“Why do you write ghost stories?”
It’s a question I’m often asked, especially since my novels cross genres—contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and supernatural romantic suspense.
The answer is simple:
I believe in ghosts. Have I ever seen a ghost? Yes, and no.
I’ve sensed spirits, more than once, in more than one old, abandoned building. When the hairs on the back of my neck and on my arms rise, and there’s no chilly air to explain it, I know I’m in the presence of something supernatural. I’ve caught fleeting glimpses out of the corner of my eye of . . . something. A figure, a shadow, a presence that, when I turn to try and focus on it, evaporates like vapor. More than once I’ve not been alone when this happens, and my companions have had the same experience.
So yes, I do believe in ghosts, or spirits, or whatever your preferred term is. I think there are at least two kinds of hauntings: residual and intelligent. Residual hauntings are shadows of people who lived in a time past (or perhaps in the future). These apparitions are like black-and-white frames from an old movie. They are visible, or can be sensed, but keep playing over and over in an endless loop of whatever they were doing or experiencing when they were alive. You cannot communicate with residual hauntings. Over time, they gradually fade away and eventually disappear.
Intelligent hauntings, however, I believe are spirits who are trapped between this life and the next. They are stuck here, in our conscious realm, for whatever reason: a child or other person dies but does not know they are dead; a person died with some unfinished business here in this realm; they are confused, and don’t know how to “cross over.” Some of these intelligent hauntings can be communicated with, under the right circumstances. Some, angry because they’re trapped in between, can be dangerous (like poltergeists).
“How, since you work in scientific research by day, can you believe in anything paranormal?”
That’s an easy answer as well. There actually is a scientific theory, in quantum physics, of parallel universes. We may well be existing in our own conscious realm alongside those who have passed, who lived long ago, or have yet to be born. In my mind, the quantum theory explains it. Just because we don’t fully understand how it all works doesn’t mean it isn’t the way things are.
“Are your love stories between ghosts? Or between real human beings?”
No, my love stories are between very real, very human, very flawed individuals who all have issues of their own, whether inside or out, they need to resolve. They meet in some location where spirits are trapped. Sometimes they have a hard time believing in the paranormal, but one way or the other, the spirits make believers out of them. And in their quest to free the trapped spirits, they also happen to fall in love.
“Why romance plus the ghost story? Why not just write about hauntings?”
Another easy answer: because I believe in true love, and I believe in a happily-ever-after. I know most people would like to think it can be reality (thus the popularity of the romance genre), but not everyone is lucky enough to find their special soulmate. I married mine over forty years ago and have never looked back.
Also, because these are the kinds of stories I like to read: heart-melting romance laced with the thrills and chill of the supernatural. I couldn’t ever find enough to read, so I started writing my own.
In my newest release, ELECTRICITY, my heroine, Mercedes Donohue, is an electrician who fled her home in Atlanta with her teenage son after a particularly bad divorce. She’s returned to Massachusetts, where she was born and lived up until her teens, when her adoptive parents moved to Atlanta.
My hero, Daniel Gallagher, is also an electrician who works on the same team as Mercy. He has avoided any serious relationships since his fiancé was killed in a car wreck twelve years ago, after stubbornly refusing to take his advice, driving off in a terrible storm. He’s not getting involved with another stubborn, independent woman ever again.
When Mercy joins the team, though, she short-circuits his plans. The electricity between them is simply too strong.
Their first big job together is an old mental asylum, which has its share of secret tunnels and lingering, tortured spirits. Neither Mercy nor Daniel believe in ghosts, so there’s no problem, right?
The spirits of Gravely Hall figure out a way to make them believers.
ELECTRICITY: A Haunted Voices Novel
She’s an electrician starting over with her son. New job. New town. New life.
He’s a coworker who’s interested in more than her ability to run conduit.
The building they’re rewiring was once an insane asylum…but it appears some of the patients never left.
Mercedes Donohue pulled up roots in Atlanta when her marriage imploded. She’s come back to New England, to the place where she was born. Mercy’s focus is to stabilize her teenage son’s life—he took the breakup pretty hard—and to establish her place, gain the respect of Progressive Electrical’s team.
She never expected so many sparks to fly so soon, both on the job and after hours.
Daniel Gallagher has been alone since his fiancé’s death. He’ll never feel that way about any woman again, and certainly won’t try with another independent, strong-willed one. Then Mercy short-circuits his plans.
Although the asylum closed its doors over thirty-five years ago, it seems some of the patients never left . . .
If you like a heart-melting romance laced with healthy dose of supernatural thrills and chills, you’ll love Electricity.
Mercy had gotten to the very last wire when the lightning struck.
At least that’s what it felt like. A burst of blue light momentarily blinded her, and a deafening crack pierced her brain. The force of the jolt blew her backwards and set her ears ringing.
The next few seconds slowed surreally. Dizzy and confused, Mercy, ladder and all, careened away from the wall in silent, slow motion. As if in a dream. No pain, no fear.
Then she landed, flat on her back on the floor, the impact rattling her jaw. Pain shot through her then as the ladder bounced off her chest once, and then settled heavy on top, pinning her to the dust-laden tile.
“DAMN it!” Mercy’s oath blew out with the last of the air in her lungs.
“What the holy hell?” Conner was standing over her in seconds, yanking the ladder off with one hand. The other two men raced over, and Daniel dropped to one knee to hold Mercy down by one shoulder.
“Don’t try to move till you’re sure nothing’s broken,” he muttered.
“I thought you said we were off at the main, Bro! Holy hell!” Jacob was wild-eyed, shoving Conner with one of his gloved hands. “You tryin’ to get us all killed?”
Mercy felt as though a horse had just trotted over her ribcage, squashing one breast under each hoof. The back of her head throbbed even though her safety helmet had protected her from a possible concussion. Her breath was coming in short, shallow bursts. “Let me up, Daniel. I’m okay,” she barked through clenched teeth, wrenching her shoulder from under his grip and sitting up.
She could not, however, feel her left hand. She stared down at the blackened fingers of her glove. Were there still operable digits under the leather? Or just charred stumps?
As though he’d read her mind, Daniel locked a strong hand around her wrist. His eyes flashed to hers once before he said, “I’m going to see what’s going on under here.” Slowly, he pressed on each finger of the glove. “Hurt?” he asked.
Mercy shook her head. “No. They’re numb. Or gone. I can’t feel them at all.”
Daniel sucked in a breath and said, “Not unusual to be numb for a while.” His eyes slid toward hers again, and she hoped he couldn’t see her fear. His gaze was steady, intense. “I’m gonna cut the glove off. Stop me if it hurts, okay?”
Mercy watched, holding her breath as Daniel wielded a pair of snips from his belt and began clipping away at the wristband of her glove. He worked methodically, gently, cradling her hand on his knee the whole time. Once he’d opened the entire back of the glove, he turned her hand over and did the same on the palm side.
He took a deep breath as he slid the cutting tool back into his belt, then raised his eyes to hers. “You ready?”
Mercy swallowed and nodded. Daniel grabbed the edges of the leather and gently worked the covering free.
She let out a whoosh of relief when she looked down on five fingers, only slightly reddened, complete with intact fingernails. They were still numb but began to tingle as she flexed her knuckles.
“Good gloves you got there,” Daniel mumbled. He flashed her a narrow gaze. “Forgot to use your tester first, huh?”
Mercy snatched her hand away, fury flaring in her chest. “I used the damned tester on the main feed, and on the first three fuses, like I always do. How the hell was I supposed to know there was more than one source to the freaking panel?”
About Claire Gem
Contemporary, Romantic, Soul-Freeing
Claire is an award winning-author of supernatural suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing. Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards.
Claire loves exploring the paranormal and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from Duke University’s Rhine Research Center. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University.
A New York native, Claire now lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 40 years. When she’s not writing, she works for Tufts University in the field of scientific research. She is available for seminars and media interviews and loves to travel for book promotional events.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-vB7WDZhEQ8U4YpC937ng