All this month I’m going to be giving you a peek at snippets from my upcoming Whisper Hollow series. I have not been this excited about writing a series since I started Otherworld. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other work that I’ve written, but the Whisper Hollow series and its characters launched themselves into my dreams. Literally. The characters and spirits that inhabit the world keep me awake at night, and they talk to me in my dreams. I’m extremely excited about this series — yes it is a slightly different direction than my urban fantasy, but I think it’s stronger than anything I’ve written.
On the side, I evicted a number of ghosts. The job didn’t pay much, but that didn’t matter to me. The coffee shop kept me in rent and food money, but the ghost hunting? That was what kept the headaches at bay. I spent all my spare time tromping through haunted buildings, looking for the ghosts who were troublemakers— the dead who were too focused on the world of the living to do anybody any good.
When I found them, I’d drop a hint to the owner, and about fifty percent asked me to come in and deal with the spirits. And kicking their astral butts, so to speak, is what kept me from falling over the edge of the cliff into La‑La Land. I began to create my own rites and rituals from the training Lila had given me before I left home, and for the most part they worked. There were a few missteps, some of them embarrassing and a few downright dangerous, but overall, I managed.
In my personal life, I kept to myself. I had met a few friends but no one I felt like I could trust, other than keeping in touch with Peggin. Mostly, I read a lot, and I’m a speed reader and I have a photographic memory when it comes to what I read in books.
I have a lot of time to pursue my hobby. See, once people find out that I hang with spirits . . . well . . . it goes one of two ways: Either they’re afraid of me, or they glom onto me in hopes of gaining tomorrow’s lottery numbers or finding out if old Uncle Joe had actually squirreled away money some‑ where and forgot to leave a note about it in his will. Being a spirit shaman doesn’t make for easy dates, either. When guys find out that I can chat up their dead sisters or friends and get the lowdown on what they’re really like, that usually ends the date. At first, their fear— couched as “It’s not you, it’s me”— bothered me. After all, the boys in Whisper Hollow had accepted me for who I was, quirks and all. So it seemed like a pale excuse. After a while, though, I learned to ignore the brush‑ offs and eventually, I stopped dating, for the most part.
But now I was going home, where everybody in Whisper Hollow is eccentric, in one way or another. Everybody’s just a little bit mad. And I realized that I was actually looking forward to it. Especially since my grandfather was dead and could never bother me again. At least . . . that was my hope. Because in Whisper Hollow, the dead don’t always stay put where you plant them.
Whisper Hollow is available for preorder. You can preorder signed copies from Seattle Mystery Bookshop—try to get your orders in before October 27, so they have enough copies. And remember, I will be having a book launch party at Seattle Mystery Bookshop on October 31st at Noon, and I will be signing in Beaverton OR, and Bellevue WA. See Appearances page.
UK readers: note, I have a UK publisher now, so there will be a version released simultaneously there.