Thursday, March 01, 2007

Specters and Spirits and Ghosts... Oh, My!

I did a guest blog for a friend of mine the other day, Sandy Barkevich. (Thanks again for having me, Sandy!) :) Since I'm up to my neck in revisions and proofing, I thought I'd republish it here as today's blog entry. Here it is:

My name is Terri Garey, and I once lived in a haunted house.

Too dramatic? Okay, let me try again. (Even though it’s true.)


Hi, my name is Terri Garey. Why yes, my name does rhyme, doesn’t it? (Go ahead and giggle. Everyone does. ) I write paranormal romance for Avon HarperCollins. My first book, DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY will be released September 2007, followed by the sequel, WHERE THE GHOULS ARE, in March of 2008. Both novels are about ghosts, voodoo and an extremely unlikely psychic—a former Goth girl named Nicki Styx, who runs a vintage clothing store in Little Five Points, Georgia. Poor Nicki has a brush with death—as in she dies, in case you didn’t get that—and comes back to life as an unwilling ‘ghoulfriend’ to the dead. Nicki finds out that the sweet hereafter ain’t always so sweet, and the here-and-now can be just as tricky. Throw in the hunky doctor who saved her life, some great sex, and a healthy dose of chills and giggles—well, that pretty much sums it up.

There. Was that introduction better? Now you more about me than most of my neighbors do.

So why do I write ghost stories for a living? In large part, because I once lived in a haunted house (see introduction #1). Because I live in the South, where ghost stories and a belief in things that go bump in the night is common (the cockroaches alone will give you nightmares). Because my mother had a near-death experience, and claimed to see angels at her bedside the week before she died. Because my very first crush was on an actor who played a vampire on the classic Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. Because I never missed Creature Feature on Saturday afternoons. The Addams Family and Munsters reruns were the staples of my childhood, as were the campy old black and white movies like “Abbot and Costello Meet The Mummy”, but X-Files, Medium and Bones are the staples of my adulthood.

In short, because I’ve always been fascinated by the dark side, while clinging to the light with both hands. Which is kind of what happens to Nicki Styx in DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY. I mean, I love to hear about ghosts, but I wouldn’t wanna see one.

Which brings me back to the time I lived in a haunted house (c’mon… you didn’t think I’d drop a juicy tidbit like that and then leave ya hanging, did ya? What kind of “teller of ghost stories” would I be?). So here it is: When my husband and I were first married, we moved into a rental house in an older part of town. My teenage stepdaughter came to me one morning with a bizarre tale of how the bathroom door had opened all by itself, and the ghostly figure of a man had stuck his head around the door and “peeked” at her. Oddly enough, even though she was frightened, she hadn’t felt the need to shriek the house down (which is what I would’ve done), because she said the whole experience was more “eerie” than frightening. The man faded away while she stared, and then she went back to bed, trying to tell herself it was a bad dream.

I, on the other hand, was pretty freaked. So, I went next door to the neighbors, and asked what they knew about the history of our house. They were more than happy to share. It turns out that ten years earlier, the house had been the scene of a murder/suicide. The man who owned it had been quite a “player”, and one of his girlfriends had finally decided that if she couldn’t have him, no one would. So she came over one night, shot and killed him, then shot and killed herself. Creepy, huh? Even creepier was the fact that his body was found in the hallway, outside the bathroom door. I’ve got the actual newspaper article to prove it.

We moved out less than a month later. I just couldn’t take knowing two people had died there under such tragic circumstances, and I kept expecting somebody to pop up and shout, “Boo!” (or worse) any second. The house is still a rental property, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.

How about you? The French surrealist poet Paul Eluard once said, “There is another world, and it is in this one.” Anybody else out there with a ghostly experience you’d care to share?


Sandra Barkevich said...

Thanks, Terri. It was a fabulous post. Keep me posted on when we can coordinate a giveaway of Dead Girls Are Easy. I know I can't wait for my copy. :-)

Sandy :-)
Sandra Barkevich - Romance Author
*March 31, 2007 at Sandra's Goings On - Guest Blogger, Anna Campbell - Claiming the Courtesan

Janice Lynn said...

Terri, this is such a great post. If I didn't know you, I'd feel like I do now. I can't wait until Dead Girls are Easy hits the shelves! You're awesome!!

Terri said...

Thanks, Sandy and Janice. :) Now you know the source of all my weirdness. LOL