I am often asked where I get ideas for my books. My answer is so simple it’s complicated. Sometimes I go looking for stories and sometimes they come looking for me.
When I’m searching for a topic to write about I am, for the most part anyway, in control. I will take into consideration where my characters live, what they do for a living, what genre best fits their lives and a multitude of other facets.
But when the story seeks me out rather than me seeking it, logic and planning go out the window. I have to force my need to control to step aside and simply allow the ideas to take over. The Mortician’s Wife is one story that came looking for me. And, when I tried to make it into something that fit into my usual writing style, it let me know that it was in charge, and that my job was to move aside and just let the writing take care of itself. The end result of this quite unique experience is a book like no other book I have ever written.
My genre of choice in my early writing career was romance—in many of its sub-genres. To say that The Mortician’s Wife is not a romance would be the understatement of the year. This book dwells not on the sweetness of love, but on how love can be used as a weapon. It is also a book about a woman’s revenge—and why the object of her love/hate deserved everything he got.
There is another element to The Mortician’s Wife that drove the plot from the very beginning—that of the supernatural. From as early as I can remember, I have been fascinated by tales of hauntings. I can’t say I actually believed in ghosts, but I couldn’t resist reading everything I could get my hands on about them.
I don’t recall anything specifically that precipitated the change in my perception of ghosts, but eventually I came to believe that there actually were legitimate hauntings. That was when my interest in the spirit world really took off. I read everything I could find on the subject and was the most avid listener to anyone who claimed to have seen such a specter.
Considering my curiosity on the subject, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I became almost obsessed with stories I heard about the haunting of an old building in the town I had recently moved to. I simply had to get into the place! Finally, unable to resist the urge to see the it for myself, I found the courage and called the owner and told him I was a writer and that I was very interested in seeing the inside of his home to use as inspiration for a book I was contemplating writing.
Up untill that moment I was only toying with the idea of writing a book about the supernatural. But, if I would write one, I was certain I would be using the old building only as a backdrop for another one of my romances. As I walked through the old building, which had at one time been the town’s mortuary, all thoughts of romance left my mind. Just walking from room to room, observing the antique Victorian furniture the last mortician’s wife left behind (as well as her clothing, which hung in the closets as if she would be reaching into them at any moment) the aura of the place overwhelmed me.
I left with the knowledge that I must write the book, but it would not be a story of love. It would be the story of the building itself, and the ghosts that still inhabited it. It would be the story of The Mortician’s Wife.
The Morticians Wife
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Taylor Street Books
ISBN: 13: 978-1480011229
Number of pages:194
Word Count: 71000
Cover Artist: Tim Hewtson
“I have spent the night in supposedly some of the most haunted buildings in America. I have met people who could fairly be described as evil incarnate. I have been to the Old Mortuary in Dunsmuir. It is gorgeous but I wouldn't spend a single night there.” Kathleen McKenna, author of horror novels 'The Wedding Gift' and 'Family Matters'.
Five miles from the new age Mt. Shasta City, the sleepy Northern California town of Dunsmuir plays host to a nightmarish house – the Old Mortuary – where the mortician's wife spent four decades alone, and some say insane, sleeping in an alcove off one bedroom where she believed the evil spirits of the house could not get to her, harboring terrible secrets.
With the steady flow of dead bodies through the basement and the murderous events upstairs, this is the story of how the Old Mortuary of Dunsmuir became one of the most haunted houses in America as a result of the personality and misdeeds of one man, Horace Carpenter, whose eternal soul most certainly does not rest in peace, as many will attest, and probably never will.
About the Author:
Maralee Lowder found so much pleasure in reading such a wide spectrum of romance genres, she has never been able to write in just one. Her novels run the gamut of contemporary, historical, humorous, horror, paranormal and suspense.
Look for the sequel to "The Morticians Wife" coming soon