Stop #9 on my “LOVE, LIES AND AZURE EYES” blog tour is this guest post on Brooke Blogs. I thought it might be fun to write my thoughts about ghosts.
Recently, I was fortunate to sit on an author panel moderated by the wonderful, bestselling mystery novelist Nancy Pickard. She asked each panelist about their latest books, and when it was my turn, I explained that “Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes” was inspired by an unsolved murder in my hometown in the mid-1960s and that one of the main storylines involved liberating the earthbound ghost of the boy wrongly accused of the murder.
That prompted an unexpected question from a woman in the audience: “Do you believe in ghosts?” She had caught me off guard. “I want to,” I replied, “but I’ve personally never experienced one.”
While scientific evidence doesn’t support the existence of ghosts, I have many friends who swear they’ve experienced encounters with spirits. Even Nancy Pickard shared one of her own.
Because so many people that I know and respect have reported first-hand encounters with apparitions, I try to approach the supernatural with an open mind, more or less. In fact, I never tire of hearing about other people’s hauntings and will even admit, with a bit of embarrassment, that I have tuned in the History Channel’s “Ghost Adventurers” Saturday night marathons more than a few times. Just for fun. But better still, I am friends with two well-known, Indianapolis-based ghost investigators and joined them on a couple of their ghost walks. Although I must point out that I personally did not see or sense anything attributable to the “unseen,” others on the tours claimed they did, and one even captured a photo of an otherwise invisible fuzzy white fog with their cell phone camera.
Whether one personally believes in ghosts or not, the notion that dead people are crossing back to the realm of the living is undeniably compelling. I like to think it can happen, not to scare us but, rather, to deliver warnings or offer comfort. Two classic movies I love — “Ghost” and “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” — integrated earthbound spirits with a purpose and influenced me when I was working out the premise of “Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes.”
Both of the ghosts in my book, like Patrick Swayze’s character in “Ghost,” have issues they must work through before they can cross over. One of my ghosts is 18-year-old Shelayne Goodnight, who can’t move on in the afterlife until the identity of her murderer is revealed. The other is Johnny Lange, the boy wrongly accused of killing her, who must remain tethered to this side of life until he proves his innocence. And like Rex Harrison’s sea captain role in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” Johnny is in love with a living-breathing woman, who, in my story, is the protagonist, Annie.
So, returning to the question, “Do I believe in ghosts?” Absolutely, I do — provided they are irresistible, fully fleshed out characters with a haunting backstory, compelling mission, and magical charisma that will keep readers turning pages into the wee hours of the night, and make it impossible to lay down the book and turn off the light. •
You can find my new book on Amazon.com . . . And while you’re there, if you feel inclined, please leave a review. Thank you for stopping by!!