The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS column on Mondays and Wednesdays is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website open to interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better – and occasionally may offer features from Shannon herself that support readers to discover words.
Today, find out more about THE LAST GHOST.
The Last Ghost
by Jamie Blake
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 1st 2018
Christian Orland is dead, and everyone in his life is doing their best to understand what happened.
Especially Woe, the sixteenth Fatality, who knows that she was assigned the wrong case when she stopped his heart, but also knew she had to do it, or risk being destroyed herself.
Woe only handles expected death, and not many people expect to die in an accident. However, not many people have the history of Christian Orland. That history is now tormenting his brother Noah, the keeper of all of Christian’s dangerous secrets, his childhood friend Ellery, who he once swore he would love “until he died,” and his girlfriend Melissa, who can’t understand why she is the only person not haunted by ghosts.
Woe teams up with the Fatality who she thinks should have had Christian’s case, and the ghosts of Christian’s past to try to solve the mystery of how he ended up as her case. As they try to unravel some of Christian’s lies, they begin to uncover something far more sinister.
Together, the most important people in Christian’s life and death must work to restore order from the chaos his death caused in the lives of those who loved him, and in realms he could not imagine, before free will is lost forever.
Guest Post from the Author
THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU AS A WRITER
I find a lot of inspiration in what I call the magic of the ordinary. I think sometimes about some of the technology that exists in our every-day life, and I think what someone would think about this if they didn’t understand our technology or science. For instance, I can type a message into a tiny box, and my sister will read it thousands of miles away. If I didn’t understand celluar networks (or RIP BBM), it would be fair to say this was pretty magical. So a fairly regular source of inspiration is what if that was actually magic?
The What If exercise is extraordinarily important for writing. I think sometimes for inspiration, you just take something that you take for granted, and turn that on its head—what if that wasn’t the case? For The Last Ghost, the big what if was what if Death itself thought Death made a mistake? What if Death could make mistakes? What would that mean for the world? That then can flow through to the rest of your story—what if the boy who died wasn’t as perfect as everyone is saying—how would you find out the truth?
For me as a writer, I hold tight to a few things that I personally believe to be true—1) That no one views themselves as a villain 2) that love is a very powerful motivator and 3) perception can matter more than reality. Knowing those rules, I try to write things that check off those boxes. I also try very hard to be honest about things in my writing. I wrote the first draft of The Last Ghost in my teens and very early twenties, and so those feelings were very honest then. Looking at it now that I am older, I was very tempted to edit certain things out, based on that with maturity, the character wouldn’t react that way. But I have to remember I aged, but the character didn’t, and let the behavior be more appropriate to what a teenager would do.
Another writing exercise I do if I am feeling stuck, is I put on a song that I think has a great story, and then would try to write the story arc of that song. For example, “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers has a lot of world-building for a song (“smells of cheap wine, cigarettes/this place is always such a mess” is a very vivid description), and I would use that as a basis to write a flash fiction companion piece for the song—what is the relationship, what is there backstory, what is the aftermath?
About the Author
Jamie Blake writes smart books for young adults and teens. Born in Massachusetts, she is the third of four sisters, which by literary tradition makes her the bookish one. Jamie earned degrees in literature at the University of Rochester and public policy at Cornell University. She was an elementary school teacher in North Carolina before moving to Upstate New York, where she lives with her family, including identical twin cats. The Last Ghost coming October 1, 2018 from 50/50 press is her first novel.
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