Of course, I quickly realized that there are just as many ways to write about ghosts as there are ways to write about vampires. Maybe even more. It's not like in the movie Highlander, where "there can be only one" (and hey, maybe if those two immortal dudes stayed out of each other's way, there could've been more than one there, too. I'm just sayin', it's a big planet).
Megan uses the dead to explore how one girl, Cass McKenna, deals with life. In short, she doesn't--living people can be very hurtful, after all. I could go into more detail, but this awesome book trailer puts it much more eloquently!
Kirkus Reviews called Give Up the Ghost, "A poignant character study of a deeply wounded girl moving toward a nuanced, forgiving view of humanity," while Teens Read Too said, "It's hard to believe that GIVE UP THE GHOST is Megan Crewe's debut novel. It's wonderfully written, has characters who are easy to relate to, and contains pitch-perfect dialogue."
Megan joins us today with a spot-on analogy, which is something we writers really love:
How carving a jack-o-lantern is like writing a book
When I was growing up, transforming a pumpkin into a glowing jack-o-lantern was one of my favorite parts of Halloween. Maybe because, if you think about it, it's a very similar process to writing a novel:
1. You begin with a brilliant image in mind. This will be the most awesome jack-o-lantern/story ever! No one's carved a pumpkin/written a book quite like this! People will be awed when they see/read it!
2. Before you get going, there's a certain amount of messy preparation. Scoop out the guts and seeds. Throw ideas at the wall and see which ones stick. Scrape the sides until they're clean. Scribble down research notes.
3. Time to put down ink. Draw the face on the pumpkin to show where you'll carve. Write out an outline or an exploratory draft. Your vision is starting to take shape... and somehow it's not as perfect as you envisioned it. Oh well, soldier on! It just needs more fleshing out.
4. Knife to pumpkin or fingers to keyboard. Your hand slips here--oops! Maybe it's fixable, maybe it's not. (One nice thing about books over jack-o-lanterns: they're more forgiving to mistakes.) But hey, what looks like a slip might turn out to be even better than the design you planned! Strangely, the eyes/scenes you thought were going to be so powerful are falling short, but you're discovering all sorts of depth in the mouth/subplots. Or vice versa. Whatever the case, it never quite manages to match that original brilliant image.
5. But that's okay, as long as you've got a light. Every jack-o-lantern can give you the shivers once it starts glowing from within. And every story can captivate as long as it has a spark to bring it to life. The trick is finding it, and fanning the flames. The rest is magic.
(The spark in GIVE UP THE GHOST? Cass. Her voice and intensity made it a story that had to get written.)
Author photo by Chris Blanchenot
Jack o'Lantern photo from Megan's actual childhood
To enter to win Give Up the Ghost, leave a comment below. For complete rules, read the introductory post.
Deadline for entry: Wednesday, October 14, 11:59pm Eastern. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner of a signed copy of GIVE UP THE GHOST is...Sheila Deeth!
Other open Blogtoberfest giveaways:
Shannon Reinbold-Gee and 13 to Life
Saundra Mitchell and Shadowed Summer
Sarah Beth Durst and Ice
Nancy Holder and her 5-pack of novels
Kelly Parra and Invisible Touch
Thanks again to Megan for joining the party!