Laurie, thank you for inviting me here to talk about Dead People, Book One in my Haunted hearts series. One of the best things about writing—besides working at home in my sweatshirt and flannel pants—is that I get to write what’s fun for me. Ghosts are super fun. Though I’ve never had a ghostly encounter, I sometimes feel that people I know who have passed are sending me love. It’s as if I’m lit up within. But even as a child I never had a fear of ghosts. I always figured if they had no bodies, they couldn’t hurt me.
That’s one strand of Dead People. The second is the characters. I like damaged characters who don’t whine. That’s my snarky ghost whisperer heroine, my cynical former rocker hero and his newly found 10-year-old found daughter. Even the ghost is damaged—though she does her share of whining.
I can’t remember which came first anymore, but these different plot strands all tangled together into a story with a haunted house (I love haunted houses!) and characters haunted by their pasts. It has suspense, romance, humor, and a lot of heart.
Here’s the description of DEAD PEOPLE:
Joe didn’t care for the way the guitar player eyeballed Cassie, as if she were a chrome-plated hot rod and he couldn’t wait to jump in and burn rubber. Good thing Joe had followed her, even though she’d told him not to. May as well get some use out of being dead. He could’ve used this invisible thing when he was on the force.
More than fifty years now, and he still missed a good beer. Hell, he even missed bad beer, the smooth way a cold one went down his throat on a hot summer night, the smell of hops, the bitter edge. He wanted it all. Hot dogs smothered in ketchup and mustard, a warm steak oozing blood, a Cuban cigar, his mom’s black forest cake.
And women. He missed holding a warm woman in his arms even more than he missed sex. Well, almost more. He hadn’t been a eunuch. Even after polio took Mary away.
Sometimes he wondered why he didn’t go and find Mary. Wasn’t she the love of his life? But he just couldn’t let go of earth
Unlike the poor schlubs he and Cassie found wandering around in a mess of emotional confusion, Joe knew he was dead a minute after the bullet slammed into his heart. He’d understood all he needed to do to leave was to let go of earth and fly. But something held him back, a sense that there was something more for him.
Since he’d met Cassie three years ago, this non-bodily existence had gotten easier with someone to talk to. Someone to laugh with. Someone on the same channel as him. Someone who breathed real air.
Sometimes he lay down beside her at night just to hear her little snores. She told him she felt his breath sometimes, but she must be imagining it. The way he figured it, she wanted him to breathe.
Some day, though, he was going to surprise her. He’d been practicing a few experiments the last couple years, but he wasn’t ready for prime time yet. When the ectoplasm disintegrated, he felt like a used condom. He didn’t want Cassie to see him like that.
If the cat with the guitar tried anything on Cassie, Joe might take that chance. No one ever said Joe was yellow when he was alive, and they weren’t going to say it in death either. Hell, it was easier to be brave now.
He had nothing to lose. Mary was gone, his mom, dad and brother were gone.
He kept track of friends, but only one was left, and he wouldn’t live long. Besides, he couldn’t talk to him. Just see him getting older and sicker every day. Not the same thing.
All he had was Cassie.
My review of Dead People
My review of Dead People