Hello again Sara, it is nice to be back. I would like to award two people who comment, each a print book of their choosing. The choices are; Murder Most Foul, Wicked Intentions, Loves, Myths, and Monsters, and Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between.
When it comes to fiction writing, almost anything goes. That is why I love writing paranormal stories. The author can go completely over the edge and make something unbelievable seem believable. When it comes to ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own either. I watch television programs that partake of the supernatural and paranormal flare. Programs from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.
Some of the stories from my paranormal anthology, “Wicked Intentions” are based on actual hauntings. In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.
A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse.
And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.
On the Discovery Channel, I got the idea for Summer Wind. I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes. In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family.
Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder. This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.
Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father’s disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.
I set my murder mystery, The Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.
So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse.
THE LEGEND OF LAKE MANOR
Twenty-three year old Cassandra Lopez, embarking on a long-standing family quest, traveled by bus to Lancaster, Ohio, arriving late in the afternoon of March 9. Opposite the depot, directly across from the parking coach, she saw a taxi line running along the street. As soon as traffic permitted, she scurried over, grasped the door handle of the first Yellow Cab and climbed into the rear compartment.
“Lake Manor, please,” she informed the pair of dark eyes peering at her via the rearview mirror. Eyes that widened in shock at her destination.
“That’s a bad hotel. I know many that are much better.”
Leaning forward, Cassandra politely told the middle-aged ebony driver, “So do I, but take me there anyway.”
The man reluctantly removed his cigar. “If the lady wishes.” He then kissed the rosary around his sweaty neck.
Cassandra nodded at the gesture. “I’ve never needed religion, but I’m sure it’s calming to many.”
“For one not to need faith, one must have many guardian angels or be an atheist.”
She smiled at his comment. She then removed her heavy hobo bag from around her shoulders and breathed a sigh of relief. Her two-hundred mile journey was finally over.
The taxi driver shifted into Drive and pulled away from the curb, heading toward Route 22 East. “The only people who dare stay at Lake Manor are fugitives or strangers who don’t know ‘bout its history. Which are you?”
“Neither,” she said. “I’m a thrill seeker.”
“Ahhh, even worse.” He added a hearty laugh as he turned onto the winding Lake Road.
From the corner of the road, with the corn still low, she clearly saw the brick and mortar mansion. The three-story building, built into a hill, was an impressive yet daunting sight. Her first glimpse made the hair rise on the nape of her neck.
About the Author:
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill’s Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My books and original canvas paintings, can be found at: booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
Other books by Jo Anne:
“TWISTED LOVE,” a true-crime anthology
“MURDER MOST FOUL” a detective/mystery anthology
“LOVES’, MYTHS’ AND MONSTERS’,” a fantasy anthology
“THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY,” a biography true-crime
“POEMS ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN”
“FLAGITIOUS,” a crime/mystery anthology