No matter what I try to write when I begin a book, the supernatural slithers in somewhere. With some stories, such as my ‘Too Ghoul for School’ series, ghosts, ghouls and long-leggedy beasties are at the heart of the action. With others, such as my novel ‘Walking with Witches,’ the supernatural is a main thread. With others, though, it just scratches at the window as I write, with scaly clawed talons.
i started writing a story about a Rom girl who loses her mother – a simple coming-of-age story, you’d think. Except soon, tyhe tapping and scraping started at the window, and she became a Chovihani – a gypsy witch. I tried again, another book about a young woman starting out on a new life as she left home – and a batlike creature crept down my chimney and straight into the story. I was writing a commissioned book this summer, and suddenly a story drifted into my head about ghosts on the metro. I’m still writing that one!
The thing is, books that include a supernatural element are what I like to read. They always have been. As a child I loved Ray Bradbury’s stories; that continued as I became an adult. I spent my pocket money on a Saturday on lurid comics from the US – all full of ghosts, monsters and vampires. As a teen and young adult I gobbled down Stephen King novels. Today, I read many YA supernaturals – and love them. I don’t just read them for ‘research;’ I love every werewolf howl and swish of a ghostly gown.
Perhaps I should grow up and only read the worthier books on my ever-growing ‘to read’ pile…but you know what? I don’t think so. Those ghoulish tales still delight me to this day. I think the ‘damage’ is done, and those tales of the supernatural are the best things I am drawn to write! Perhaps my pen is haunted! Now there’s an idea for a story…