How would you describe your book to someone who has not read it yet?
Paranormal Properties is about a young boy named Jake who unconditionally loves his parents even though he doesn’t agree with their job; they are ghost-hunters. Jake is a non-believer but still supports his parents lovingly by not complaining when they often move to find haunted locations for their cable show. But one day Jake realizes he is the one who can see and hear ghosts. The story takes a turn when he meets the town of Dusk’s oldest ghost, Frank Barrone. Their adventure starts then.
Is this your first book and how long have you been writing?
Yes this is my first book and I have been writing since I can remember. I always loved to read and would read on weekends in my room. On Friday I would grab a book and be done with it by the time school started again on Monday. My favorite book was A Wrinkle In Time. That was the first time writing stories appealed to me. I tried writing a few times but having a family and working just did not leave much time for writing. In High School I tried writing a few stories and even though my friends seemed to like them, I just didn’t have the confidence I needed to be successful. Then came the family and job.
When did you start writing Paranormal Properties?
I started it about six years before it was finished. I know that sounds like a long time, and it is. My children were growing up and did not need me as much and I lost my husband in a car wreck. I ended up having tons of time on my hands. But my confidence was still lacking. Finally I read somewhere that if you put 5 to 10 minutes a day to just write one page that you will end up with a book at the end of a year. I had already spent 5 years on it, so I thought why not try out this technique and see where it gets me. It worked like a charm! I woke up around 5am most mornings, made coffee then sat at a computer and would do my best to type out a page. Sometimes I would get my page or maybe 2, but other times I could not get a page at all. The book, however, was done in one year. 194 pages of my blood, sweat and tears.
How did you get the idea for your book?
When I was young ghost, ghouls and spirits scared my friends and me. As I got older I seemed to “feel” others around me when I was alone. I wasn’t scared like in my younger years, but more intrigued. I have also heard of young children that could see ghosts and were scared. Then an idea for a book came to mind: why don’t I write about a young boy who can see and hear ghosts and then makes friends with one. I loved it and kept building on it. I decided to make his parents ghost-hunters with a cable TV show. The rest is history.
Are the experiences based on someone you know or your own life?
No, it is all ficitonal. I did use names from people in my life. My late husband had a son named Jacob that passed. And my best friend Lana Weir passed at 19 years old, I used her last name for Jake. I had real trouble with my ghost. I could not get the poise and attitude he needed. One night I was washing dishes when World’s Dumbest came on the TV. When I heard this voice, it made me stop what I was doing and run to see who it was. Frank Stallone was remarking on a video. I knew that was my ghost! I even named him close to Frank’s name. I did research on Frank and found he had a tremendous voice. And so would my ghost; he ended up being a lounge singer in the book with a signature song called “Barroom Eyes”.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King! I have always been a huge fan of his. I love his writing style and his imagination. He has written so many of my favorites and I have read them over and over throughout the years. One example: I just read The Long Walk for the fifth time. I wish they would make a movie of it.
How long did it take after you were done writing Paranormal Properties until you had a publisher?
After I was done writing Paranormal Properties I hired an editor to clean it up and make it presentable for submitting. He helped me by submitting it to several places and within two weeks I had a contract in hand from Pants on Fire Press. I was shocked, to say the least. I heard it was very hard to obtain a publisher, especially on your first book and here I had one in only two weeks after submitting.
That’s amazing! Will it be a series and are you working on another book now?
Yes, it definitely will be a series and I have two more books in mind for it. Right now I am working on another book unrelated to Paranormal Properties. This one is a Young Adult Romance called Entwined Courage. It is about a young girl named Aurora who, by accident, finds a hidden city of Mages and meets a mage in training by the name of Kayne. I don’t want to give too much away; I am only done with 100 pages and have over 200 more pages to go. After this one I will work on next in series for Paranormal Properties.
Do you have any specific thing you want to say to your readers?
Yes I hope they love the story. I not only wrote this for me, I struggled to write it for them. It took me years to bring my story to life in a book. If it was just for me I would not have been so worried about finishing it. It is for all the readers of books out there. With this book, I give you a piece of my soul. Enjoy!
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Pants on Fire Press
Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 33,000
Word Count: 33,000
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/NwIoLYHHznU
Jake Weir, while on the set of his parents ghost hunting TV show, agrees to help a ghost investigate a 61 year-old murder.
Jake Weir is not like the other kids in Dusk, North Carolina. Then again, Dusk, North Carolina is not like other cities. Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, behind Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana, Dusk is ground zero for Jake's ghost hunting parents.
The Weir family has arrived in Dusk eager to scope out some of the town's 127 reported "paranormal properties," which just happens to be the name of their own ghost hunting show: Paranormal Properties. What Jake doesn't know, and what his parents could never imagine, is that Jake can see ghosts! And hear them. And talk back to them! This talent comes in handy when he runs into Dusk's oldest, most famous ghost: one Frank Barrone, a one-time lounge singer made famous by his booze-soaked ballad, "Barroom Eyes."
Frank was gunned down by a local mobster in 1951 and has been searching for his killer ever since. When he learns that Jake can see and hear him, Frank makes young Jake a deal: if Jake will help Frank find his killer, Frank will help his parents find a ghost to film for their upcoming Halloween Special on Public Access Channel #319. Jake enlists the only friend he's made in Dusk, an overweight tomboy nicknamed "Tank," to help him track down Frank's killer. As clues emerge and old leads heat up, Frank and Jake learn they make quite a team. But will Jake find Frank's killer? And will Frank find a real haunted house in time for Halloween?
“Paranormal Properties is a great, family-friendly Young Adult novel about a boy who can talk to ghosts. Equal parts Scooby-Doo, CSI and the Hardy Boys, you will enjoy getting to know Jake, Frank and Tank as much as I did. Now, if only ‘Paranormal Properties’ was a real show I could watch on TV every week…” ~ Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry
I use to love to write short stories in school and always wanted to be a writer. But raising children and working jobs I just could not find the time to indulge my passion. Then my children grew up and I ended up having two teenagers at home who did not need as much attention from me. I started toying with the idea of writing once again. So setting aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to write at least one page I could end up with a book a year. Now Paranormal Properties is published and I have a list of 8 more books to write. I don't think I"ll be slowing down anytime soon.
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