Today I’m interviewing author Jean Marie Bauhaus, who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with an impressive mix of livestock, including a husband.
I’d like to kick off by asking a few questions about your novel, Restless Spirits. Can you tell us what it’s about?
Sure! Restless Spirits is about a paranormal investigator, Veronica ″Ron″ Wilson, who gets killed in the line of duty; but after she herself becomes a ghost, trapped in the house where she died, she realizes that the mystery has just begun. She and several other ghosts are being held prisoner in the house by the same sadistic spirit that killed them. Their captor likes to entertain itself by torturing its fellow ghosts, and as if that isn′t bad enough, it appears to have the ability to kill ghosts, devouring the poor souls for whom it no longer has any use. Ron′s only hope is to convince the other terrified ghosts to rally together to find a way to defeat the evil spirit so they can move on to their final rest. But Ron′s not in any hurry to get there once she discovers that there′s still a lot of living to do after death.
On the telly, ghosts are often beautiful people who happen to be dead… and walk through walls. Sometimes, though, ghouls are gruesome things that give you nightmares just to see them. How scary are your ghosts?
I have a mix of the two types you mentioned, and some that go back and forth. For the most part, the ghosts in Restless Spirits are just regular people who are stuck in limbo, but they have to contend with some pretty scary spirits.
Sounds intriguing. Tell us a little more about your main character in Restless Spirits. What are her quirks?
In life, she was a novelist who moonlighted as a ghost hunter alongside her medium sister, which is pretty quirky in and of itself. She had a bit of a rocky childhood that left her fiercely protective of her sister, and also determined not to let anything — not even death — stand in the way of accomplishing her goals.
Ron seems quite a force of nature from that description. What about you, though? Authors cannot help but draw from their own experiences when crafting characters. Are you like your character, Ron?
Ron is a writer with a very active imagination, and I think there’s more of my own voice in her than in most of my other characters; but other than that, she and I don’t have a lot in common.
Readers are sometimes astounded to realise that authors are human too. Apparently. Tell us something about your life that doesn’t involve writing or a computer. What non-writing event have you got coming up that excites you?
I’m big into knitting and crochet, and I just opened an Etsy shop, Marzipan Pie, to help finance my yarn addiction. Otherwise, I’m getting psyched for my favorite holiday, Halloween, and gearing up for the rest of the holiday season.
As a reader, what books have you read in the past couple of years that you have mentally tagged with ‘will definitely read again’?
I’m currently re-reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which I feel a need to re-read every time he releases a new book in the series just to refresh my memory on what’s going on. I try to re-read Coraline and The Graveyard Book, both by Neil Gaiman, every October, and I also like to pull his Neverwhere out and read it again from time to time. And I’m thinking about tackling a re-read of the Harry Potter series for next year. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel by Susanna Clarke is a book I keep planning to re-read, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Authors can’t afford to waffle on their sales pages, but sometimes have little anecdotes and trivia about their books that they’d love to pass on if they only could. Now’s your chance! Have you got any interesting titbits about any of your books that you’d like to share?
With National Novel Writing Month right around the corner, I should mention that Restless Spirits began as my 2007 NaNoWriMo project. I winged it — that is, I wrote without an outline or a preconceived plot — and that was the first year I “won” NaNoWriMo. Of course, the book went through significant revisions between then and the version I ended up publishing, but it taught me the value of powering through a discovery draft instead of meticulously planning and plotting every step.
That’s interesting. I’ve been posting recently about planning versus ‘discovery drafts’. That’s a topic that will run and run — just like it does in the software development world.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and good luck with NaNoWriMo (if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, check out the NaNoWriMo site. Better still, sign up!)
You can find out more about Jean at her website: http://www.jeanmariebauhaus.com/