Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Writing Paranormal - A Writing Tip.

Multi published author, poet and painter, JoAnne Myers, lives in the famous Hocking Hills, in South Eastern Ohio. Surrounded be thick forests, cascading waterfalls, deep rocky gorges and amazing rock formations, it is little wonder all this natural beauty should draw out her creativity.

JoAnne writes in the fantasy, paranormal, mystery and true crime genres. She has recently  released her paranormal mystery anthology containing seven long and short stories,
Wicked Intentions.

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Today, JoAnne talks about writing the paranormal story.

When it comes to fiction writing, almost anything goes. That is why I love writing paranormal and fantasy stories. The author can go completely over the edge and make something unbelievable seem believable.

For my ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own, either. I watch television programs with the supernatural and paranormal flare; documentaries from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.

Some of the stories from my anthology, Wicked Intentions, are based on actual hauntings.  In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.

A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse. And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.

On the Discovery Channel, I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes. In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family.
Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder. This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.

Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father's disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

I set my murder mystery, Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse. #

Learn more about JoAnne  at
her website Books and Painting by JoAnne
                   Amazon - JoAnne Myers
                   JoAnne's Author  Page

Wicked Intentions is available in print and ebook at

 Other book by JoAnne Myers include,  Murder Most Foul;  Loves, Myths, and Monsters; The Crime of the Century; Twisted Love; Flagitious; Poems About Life, Love, And Everything In Between


Unknown said...

An interesting way to find inspiration.
Sounds like a great collection of short stories. Not ones to read alone in the dark.
Television and documentaries have often helped send me on research trails. Seeing or hearing some snippet of fascinating truth, or speculation, has inspired me to dig deeper. Short stories would make a great way to utilise the information collected.
Inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy said...

I agree, Rosalie, this does sound like an interesting collection. JoAnne has used real life experiences to make her fiction believable. I think that's a great tip for all genres, not just the paranormal.

Unknown said...

Hi Joanne - it sounds like your research is not only thorough but inspiration and fun! I have to be honest and say paranormal is not really my read but at the same time I may well be giving one or two a read. Well done you!

Unknown said...

Thank you for you comments Rosalie. They are appreciated.


Unknown said...

Hi AJ Wilson,

Thank you for stopping by. Yes you should give paranormal a try. I might surprise yourself. Thank you for your comments.


Unknown said...

I also want to thank Wendy for allowing me this opertunity. Blogging is a great tool for authors and artists.

Thank you Wendy

Wendy said...

Thanks for stopping by AJ. I'm not into the paranormal either, but having read Stephen King's How-To book on writing, I think writers can learn a lot about creating suspense from paranormal stories.

Wendy said...

JoAnne, you are welcome. It was a pleasure to have you on my blog.