I’ve been fascinated by ghosts and ghost stories for a long time, in particular the efforts people have made over the years to use science to prove that ghosts exist. My interest in paranormal research has led me to write magazine articles about paranormal investigators, visit the American Society for Psychical Research offices, and edit books about parapsychology.
So it makes sense that my first novel, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, is about a girl who sees — and hears and talks to and argues with — ghosts. There’s a romantic triangle (one boy is alive and one has Passed Over) that I’m sure was influenced by The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, a favorite book/movie/TV show of mine when I was growing up.
As much as I like ghost stories, I’m also a skeptic, so I used both points of view when I created The Unseen World of Poppy Malone, my middle-grade series. Poppy’s parents are the kind of credulous paranormal investigators who will grab a camera and head for the swamp five minutes after a reported sighting of Bigfoot and who believe wholeheartedly in vampires, aliens, and other things that go bump in the night.
As their daughter, Poppy has, of course, taken the opposite path and believes only in what can be proven. I had a lot of fun writing about what happens when she actually meets goblins, mermaids and, of course, ghosts.
If you, like me, enjoy spooky stories with a spot of science, check out My Philadelphia Ghost Story, a fascinating account of a visit to a haunted prison, written by Margee Kerr, a sociologist who studies fear.