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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ghost Story Anyone? (+ giveaway!)

Guest post by author C. Lee McKenzie ~
You’re seated around the campfire, light flickering over the faces of those huddled there with you, and one of your friends is telling a story--not just a story--a ghost story.

That prickling at the back of your neck, the way your breathing grows shallow and you wrap your arms around yourself bumps your heart up to high. It’s a cool night, but tiny beads of sweat collect at your hairline. 

It’s fear time, baby, and your body’s reacting to that familiar emotion, the one you experience whenever you’re scared by something and you’d like to pull the covers over your head or--better yet--run!

And you’re thrilled, right? Fear heightens awareness and cancels all the mundane concerns. For this moment you’re transported, you’re “alive” and “tingly.” This is one reason everyone loves a good ghost story. Another is that ghost stories try to demystify death, that one inescapable universal. This is why Halloween with its seasonal creepiness has such appeal and why this ancient Celtic celebration, steeped in ghostly myths, has continued in some form into the present day. 

A few literary facts: 
  • + The thirteen stories nominated for the Booker Prize in 2011 were about death. Here’s an interesting link on how to get published by writing about death.
  • + Some of the best known and loved classics in literature are ghost stories: The Raven [Poe], A Christmas Carol [Dickens], The Turn of the Screw [James]. 
  • + Today ghost stories are among the favorites of young readers. Dead Connection, The Body Finder, The Ghost Sitter, Stonewords: A Ghost Story and on and on. 
  • + No Pulitizer for fiction this year, but Train Dreams was a finalist and it was an excellent ghost story.
So I’ve written some ghostly tales. Some have been published in magazines, some are still on my C drive waiting for a publisher to find them :-), and some are still in my head. But this time of year I’m stirred to read and write about ghosts who walk in the night, about restless spirits seeking revenge, about pumpkin-evil stuff. 

And you? Do you love to read ghost stories? Do you love to write them? What are your favorite ones? Want to give us a sample of a ghostly scene? That would be fun and it might help you win some SWAG. Here’s what’s up for grabs while I’m visiting Jessie’s super blog.

2 pdf of my ghostly short stories
2 eBooks of Alligators Overhead (Witch alert here!)
1 signed hardcopy of The Princess of Las Pulgas (It has some small ghostly moments.)
1 signed hardcopy of Sliding on the Edge (This ghost is more like a monster, but haunting in its own way.)
** hard copies are available for U.S. only **

Thanks, Lee! That's so generous of you to offer up so many great prizes! And because Lee is as cool as she is generous, she doesn't even want you to have to work that hard to win.  You don't have to follow her (although you should). You don't have to buy her books (although you should do that too).  All you have to do is tell us a ghost story.  It can be real or made up.  
1.  Leave the story or a link in the comments.
2.  Also include your e-mail address in the comments so we can notify you if you win.
3.  Let us know if you're US or International so we know what contest to enter you for.
4.  Get your stories in by midnight on All Hallows Eve.  When the witching hour arrives, your chance to win will disappear.
And that's it!  Of course, if you win, pretty please with cherries on top review the story somewhere.  It's one of the nicest things you can do for an author.

And before you go, please stalk find Lee on line.  She's an amazing person and author!  And don't forget to check out her new creepy tale, Alligators Overhead. The links are below.

B & N


Beth said...

I never would have thought about The Christmas Carol as a ghost story and it so obviously is. LOL. Congrats Lee! And good luck.

Catherine Stine said...

Lee, what an interesting factoid about all of the Booker Prize stories being about death! Who would've thought?! Best of luck with Alligators Overhead. I'm a total fan!

Kelly Hashway said...

Ghost stories are the best because they freak me out and I love that!

CuteRimi said...

Oh my gosh! It's always pleasure to me to read Ghost Stories. When I was 11, I slept at the Myrtles in that mysterious room.. the ruffin sterling room. o.0 and I was by myself. It was amazing!

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