Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Gods and monsters: a sneak peek of GhostWriters #3

Here’s the thing.

I asked readers on my Facebook page what kind of post they’d most like to see, and the answer was overwhelming: “A sneak peek of what you’re working on now!”

There’s one big problem with this.

I’m not actually “working” on anything. That’s not how my books get written. Technically, I’m “writing” book three in the GhostWriters series, which will be published in October, just in time for Halloween. But I’m notΒ really writing it. Jackson and Kate are doing all the heavy lifting–I only jot down what they tell me. At best, I’m their secretary taking dictation.

Lately they’ve been telling me some really messed-up stuff. About dead guys who aren’t dead. Egyptian gods roaming the streets of Earth. Military conspiracies. Time travel. And some terrifying physical phenomena.

I just hope they figure everything out, because I don’t have a clue how this is going to resolve itself. So I thought I’d let them explain it, as much as they’re willing.

Gods and Monsters: A sneak peek at GhostWriters Book Three

They drive me crazy, but I love them anyway: Kate Carlsson and Jackson Stone

JH: Would you mind telling everyone where you guys are?

Jackson: I guess that wouldn’t give much away. Sure–we’re in Luxor, Egypt. This place is insane! It would blow your mind, all the history, the temples, the crazed god of mummification who shouldn’t be real but is…

Kate: He’s not a god, Jacks. We’ve been over this.

Jackson: What is he, then? You don’t believe in demons. We’ve been over that too.

Kate: I told you. He’s an entity of some kind.

Jackson: An entity?! He’s turned hail into–

Kate: Shh, you’re going to give too much away.

JH: I see you two are still bickering. Not getting along any better, then?

Jackson: Actually, we mostly have all that sorted. Now, if she’d only realize I’m not going anywhere, no matter how crazy things get.

JH: Wow, what a sweet thing to say.

Jackson: Yeah, I keep telling her that her taste in men got an upgrade, but I’m not sure she believes me.

JH: Okay, enough mushy stuff. Back to Egypt. Can you tell me why you two ended up there?

Jackson: It’s a long story. Kate saw something in Lily’s hospital room…remember Lily, the girl whose soul we went to rescue in Poveglia? Well, this time she was in danger from something pretending to be her uncle’s spirit.

JH: All right. I think I’m following you. Go on.

Jackson: That was the first run-in with…

Kate: Jacks, don’t say it. It gives too much away. People will want to be surprised.

Jackson: We’ve already mentioned him, Kate. Besides, I wouldn’t call it a surprise as much as a coronary event waiting to happen.

Kate: *sighs* Everything pointed to Egypt. That’s where Lily’s uncle supposedly died. We were experiencing some terrifying phenomena symbolic of the plagues of Egypt. And then we discovered that my friend Eden, an Egyptologist I was doing some work with, had gone missing. The more we investigated, the more we found out these events were related.

JH: Wait, how were you working with an Egyptologist? You’re a medium.

Kate: *blushes* I’d love to tell you, but I promised Eden I wouldn’t say. It’s up to her to tell that part of the story.

JH: Understood. I’ve heard you and Jackson have both discovered you have special…abilities you didn’t know about. What’s that been like?

Jackson: Don’t make her angry, is all I can say.

Kate: I always knew Jacks was different. Now it’s been confirmed.

Jackson: Cute. Very cute. She’s a comedian now. But seriously, I still haven’t figured out what all this means. It’s a pretty heavy responsibility.

JH: Glad I’m not the only one in the dark. You realize you just have about 30,000 more words left to figure this out, right? We’re not writingΒ Lord of the Rings.

Jackson: Don’t rush me, woman! I have my own time frame.

JH: Apparently so. Kate, you’ve discovered someone you believed was dead is alive. Your missing friend, Eden, is out of your reach. And, by your own admission, the evil forces working against you in this book are not ghosts. How are you handling this?

Kate: I admit I’ve felt very much out of my element. But we’ve made a new friend here, a powerful psychic named Fatima. She’s the one who showed me what I’m capable of. And there are still spirits around–Egypt is teeming with them. Out of all the places I’ve been, this is the one where history really comes alive.

JH: No offence, but it often seems like the odds are against you this time. You’re just two people–three, if Fatima helps you–struggling against some incredibly dark forces. How do you expect to get out of this?

Jackson: The same way we’ve gotten out of everything.

Kate: Together.

Got any questions for them? Any questions about the new book? I’m both excited and terrified about how it’s coming along. With each writing session, it gets more complicated. I can only hope Kate and Jackson figure it out, but they haven’t steered me wrong yet.

If you haven’t read any of the GhostWriters series and would like to know more about Jackson and Kate, the story of the first time they worked together can be found here. Their second adventure, when they travel to Poveglia to save Lily’s soul, can be found here.

1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Dave Burnham

    Great post. Looks like another title is going to be added to the “to-be-read” list in the Fall. I love the idea of interviewing the characters. It gives readers (and the author!) more of an insight to their personalities. Jacks and Kate sound like me and my wife discussing my novel project!

  2. Birgit

    This does sound quite intriguing especially bringing in the little girl. The characters love to banter don’t they? ?

  3. Mary Aalgaard

    This is exciting! I just downloaded City of Ghosts. I’ll read it on my vacation in August, a motorcycle trip out West. Thanks for commenting on my review of Glensheen. I thought of you at the end of the play, when Marjorie is sitting in her chair while a tour is going on. She’s the ghost that haunts the place, and maybe her mother and the nurse are there, too.

  4. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    Ah, characters! They think they know everything. Well, I guess they kind of do. πŸ™‚

    Good luck – to all of you! πŸ™‚

  5. Ev Bishop

    I can’t, can’t, CAN’T wait to read it–and my thanks to Jackson and Kate for taking time out of their busy schedule to be interviewed!

  6. Nikki B.

    I LOVE THIS!!!! You… er… they, literally answered all the questions I had, and you hadn’t even gotten my email yet! =) That is so perfect! So much to be excited about including location, even bigger, darker entities, possible development of BOTH of their abilities, and a budding relationship!! I. AM. PUMPED. This sounds a thousand times more interesting than the mummy movie with Tom Cruise, just sayin’.

    I always love your characters. It fascinates me how you give them voice and I truly believe they are running the show! πŸ˜‰

  7. Alex J. Cavanaugh

    Keep Jacks talking and we’ll soon know the whole story!

  8. Misha

    Sounds like a fun story to write. I like Egyptian mythology, so this sounds really interesting. πŸ™‚

  9. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

    I love this post! Great idea to have your characters give an update on how the writing process is going with the next book. I traveled to Egypt a gazillion years ago and still remember my time there vividly, especially visiting Luxor. Great setting for a book.

  10. Anna

    Thanks for introducing us. They are crazy fun. πŸ˜‰

  11. Barbara In Caneyhead

    Egypt is a great setting! All sorts of ancient secrets. Don’t let those two make you crazy!

  12. Liesbet

    Wow, you got me hooked! What a clever idea to interview Jackson and Kate. It looks like they’ve got their act together! Now, it is your turn… πŸ™‚

  13. Susan

    Intriguing way of having the characters speak! A interesting energy-

  14. Tamara Narayan

    I love this series! I can’t believe the next one will be ready by October. That’s impressive. Sounds like another great (and spooky) adventure.

  15. C. Lee McKenzie

    Oh yes. Egyptian gods on the loose in New York. That sounds like fun.

  16. Crystal Collier

    Awesome. Hey, that sounds like a worthy project, no matter how it comes together. It sounds epic and I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  17. Chrys Fey

    I am intrigued. A story set in Egypt excites me. And your characters sounds awesome. I hope they figure out their story and tell it to you in time for your deadline.

  18. Shah Wharton

    Where would we all be if our characters stopped talking? Scary. πŸ™‚


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