HALLIE: After enjoying Charlaine Harris's visit to the New England Crime Bake, I've been thinking about the appeal of the paranormal, and how many otherwise perfectly normal people I've met are convinced that a house they lived in was haunted. A woman I used to work with told me how she could feel the cold air and many times saw the ghost of a woman in an upstairs bedroom. She and her family never used the bedroom, nor did the family that lived in the house before them.
So even though I've never put a vampire or a werewolf or a fairy into a novel, every once in a while I do put in a touch of woo-woo. Like when one my main character drank a glass of wine, imagined he was talking to his dead wife, fell asleep, and when he woke up there were two wine glasses beside him.
Have you toyed with the fantasy or paranormal in your fiction? What about in real life--anyone grow up in a house that felt haunted?
JAN: Well my new novel features an antagonist who may or may not be the devil, so I am definitely experimenting with Woo-woo (although I originally wrote this novel 21 years ago before I ever heard the term woo-woo)
About thirty years ago, my husband (then boyfriend) and I went to a bed and breakfast in Nova Scotia and we both woke up at four in the morning totally freaked out feeling weird energy in the room and convinced it was haunted. We gathered up our things, went out for breakfast and returned to check out by something like 6:30 a.m. We have never before or ever since felt that way or experienced anything like that, so we are not inclined to fantasize in that direction.
Not entirely sure about ghosts -- especially ones called up at seances - we believe what we want to believe -- BUT I'm a true believer in energy -- certainly the energy that we all project while we are alive. So its not that hard for me to believe that some energy lingers.
RHYS: I grew up in a haunted house. It was a big rambling old country house and my brother and I slept alone on the top floor with a long staircase between us and our parents. The mat outside my door used to flap even though no window was open and one night the window opened by itself in the middle of the night, causing me to freak out. I used to have a recurring dream of waking up and seeing a procession of hooded figures coming up the stairs toward me.
When I spoke to my brother about it recently and said I thought the house was haunted, he replied, "Of course it was." And he was only about eight when we moved away. I never saw an actual ghost and I suppose all the creaking and flapping could be attributed to drafts, but why would a little boy sense the presence of something paranormal?
And of course my latest book, Royal Blood, is a complete spoof on the whole vampire genre, but you never quite know in the end whether the vampire might have been real.
ROBERTA: Never lived in a haunted house--as far as I know! I did enjoy hearing about Charlaine's imaginative worlds this past weekend. I'm so stuck on reality! I guess the closest I'm coming is a tarot card reader in my new series. I'm going to have to trot down to the Mallory Square sunset celebration in Key West and get my cards read so I can write it realistically...
ROSEMARY: Uh...no. I'm a gardener. I compost. Nuff said.
HANK: Never lived in a haunted house. (That I know of, at least.) But ESP? yes, indeedy. There's more going on than we understand? Yes, indeedy. So who are we to dismiss things that happen as "coincidence"? I'm open to it.
HALLIE: I like it best in books, as in life, when there's something weird but you don't quite know what to make of it.
Please share with us your tales of ghost, visitations, or simply stuff you just can't explain.
AND COMING ATTRACTIONS: Tomorrow, Sarah Smith visits Jungle Red to talk about her new YA novel, "The Other Side of Dark," with a young girl who talks to ghosts and wonders if she's going crazy. It's a sweet and poignant.
Then, after Thanksgiving, Toni L. P. Kelner and Dana Cameron pay us a visit to talk about how their celebrated short stories are exploring the dark side. On Saturday Barbara Corrado Pope drops by to talk about her wonderful new historical mystery that only sounds like it's got vampires in it, "Blood of the Lorraine."