The Ghosting of Sepulcher Bay
Kaliope "Kali" Stergakos is dealing with divorced parents, a crush on a boy her best friend also adores, and spirits of the dead talking to her all the time. Even worse, they take over Kali's body when she sleeps. Despite growing up in a suburban necropolis where the dead outnumber the living, this possession stuff never happens to anyone else.
At least, it didn't. Kali and her friends, both living and dead, find evidence of other possessions and unearth a plot by ghosts to take over the bodies of the living, permanently. Now it's up to her to prevent the ectoplasmic minions of a formerly-dead madman from stealing the bodies they desperately crave.
How to Create Ideas
By Eric Griffith
It's Black Friday. Which should be a day of dark weirdness, a secondary All Hallow's Eve, the sequel we get to Halloween each year to make us pay for eating so much tryptophan inside delicious fowl. Instead, it's a day to go shopping and hope you don't get trampled by people who want the same deals. So, I appreciate you not doing that—go shopping online today, after you read this. Go out tomorrow.
Today, I'm going to talk about ideas. Specifically the answer to that old chestnut, "Where do you get your ideas?" (I've heard that some writers hate this question. I am not one of them.)
The answers I've heard range from "Pougkeepsie" (Harlan Ellison) to "out of my head" (Neil Gaiman) to "from the skulls of small children." (I don't know who said that last one, maybe I dreamed it, but I like it.) My answer is, like most writers, "I have no idea."
It's an answer Gaiman says people hate, and I know why they do: people want the magic bullet. They want to know how you can do something they admire, like tell a cool story, when really writing just looks so damn easy except for the ideas part. That's where they stumble.
Ideas can appear anytime, anywhere; sometimes you just need room to think. For example, not long ago, in the shower, I had almost an entire sequel proposal for my novel BETA TEST pop almost fully formed into my head. All I had to do was absently rubbed a bar of Irish Spring on my chest until it was little more than a bluish-green nub as it spiraled fully-formed like Athena in my think-meat.
Sometimes, you have to work at an idea. That's why writing is a job like any other, it takes some elbow grease. (The problem is, it doesn't look like working. Even though it is.) For example, I purposefully sat down with a notebook and demanded an idea from my brain one time when I had nothing to write. I gave myself parameters: it had to be a story for young adults, it had to have a female protagonist. I thought about the popular teen heroines I both admire and didn't, and what they were up against—and inevitably it seemed to involve vampires and werewolves.
So I thought about other supernatural options. And eventually I had the bare bones of what would be KALI: THE GHOSTING OF SEPULCHER BAY, a girl with an unfortunately ghost possession problem, exacerbated by living in a town where the dead outnumber the living by 1,000 to 1. Time from that sit-down with idea notebook to writing was just a couple of weeks. Because when the idea is good, it's not worth waiting. It' s time to write! And I'm so glad I did.
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