Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ghost Stories

As most of you know, I’ve embarked upon the writing of The Ghost of Granny Apples, the first book in my new Granny Apples mystery series due out in September 2009. Recently, I decided it would help to read other “ghost” novels to see how the authors handled the appearance and disappearance of the ghosts, as well as other details. Can they be seen by others or only by the protagonist? Can they be felt physically, or passed through like fog? Can they move solid objects or hide them beneath their clothing? Although I had pretty well decided what Granny Apples could and could not do as a spirit, this inquiring mind wanted to know how others had set it to paper.

I started out by reading Topper, the 1926 novel by Thorne Smith which spawned several movies and a delightful 1950’s TV series, which I adored in reruns as a kid. Once I got used to the language and mannerisms of the twenties, I found the book delightful, as well as thoughtful and quite cutting in its humor, and not nearly as polite and kind as the TV Topper.

That was followed by The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts, which was recommended to me by the good folks at the Seattle Mystery Book Shop. I found Roberts’ book fascinating, but not for the treatment of the ghosts in the book. Roberts’ protagonist, Sadie Novak, is a crime scene cleaner who specializes in violent and unattended deaths. Having heard a real crime scene cleaner speak not too long ago, complete with color slides, I wasn’t put off by the detailed descriptions of Sadie’s work and enjoyed the book a great deal. I highly recommend The Remains of the Dead.

I just started reading The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly, given to me by friend Sybil Johnson. It looks like a fun read. In between these books, I’ve also watched a couple of movies with ghost action.

This past week I was laid low by the very nasty virus cutting a swath through our law firm. I’ve been out of work since Wednesday and only today started feeling somewhat human. Being so sick definitely cuts into my valuable writing time, but at least I was able to catch up on my ghost stories.

Special shout out to Tonia (aka yoyome60) in Texas who beat my butt but good in online backgammon Saturday night, but she did it in such a nice, sweet way.

And for those of you checking my weigh ins, I’ve changed my weigh in day to Mondays to coincide with a Biggest Loser Club challenge. I’ll see you and the scale on Monday morning.


tjessie said...

Hello Sue! Thanks for the shout out. I truly enjoyed playing backgammon with you too, look forward to the next match. I have the Odelia series now, and can't wait to get started. I have told my sisters in Christ about you and they too want to get started. I really hope to get to meet you someday soon.
Many Blessings,

Tonia Jessie

SuperMomPreneur said...

I just bought Too Big To Miss last night and I can't wait to dig in! I thought I'd recommend a beautiful ghost book - A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds. The ghosts do all kinds of cool things - it's a literary book, but might have interesting ideas for you. I'll come back when I'm done reading to tell you how much I enjoyed your book!