Do you believe in ghosts? A recent poll in the States found 42% of people believed in ghosts while a similar poll in the UK found 52% of people there did too. I'm part of that 52%. So writing a series about a college girl who sees ghosts wasn't fantasy to me.
Greyworld came into existence when I was wondering what I'd write next. I'd just completed a series and had the feeling most of us get when something comes to an end. I call it the blahs. Really, I should have started on a new story before I finished the series, to avoid that state. But I didn't. So there I was, with a massive case of the blahs and no idea what I wanted to do about it.
I sat down in front of my keyboard and let my muse play. I call her my muse, but I actually think she's a collective on the other side who feed me fodder for my books. I just act as secretary and write their stories down.
So there I was – fingers at the ready, mind as blank as a whiteboard on the first day of the school term. Then the first sentence came through. 'Don't believe what they tell you in movies and on TV, ghosts don't haunt people.'
To say I was floored would be playing my reaction down. I believed in ghosts. I'd seen ghosts, for Pete's sake! Now my muse was telling me they didn't exist? That it was all in my imagination?
Wait, no, that wasn't what it said. It said ghosts don't haunt people, not that they didn't exist. So, after picking myself up off the metaphorical floor, I put my fingers on the keyboard again and waited for clarification. It came quickly. 'Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying ghost don't exist, I'm just saying they don't haunt people. Because basically they don't know we're here.'
A little more mollified, and a lot curious, I waited for more. This was totally new terrain for me. The ghosts I'd come in contact with always knew I was there. Not that there were a lot. But enough. Especially since coming to live in England. There's a reason why more than half the population believe in ghosts here. This place is a mecca for them. I guess that happens when people have lived and died by the millions on this little island over the millennia. Not like Australia where I come from. It's a percentage game. More dead people; more possible ghosts; and more sensitive people to see them.
I decided to let my muse have her say, even if I wasn't sure she was telling me the truth. As I did so an amazing new perspective on earth-bound spirits started to reveal itself. And I decided to stick with the first person narrative form, and the info dump as the start of the novel, because Beth's character came through so clearly in it. I wanted her to hook the reader as she'd hooked me, and then let her test her theories against the 'reality' of meeting someone who didn't fit her world view. Give her a little of her own medicine.
And Greyworld, one of the most 'realistic' romances I have even written, was born. Now, as the last on the four-part series is about to be released, I look back at the day I sat with the blahs and think, Wow, what a rollercoaster ride!
So now I'm daring you to test you theories of reality against Beth's, to decide whether there really are things out there that don't go bump in the night.
Nyhs Glover is doing a $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! All you need to do to enter is to leave a comment below on what you think about ghosts and Glover's new book.
After a lifetime of teaching others to appreciate the written word, Aussie author Nhys Glover finally decided to make the most of the Indie Book Revolution to get her own written word out to the world. Now, with over 100,000 of her ebooks downloaded internationally and a winner of 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for 'The Titan Drowns', Nhys finds her words, too, are being appreciated.
At home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales of England, Nhys these days spends most of her time "living the dream" by looking out over the moors from her window as she writes the kind of novels she loves to read. The ones that are a little bit steamy, a little bit different and wholly romantic.
You can find out more about Nhys and her books by visit www.nhysglover.com
Excerpt from Greyworld 1:The Anomaly
"What do I look like to you? I assume there's some reason you think I'm a ghost," her voice went up at the end as a question, and her pale eyebrows lifted too. Was she making fun of me?
I decided two could play at that game. "Is this where I'm supposed to say you're pretty?"
She laughed and shook her head. "I'm not my sister. I have no illusions about my looks. And if you said I was pretty I wouldn't believe you. So, no. I want to know why you call me a ghost."
I sobered up and decided to address the elephant in the park directly. "I can see through you. You aren't solid and colourful like the rest of us. Like the tree behind us." I hated to break it to her. After all, she said she wasn't dead, and yet she obviously was. How was someone supposed to break something like that to a ghost?
She looked at her own hand, as if trying to see it as I did. Of course, she wouldn't.
"It's okay. You can go to the Light or whatever. They say it's great on the other side," I found myself muttering stupidly. Crap, this was not as easy as it seemed on TV.
She looked up at me, her eyes filled with compassion and empathy. "So they say. Do you want to know what I see when I look at you?"
I hadn't thought about that. Wouldn't she see me like the rest of the people around us? I mean, we're the living, after all.
Her eyes became even more sympathetic and I began to feel like an idiot who was missing the point somehow. I could see she was fighting not to reach out and comfort me with a touch.
"You're transparent to me, too. I call you Greys. And there aren't fifty shades of you. You're all just one transparent grey."
It was my turn to look at my hand. It was as solid as it always was. Maybe she was just saying that to get even with me for breaking the news to her so badly?
"I'm as solid as those people sitting over there," I nodded with my head to the three co-eds and one guy sitting on the grass no more than ten feet away. Already they'd looked my way a couple of times, clearly wondering who I was talking to.
"There's nobody there. I can see two guys about to sit down to our right. But it's too cold for most people to be out today. Spring seems to have deserted us."
"It's not spring. It's September and this is an Indian summer," I choked out. Things were deteriorating fast. She must have died in spring and was stuck in that time forever. Always chilly, never to enjoy the pleasures of summer again.
For a moment she just stared at me. That's when it hit me. She thought I was dead. She thought I was the ghost. This was getting seriously screwed up.
Greyworld on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BRE7TGU