We see dead people

Fuelled by our love of ghosts and our ghost hunting show, Calamityville Horror, in March we decided our next release would be a collection of ghost stories. 13, to be precise. It’s our favourite number and one most associated with horror. Even better was we already had 8 stories written. Simple. We would have this collection out in no time!

It’s now the end of July. And we still have one story left to write.

The problem is, after writing 8 ghost stories, we kinda ran out of ideas. This happened with Disenchanted when after 8 stories, we ran out of ideas on how to twist the fairy tales. And one of these ghost stories was entered into Writing Magazine’s paranormal story competition. If it won, that left us with 7 stories for our collection. But it would earn us a lot more money by itself than the entire collection would ever earn us. Yes, we know there’s a romantic notion of starving artists writing for the love of their craft, but this is reality. Romanticism doesn’t pay the bills, or keep us in Red Bull.

The story didn’t win. So we remain poor but at least it gives us one less story to write. Yay. Sort of. Whilst we were waiting to hear if we’d won, we killed time by editing two novels and going ghost hunting.

Our overnight ghost investigation at Rothley’s Edwardian train station gave us one story. A ghost legend about wraiths and another about a ghost smuggler in a British ghosts book gave two more. Then we watched the film Mama. It was based on a 3 minute film of the same title. So we watched both versions and the director said he loved the original film because it was very short and very scary. We decided we should do the same. Write a very short, very scary story. We just needed an idea. We’ve always loved the creepiness of ghost brides; except we created a ghost bride in our Bad Romance trilogy, and really, what else could we do with a dead bride? But we had no other ideas. The tricky thing was making it completely different to Kill the Bride. We think we’ve managed this but we’re so desensitised to horror that it takes a lot to scare us, and we never find our work scary.

But this week we feel we’re finally making progress. We’ve got a collection of images for the trailer and have made a file of potential music tracks to go with them.  8 of the stories have been printed out double spaced – this is our final stage. The error check. We look for mistakes, repetition in words or phrases with all the stories and make any last changes before once again handing them to our mum for an extra pair of eyes. Two of the remaining stories have been subjected to more redrafts this weekend because we’re still not happy with them. Actually it’s very rare we ever feel a story is ‘done’ and these two are actually the oldest in the collection.

We still have one to write. Luckily, we know what this one will be about. So hopefully by Tuesday the final story will be finished then the intensive redrafts can begin to bring it up to the same standard as the others, which are way ahead. We’re aiming for an August/September release and it finally feels like it’s happening.

Two of the stories still don’t have titles. Neither does the last, unwritten one. Did we say August/September? We meant October…