insight into how my mind works and where such ideas can come from during a simple conversation.

My reading passion has always been all types of mysteries and since I started writing, I wanted to write a series about a woman sleuth, private investigator. As far as psychics and mediums, I’ve always been fascinated by them and with the ghosts they are able to communicate. I’ve heard numerous stories about ghosts from family and friends. I’ve come to believe that the state of Ohio is full of them. By the way, I would to love hear from others who live or have lived in Ohio about this.

As a teenager, I had a friend who swore they had a ghost named Oscar (not sure if this was the name he gave them or a name they gave him, although, I believe it was the later) living in their house. He would do odd things—move objects around or write on a steam-covered mirror in the bathroom but he was never mean or scary. Once, I remember hearing them say that Oscar may not be a man after all because one night the entity climbed into bed with her brother. This friend did not live in Ohio but a small town in eastern North Carolina. However, they said Oscar followed or hopped a ride with them back from a place in Ohio where they had moved during the summer. I don’t remember the name of the town or anything else about it. 

Then there’s my husband’s aunt who has told me numerous ghost stories about houses she’s lived in in Dayton. She has seen many entities over the years and for the life of me, I can’t remember the specific stories except of her just seeing the filmy, translucence apparitions that seemed to me were more of residual hauntings where the ghosts go about their normal routine as if they were still alive. 

I guess all of these stories have fascinated me over time and that fascination manifested itself into the stories in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series, although not their stories specifically but portions of things in them has sparked ideas. I can only think of one specific thing and that’s the writing on the mirror in Get Out or Die. I believe all of the stories I’ve heard over the years have contributed in part to me wanting to write about ghosts, psychics, mediums, etc.

After my first story, Haunted Hearts was first published in an anthology, television shows such as Ghost Whisperer and Medium started to air and my fascination only grew. I loved those shows and hated it when they left the air.

As with most books and television shows about the supernatural, the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series gets a bit darker with each story. Haunted Hearts, set in Charleston, South Carolina, is pretty light with a little comic relief from Lana’s Great Aunt Lucy and their nosy neighbor who is fashioned similar to a Bewitched’s Gladys Kravitz type character. I grew up watching Bewitched. 

Get Out or Die is also set in Charleston, and it’s a bit darker. It has to do with an angry ghost who is haunting the new residents of his house because he blames them, in part, for his death. Many things come out during Lana’s dealings with Adam but eventually she learns the foundation of his problem and is able to help him in a way she didn’t know was possible. The next two stories that are scheduled to be released in September and November grow darker yet with The Wedding Crasher and Christmas Cruise. 

The Wedding Crasher is set in the Tennessee Mountains. After a man’s fiancĂ© breaks up with him he becomes obsessed by the memory of his dead mother's kindness. His breakup triggers memories of his sad past. He later meets and becomes obsessed with a woman who reminds him of the loving woman his mother used to be before her untimely death. And in Christmas Cruise Lana boards a cruise ship haunted by ten years of dead women who were brutally raped and then murdered.

Up until a couple of months ago, I thought this would be an end to the series but I recently had two more book ideas for the series and hope to write those books sometime in early 2016. The tentative titles for these are Demi’s Serial Case and Haunted by Her Past. 

Both of these will most likely take place in Lana’s home town of Charleston—the first one definitely will since Demi is a police detective in Charleston. It could lead to other locations in South Carolina as well. The second book has a background story in another town but the haunted person will be living in Charleston during her haunting.

In Demi’s Serial Case, the town has a serial killer and Demi requests her best friend Lana’s assistance. Lana helps Demi with a profile of the killer who is also a copy-cat killer (copying another serial killer’s modus operandi). In Haunted by Her Past, Lana helps a young woman whose dead, abusive ex-boyfriend is haunting her and trying to kill her.

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