I’ve just begun writing a sequel to one of my books, Treading on Borrowed Time. It’s my first time out of the box doing a series of novels although I’ve always enjoyed reading them. When I was a kid I read all The Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes novels until I felt as though he was retelling the same story over again, which for such a talented writer like him took quite awhile. I think that is why I’ve stuck with stand alone novels to this point. I didn’t want to continue with the characters unless there was really more story for them and had characters that had the potential to truly evolve over many installments. Bottom line I didn’t want to be writing the same book over again.
When I wrote Treading on Borrowed Time it was a fluid piece. It wasn’t until I was deeply into the novel when I actually understood how it would conclude. But the conclusion itself did lead to questions. Without giving away the ending it left my heroine, Julia Moreau, transformed in a way that led to the tantalizing thread — what happens next. Of course that character of Nicholas Burke as well, a time traveler, modern alchemist had the potential of evolving at least through one more novel, maybe more. I was something that I kept in the back of my mind until recently. So onward with the sequel. I’m ready now I think to turn the next page. 🙂
For Julia Moreau life seems complicated. Emerging from a failed marriage and managing a lifetime of diabetes, she lives alone in her childhood home where she communicates with the spirit of her Great Aunt Lilia. But Julia doesn’t have a clue what complicated is until she is thrust into being the key chess piece in a match between two powerful men of extraordinary abilities on the wild hunt for a mystical creature hidden in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Will Julia lose her soul to the karma of a devastating past life or her heart to the love of a man driven by dark forces? What is clear is that whichever way she turns she is Treading on Borrowed Time.
As a celebration of Halloween Month Dragonflies : Journeys into the Paranormal is on sale now at Kindle for 99¢ from 10/10 to 10/14. I hope you check it out. Kindle Link
A powerful wizard, a pair of love-crossed ghosts, a mysterious
dark warrior, and an enigmatic time traveler — a mystical wordsmith entices you
into the world of the paranormal with a collection of inspired stories. Each
tale takes the journey of the dragonfly imbued with the momentum and energy of
change, following a winding and treacherous path that ultimately will lead you
to find the truth buried beneath perception.
The Halloween season once again is upon us and I will be offering several collections of spooky stories as well as my new novel The Witches’ Own for 99¢ at different times during the month. For me Halloween has always represented the supernatural, mystery, and a whole lot of fun. So in this week’s blog I decided to talk a bit about some of my favorite spooky stories that I’ll be putting on sale this month.
In The Left Palm and Other Halloween Tales of the Supernatural the first story “Wolves” is one that I’ve always considered great fun. It has all the tantalizing elements for a suspenseful ride — an enigmatic werewolf, a bit of sorcery, and a back story of revenge. And layered on top of that is the moral dilemma of right and wrong that seems to weigh heavily and exact its toll even on supernatural creatures. “Wolves” is a story that takes an unexpected twist — one that I didn’t even foresee as I was writing it. In some respects I’ve always felt this one wrote itself. Another favorite of mine from The Left Palm collection is called “The Soul Shredder.” It’s the story of a woman who after eye surgery sees the world a bit “too clearly” actually seeing inter-dimensional creatures that most of us are blissfully unaware of. Her appointment with a psychiatrist unravels some unexpected horrors for both of them. For me its an interesting tale about karma and the unforeseen consequences of our actions.
In the other collection of short stories that I’ll be putting on sale this October, Dragonflies: Journeys into the Paranormal, there are several stories that I consider favorites. The first, “The Wizard”, is a suspenseful yarn about a young apprentice witch who is sent on a risky mission to end the life of a renegade wizard. The action unfolds on a stormy, treacherous night, in a nearly abandoned inn in the Ozark mountains. This story is filled with unusual turns and more than a bit of romance. The other stand-out for me in Dragonflies is a sentimental favorite of mine called “The Tear.” While not on as much of a grandiose scale “The Tear” is a more intimate story of a woman suffering from a terminal illness and her unexpected friendship with a mysterious Frenchman that completely rewrites her perception of the world. Again its packed with some surprises and brings a happy resolution to a place where it initially seems impossible.
Of course these are just a few highlights from the two collections but I hope you have the time to check them all out. And do take a little time to enjoy the season 🙂
P.S. I wanted to send out a sincere thanks for all of those out there who have helped and supported me along the way. You are deeply appreciated.
The Left Palm and Other Halloween Tales of the Supernatural 99¢ at Kindle 10/3-10/7
Dragonflies: Journeys into the Paranormal 99¢ at Kindle 10/10-10/14
The Witches’ Own 99¢ at Kindle 10/17-10/21
Can you hear them,
When it’s quiet?
Voices speaking softly.
Leading you along
To remember and
See things clearly.
Can you hear them
When the world is roaring?
When the noise of life
Then it’s so easy
To listen to louder voices,
Voices judging, pushing,
Can you see the difference
And where the difference leads?
One to peace, one to truth,
And the other spiraling down.
from Explanations 2008
© Copyright Evelyn Klebert
If you’re in the mood for something spooky this Halloween season The Left Palm and Other Halloween Tales of the Supernatural is on sale at Kindle for 99¢ from 10/3 through 10/7. I hope you check it out.
Just when all seems well and quiet, when all becomes comfortable and predictable then reality bends. Evelyn Klebert takes you to a place where ordinary life fractures into the sphere of the paranormal.
The journey begins with one woman’s unstoppable quest for vengeance against a supernatural creature in “Wolves,” and continues in an old historical graveyard where a horrifying discovery is uncovered in “Emma Fallon.” In “The Soul Shredder” a psychiatrist’s unusual patient opens his eyes to a disturbing new view of reality, while in “Wildflowers” a woman strikes up a supernatural friendship with impossible implications. And in “The Left Palm” a fortuneteller in the French Quarter receives a most unexpected and terrifying customer.
Pretty much outside of journals and poetry the short story was the writing form I began with way back in the days of old. I was exposed early on to its many chameleon like forms — the stories of O.Henry, Henry James, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the very haunting “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Actually the more I read of the short story the more I noticed how flexible and adaptable the animal was. For some it was a mini novel, more concise; for others it was a haunting vignette, a brief yet relevant slice out of someone’s life; and finally for still others it was the twist — as in O.Henry’s case and Shirley Jackson’s, the unforeseeable turn at the end that catches the reader unaware. Literally it seemed that the short story could be anything you wanted it to be.
When I began writing and later publishing my short story collections I pretty much experimented with all parameters of the writing form. In Breaking Through the Pale, my first collection, the stories were more of the vignette type with the exception of “Contact” which leans itself to the shortened novel form. The other stories took a heightened slice out of the character’s lives. In Dragonflies the stories became more intricate, weaving a more complex turn of events. “The Wizard” and “The Tear” actually cover a significant time span where events escalate dramatically. In The Left Palm I took a page out of Shirley Jackson’s writing and played with the dramatic and often horrifying twist in the end of all of the stories. White Harbor Road actually became a mix of styles. The initial story “White Harbor Road” is close to being a novella in length and unfolds as a definitive paranormal romance. “What is Circumspect by Sophie Wilde” takes the O.Henry route resulting in an unusual twist at the end, and the other stories while romantic lean toward the vignette approach taking a snapshot of a significant but hugely relevant short period in the character’s evolution.
In truth I’ve found that the short story can be as confining or as freeing as the writer wishes it to be. It can be anything and so that puts it into an arena all its own.
How key is setting when unraveling a fictional narrative?
If you’ve ever read one of my books, you’ve probably picked up on how fond I am of my characters thrashing around the streets of New Orleans. But in truth it goes a bit deeper than that. For instance, in Sanctuary of Echoes the Metairie Cemetery becomes as key in the the storyline as any of the characters. The cemetery itself and its intricate statuary are revealed as a mystical epicenter where the character’s lives are literally integrally altered. In Treading on Borrowed Time the characters spend a lot of time hoofing it through the French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny past and present. Just mulling around that section of the city imbues the story with a texture and feel that another setting would fail to convey.
But recently I did step away from the New Orleans’ backdrop in the novel The Witches’ Own. The town of Kilmarnock, Virginia, the setting, is pretty much a complete antithesis to New Orleans. It’s a small, closely knit picturesque sort of place with strong ties to a Puritan like past. These aspects alone are key particularly in how my main character Peter McQuade, a horror novelist, responds to it. He feels a bit like an alien species, so dramatically and uncomfortably “a fish out of water.” The setting itself and its aggravating relationship with the protagonist sets the uneasy mood which the story can unfold within.
So for me setting is not only important but more often is essential. In some respects I do consider it an additional character within the narrative, a silent one but still with remarkable impact.
I am on the verge of releasing a very special collection of short stories called White Harbor Road and Other Tales of Paranormal Romance. White Harbor Road is an actual place along the Gulf Coast that I passed one day during a long meandering drive along Highway 90 which snugly curves along the beachfront of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Actually I first began writing the initial stories of White Harbor Road after I completed Ghost Soldier, the second installment of the Ghost Files series. Ghost Soldier was an intense and somewhat draining experience given the subject matter and I was looking for a complete change of pace.
“White Harbor Road,” the first story itself, is in some ways the antithesis of Ghost Soldier and The Witches’ Own. For me it is like the antidote for the dark places the other novels had taken me. Although laden with paranormal inferences, it is a collection of stories about romance and about healing. Just like that long meandering drive down Highway 90 its somewhat life-battered heroines are heading toward a place of self-discovery, wonderment, and peace where life begins again in the most extraordinary circumstances.
One of the most essential aspects of writing paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or any type of novel that steps out of the realm of realism is making it plausible. I found in crafting my characters that often have extraordinary abilities it is also important to balance them with a hefty dose of real life.
In An Uneasy Traveler the main character is Aubrey Mason, a woman who is extremely private, concerns herself with making ends meet, has questionable health and is also a sensitive/psychic — a fact that she chooses to keep private. The novel chronicles how for her these gifts are a blessing and a curse making what one would call a “normal” existence next to impossible. Aubrey struggles with fears, stress, and a desperate need to retain control over things in her life which of course to her great panic goes completely out the window once she meets her “soul-mate” Jacob Wyss. And then she must walk the precarious edge of how much to trust him with the truth of her life. As a character living with her psychic abilities and integrating them into an everyday existence gives Aubrey a “real” factor that I wanted in order to make the paranormal aspects of the story plausible. For her living as s sensitive is very normal so hopefully the reader would feel that way also.
The character of Julia Moreau in Treading on Borrowed Time is juggling more than a normal life and her psychic abilities. She is also managing a lifetime of Type I diabetes. For anyone who has experienced a life-long illness they understand that living with the care of it becomes part of the fabric of your everyday life. It is normal for her to worry about what she eats, about low blood sugars, about taking insulin. In a way, integrating this unusual aspect of her life mirrors the way these characters integrate their psychic sensitivities into everyday living. It is their “normal.” They believe it and live with it on a day to day basis so it establishes the bar of what the reader should accept.
In crafting a novel characters need to be relatable, people we can know, whose struggles although unique we can still empathize with.
It’s always a weighty and relevant choice when an author chooses which point of view to use for his writing. Traditionally I’ve leaned heavy on third person limited. In A Ghost of a Chance, I was able to use it to inject the book with plenty of Jack Brennan’s sarcasm without sacrificing the ability to give a coherent view of what was unfolding in the novel. It also seemed easier to use that POV in shifting between his viewpoint and Hallie Barkley’s, the quirky heroine. In Sanctuary of Echoes, third person was also extremely useful in that the POV was not only shifting between multiple characters but also multiple time frames.
My first real dalliance with first person came with the novella Ghost Soldier. Ghost College, the first book in the series, was written entirely in first person POV through the eyes of Monty Drew. This presented me with a bit of a dilemma as some of the action in my book, Ghost Soldier, would involve Ellen Drew, Monty’s psychic wife with him absent. It was an interesting choice I made in shifting from Monty’s first person POV at times to Ellen’s third person limited POV. I suppose I broke some rule in some far distant realm, but it actually suited the story. Monty had such a strong, pragmatic, sarcastic personality where most of the humor was generated from, and in contrast Ellen was more sensitive and cognizant of everything around her. Using the different POVs actually helped to illuminate their personalities as well as further the action of the piece.
Following in that vein I decided to incorporate two different POVs in my latest novel The Witches’ Own for slightly different reasons. If you remember Henry James’ famous novella The Turn of the screw his lead narrator was a governess written in first person. In that book, as was his intent, the fallibility of the narrator came into question. Was she really seeing ghosts and did she act justly? Or the more disturbing choice was she herself crazy and the whole thing in her mind? The lead character in The Witches’ Own is a writer of horror stories who has relocated to a remote coastal town of Virginia for several months. Doing research for a book he discovers the history of a young woman who was hanged for witchcraft in the 1600s. And then he begins to see her. The question that’s always out there because of the first person POV is whether this is indeed in his mind as he himself wonders or if not. . . Within the book when I am writing about other characters I use the third person limited POV to give a more stable narration.
It’s always an interesting and significant choice for a writer, which POV to choose and how it will ultimately impact the project.