Today I'm interviewing author Marley Gibson about her novel, Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening, her experiences with paranormal investigation and her love of gourmet cooking! Let's get started.
You’ve said that the idea for Ghost Hunters came to you during a New England Romance Writers Conference on "Ghost Hunting 101", which was put on by the New England Ghost Project. Prior to that, were you ever interested in ghost hunting?
I honestly didn’t know people actually went ghost hunting. I’d never heard of it before March 2007. After learning there were ghost hunters, I started watching all of the TV shows out there on ghost hunting such as Ghost Hunters, Haunting Evidence, Dead Famous, and Most Haunted. I was fascinated from the get-go by the technology and tools and the amazing results all of the investigators were having.
Kendall makes a lot of relevant pop culture references in the book, and her character is very believable in her interactions with her friends. How do you manage to capture the teen voice so well in your writing?
Wow! Thanks so much! I did/do a lot of research. I listen to teens on the train, in Starbuck’s, on the sidewalk, in stores, etc. Also, I’m very close to my nieces and nephew and have kept up with their lives and things that interest them. I also have several “go to” teens that I have friended online and they have been very helpful with references, terminology and what’s real or not in the teen world.
Even though the team in Ghost Huntress has advanced scientific equipment at their disposal, they heavily rely on Kendall’s psychic awareness to connect with the spirit world. Based on your own experiences, how important would you relate the presence of a psychic on the ghost hunts you’ve been involved with?
Well, I’m of the school that having a psychic/medium on your ghost hunting team is just another important “tool” in your arsenal. A psychic can confirm or back up certain items that temperature gauges, digital recorders, or personal experiences, etc. witness. There is usually a psychic/medium on the investigations I go on and it’s always helpful, useful, and a learning experience.
In Ghost Huntress, Loreen Woods gives Kendall a dowsing pendulum to help answer a lot of yes/no/maybe type questions during her spirit investigations. Have you ever observed someone using one on a ghost hunt? If so, how did it work out?
Oh yes…absolutely! My good friend, Maureen Wood (yes, Loreen is based on her) uses one in all of her investigations. Not only does she use it to converse with spirits, but she also uses a pendulum to find lost or misplaced items. It’s pretty cool to watch it work. From what Maureen tells me, the pendulum works off an individual person’s own energies.
Since Ghost Huntress has been released, have you gotten feedback from teens or adults who have had spirit encounters of their own? What do they say in relation to the book?
I’ve had a lot of people sharing their “ghostly” encounters with me or wanting to tell me their own ghost stories. It’s fascinating to hear other people’s experiences. Several teens have told me of their own “awakening” and how this book has helped them realize they’re not weird or strange and it gives them courage to reach out and explore what they’re feeling.
In 2008, you captured some really compelling footage at Waverly Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky of a spirit child playing with a ball. Was this the spookiest ghost hunting experience you’ve ever had and do you have any plans to revisit Waverly?
The ball video was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. I returned to Waverly this past May, but we were not able to get any activity with the spirit child on the third floor this time. However, we did hear strange footsteps when no one was around, and we captured EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) on the digital voice recorders when no other people were present. I’d say the ball video/interaction was one of the most compelling pieces of evidence that I’ve captured/experienced, but I look forward to even more things as I continue to research.
If you could travel to any haunted location in the world that you haven’t already been to, which one would you choose?
Although I’ve been to Paris three times before, I’ve never had the chance to visit the Catacombs. I’d love to go sit in the Catacombs with my voice recorder and see what kind of EVPs I can get. That would be…amazing!
What is a typical writing day in the life of Marley Gibson- do you have any rituals, such as listening to a favorite type of music or tucking yourself away in a cozy nook?
I love to crank up House/Trance/Dance music with the headphones on and just escape into my world of writing. I type about 100 words/minute so once I get going, I can really produce a lot of pages in one sitting.
You’ve called yourself a “gourmet closet chef.” Can you share with us a great success you’ve had in the kitchen as well as a mishap (if any)?
Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended several cooking classes with respected chef, Jacques Pepin, as well as many renowned Boston chefs. I have to admit that I’ve had many successes in the kitchen including de-boning an entire chicken (okay…it took four hours, but I did it!) and hosting holiday parties with food themes for four years in a row. I love “lightening” dishes and making recipes my own. Seems that my mishaps are when I try to take short cuts on recipes or not follow my own instinct. One Thanksgiving, I was so happy to make this pumpkin streusel cheesecake. Hours making it and watching it in the oven to make sure it was just right. Only when I served it…the faces of people were…bland. Seemed I’d forgotten to add the two cups of sugar. Oops!
You’ve written two other books –Zeta or Omega (Sorority 101) and The New Sisters (Sorority 101). What other books can we look forward to in the future from the pen of Marley Gibson?
The Sorority 101 books were written under the pen name Kate Harmon. More books under my name will be THE GUIDANCE (September 2009) and THE REASON (May 2010) in the Ghost Huntress Series. Also, in September, I have penned a non-fiction book with my friends Patrick Burns of TruTV’s Haunting Evidence and Dave Schrader of KTLM’s Darkness Radio, called THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN’S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL. And, in October, I have another non-fiction book coming out, co-authored with Cecil Murphey, New York Times best selling author of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN.
Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers?
Just want to thank everyone who has bought and read GHOST HUNTRESS. Thanks for the support and please let me know what you think of it! Thanks for the support and please let me know what you think of it! I can be contacted through my website, through my blog ,through my MySpace or Facebook .
Will you come back and visit us again? We’d love to have you!
Of course! Thanks so much for having me! = )
For those of you interested in Marley's ghost hunting encounter at Waverly Sanitarium, check out this spooky video!
Thank you Marley for taking the time to do the interview. We appreciate you stopping by!
Win Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening HERE.
Read my review of the Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening HERE.
Ghost Huntress Book 2: The Guidance will be released on September 7th 2009 and is available for pre-order now!