Clare Gem is here to tell us a little about the background to her book Phantom Traces and why she writes stories that have haunting and ghosts.
Why do I write romance stories infused with hauntings and ghosts? Because that’s what I love to read, and darn it, there just doesn’t seem to be enough of those kinds of stories out there.
Three things I love the most inspired my new release, Phantom Traces: romance, ghosts, and libraries. Okay, so I’m a little weird, but my favorite place to hang out is in libraries, especially old ones. I spent the weeks before starting the novel scouting the ones in my area, snapping pictures, and picking elements of each to create the one in the book. Then, on November 1st, 2012, I packed up my laptop, drove to the one in Spencer, Massachusetts, and plopped myself down at a secluded desk amidst the stacks. This is where Phantom Traces was born—I wrote the first two chapters that day in three hours, the first day of National Novel Writing Month.
I stayed on task. By November 30th, I had a “complete” novel, right to The End—54,000 words comprising the skeleton of the book that eventually found its way to Soul Mate Publishing and a contract. Dozens of revisions, feedback from my fantastic online Rom-Crit Group, and hours of agonizing and swearing at the screen during edits, and voila! Phantom Traces—Romance with a Ghostly Twist.
Addressing the theme of the May-September romance (my husband is 15 years my senior and we’ve been married over 36 years), Phantom Traces combines a modern love story, a historical tragedy, and a spooky paranormal in a multilayered, fast-paced plot guaranteed to take the reader on an emotional ride.
A history professor in a tweed jacket, a cheeky Goth chick, and a pipe-smoking, book-hurling ghost. Put them all together in an antiquated library and, well…
Professor Jack Wood’s silver-streaked hair definitely ages him, and he can thank Killer Dawn for that. He won’t be falling into the love trap again anytime real soon. But this new librarian has him curious, with her head-to-toe black Goth garb, piercings, and a defiant attitude to match. Definitely not his type of girl, but still…
Abigail Stryker’s got her work cut out for her. The last two librarians didn’t last a month before airborne books chased them off. But Abby’s determined to make her new life a go – and to stay as far away from older men as possible. Once was enough. Might be tough to do when the library’s best patron is none other than dreamy-eyed Jack Wood. And it seems the eccentric ghost may have taken a shine to her as well.
At that moment, the lights in the building flickered, dropping dim and pale. They pulsed for a beat, then went completely out. It was still light outside, though the fading twilight cast the interior into near blackness.
“What the . . .” She looked around, wrapping her arms around herself and instinctively moving a step closer to Jack.
“Oh, that’s not unusual around here.” His voice was calm and reassuring. “Blue Ridge Power is infamous for testing transformers at the darnedest times of day.”
By the time he finished speaking, the lights began to glow, then steadily increased until they were fully illuminated. He grinned over at her. “At least it doesn’t last long.”
His killer smile shot a jitter through her middle again. She smiled back but found she couldn’t hold his gaze long without feeling as if she had a fever coming on. She turned away.
“I’d better let you get to work,” she mumbled, then scooted around the reception desk and into the back room.
Tea. I just need a cup of peppermint tea to get my mind back where it belongs.
As she stood in the small anteroom, she could feel Jack watching her from his seat across the way. She dunked the tea bag in the steaming water for way longer than necessary. As the pale green essence oozed into the water, all she could think of was how the hue almost matched the color of his eyes.
Claire Gem writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, sometimes with a paranormal twist. A voracious reader, she’s an avid fan of strong but sensitive heroes, spunky, sexy heroines, and a ghost story worth at least a few goose bumps. Her vision is to transport her readers into another place and time, and loves creating characters so real, readers miss them when the book is closed.
Always fascinated by the paranormal, she holds a Certificate in Paranormal Studies from Duke University’s Rhine’s Research Center. When she’s not writing, she can be found glued to the latest episode of Ghost Adventures, out to dinner with her happy-ever-after husband, or enjoying cocktail hour with her daughter, who is also her very best girlfriend.
Book Trailer Link: http://bit.ly/1EIj4IY
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1JrjWoH