You may remember Rayne Hall from our recent collaboration: we wrote together a book on Copy Writing. Now, Rayne has edited an anthology of graveyard tales called, appropriately enough, Among The Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard. For today’s post, I interviewed Pamela Turner, one of the anthology’s authors. I hope you enjoy it!
An Interview with Headstones Author, Pamela Turner
Hi Pamela, it’s great to have you on my blog. Tell me, has a real-life cemetery, grave, or headstone ever inspired you to write a story?
Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky is included in almost every novel or novella I’ve written. Although this graveyard has been abandoned, and the chapel is sealed off because of vandals, there is now a volunteer organization taking care of the grounds and headstones.
A rumored witch’s grave lies near the chapel. People leave coins, keys, and other small gifts on her headstone.
Have you ever seen a ghost? Tell us about the experience.
Not seen – but felt!
Years ago, my husband’s ex-wife passed away. We were at her house with their son and our daughter. I was standing alone behind the car when something shoved me hard. Yet there was nobody there.
Another time, I was lying in bed and looking at a sheet hanging over a bi-fold closet door. There was no wind, no air conditioning, nothing, but the sheet moved as if someone pushed it aside to pass by.
For your story in Among the Headstones, where did you get the inspiration?
The inspiration for “Onryo” comes from my interest in Japanese ghost stories. What makes them scarier to me, as opposed to Western ghost tales, is how strong emotions, such as jealousy or anger, can literally drive someone to become a vengeful spirit. And when that spirit can cause harm and may never be appeased, it adds another layer of disquiet. For me, those stories are also difficult to forget because of the often-tragic stories behind them. One of them is the ghost story Tokaido Yotsuya Ghost Story, the story of Oiwa, probably Tokyo’s most famous ghost. In one version, she’s poisoned by her husband who wants to marry another woman. But Oiwa becomes an onryo, a vengeful spirit, and haunts him until he even kills his new bride, erroneously believing her to be Oiwa.
Who are your favorite Horror authors? What do you like about them?
Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Narumi Kakinouchi, and Rumiko Takahashi. Stephen King is, of course, an inspiration, as he is to many. I like how he takes ordinary people, even children, and forces them into horrifying situations, but they’re able to retain their humanity and fight back against evil.
Edgar Allan Poe manages to get under the reader’s skin by disturbing people in ominous situations. One of my favorite Poe works is the poem “The Haunted Palace” because of the haunting images it provokes.
Narumi Kakinouchi and Rumiko Takahashi are manga artists/writers who have created two of my favorite manga. Kakinouchi’s Vampire Princess Miyu is more than willing to give her victims their greatest dream in exchange for their blood. What makes her offer disturbing is her victims end up losing touch with reality and remaining in those dream worlds.
Rumiko Takahashi’s Mermaid Saga is one of my favorites because Takahashi shows how deceitful, manipulative, and even murderous people can become when faced with the possibility of immortality at best or eternity as a loathsome monster at worst. The series follows 500-year-old Yuta and his companion Mana as they travel through Japan trying to find a way to make him normal.
Who are your favorite short story authors, and why?
Algernon Blackwood, Robert Arthur Jr., and Stephen King. Blackwood’s story “The Doll” was made into the Night Gallery episode of the same name and is responsible for causing my fear of dolls for many years afterward. Robert Arthur has a short story that, while I don’t remember the title, I haven’t forgotten the story itself. A detective and a magician team together to find a woman’s dead body and her killer. The line that’s stuck with me is “She had been beautiful in life. She was no longer beautiful.” (Well, I might be paraphrasing that line.) Stephen King’s ability to go into detail and really bring us into a character’s head probably explains part of his influence on horror writers. Not to mention his ability to make us empathize with his child characters who are often victims of preternatural forces such as Danny from The Shining or the children from IT.
Which of your books do you recommend for readers who are new to your fiction?
My novella The Ripper’s Daughter, which takes place ten years after the Ripper’s murder spree. Prostitutes are showing up dead in Louisville, Kentucky, and a former detective inspector turned vampire/tavern owner fears Jack is responsible.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing an urban fantasy series featuring Watcher angels and a preternatural police force.
About Pamela Turner
Pamela Turner’s love for the paranormal began in elementary school, where she discovered anthologies filled with ghosts, witches, vampires, and other creatures that go bump in the night. Then there was Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and that creepy doll. Fearing her Raggedy Ann doll would steal her soul, Pamela made the doll face the wall before she went to bed.
Despite this, her interest in the supernatural continued. In middle school, she penned her own tales of terror. Fellow students enjoyed them, and she dreamed of becoming a published author.
After a short stint as a freelance magazine writer, she decided to return to writing fiction. She’s also an award-winning screenplay writer.
Currently, she writes paranormal suspense featuring vampires, dragons, angels, and demons. Just don’t expect her angels to always be good or her demons to always be evil.
Many of her stories are set in Louisville, Kentucky where she lives with her daughter and herds three rescue cats. When not writing, she enjoys anime and manga, weaving, aviation, cemeteries, and abandoned buildings.
Connect with Pamela on:
- Web: http://pamturner.net
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PamelaTurnerAuthor
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pamturner97/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/pamelaturner
Among The Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard
This anthology, edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors, and fresh voices.
Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.
You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, the USA, Australia, South Africa, and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.
Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth.
But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.
Purchase Link: https://mybook.to/Headstones
The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.)
The paperback is already published.