Hanging Out with the Ghosts in My Head

For the last few years I’ve been living in a different reality with folks that don’t really exist.  And I kind of miss them.  I’m getting separation anxiety. 

After nearly thirty years as a writer of nonfiction articles and books I broke into fiction with my 2006 novel GHOST ROAD BLUES, the first of a trilogy of supernatural thrillers set in the fictional town of Pine Deep, Pennsylvania.  (And yes, for those of you who have asked…Pine Deep is based on New Hope, PA).  The trilogy continued with DEAD MAN’S SONG (released from Pinnacle Books in July) and will conclude with BAD MOON RISING in May 2008.


The thing is…all three books are written, the story is told and I’ve moved on.  I’m now writing bio-terrorism thrillers for St. Martin’s Press.  And though I’m loving the new book and the new cast of characters I miss that group of people I got to know in Pine Deep.  You see, to me the characters are the most important part of any story.  If I don’t bond with the characters (whether good or vile) I don’t become invested in the book.  That’s as true for me as a writer as it is as a reader, and I felt that Malcolm Crow, Val Guthrie, Mike Sweeney, Terry Wolfe, Willard Fowler Newton, Jonatha Corbiel, Frank Ferro, Vince LaMastra and Dr. Saul Weinstock were real people.  I cared about them…even the ones I eventually kill off as the series unfolds.


Recently Michaela Hamilton, my editor at Pinnacle, sent me the copy edit manuscript of Bad Moon Rising to review and make some changes.  It was the first time I’d read the book since I’d wrapped it up many moons ago, and revisiting the creepy ol’ town of Pine Deep and spending time with the characters again was strangely moving.  It was fun, and sad (‘cause I really do kill a bunch of them off and then have to leave all of them again.


Who knows, maybe like a guest who doesn’t want to leave a party I’ll pretend I’ve forgotten my car keys and use it as an excuse to revisit Pine Deep.  One of these days.


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