I wrote a book many years ago and it was simple…a young woman works to pay the bills while dreaming about attending the college where she works; an older man in the middle of divorce who was forced out of the cop job he loved, has moved to a rural New Hampshire town to teach, and accidentally meets a beautiful young woman on a hiking trail. Until the story was purchased by a small publisher in 2010, it morphed in many ways.
Originally, I assumed it fit the ‘romantic suspense’ genre. Even now, after my publisher closed its doors, and after I re-titled it, revised it, made a new cover, and released it myself, I realize I could also shelve this book among the ‘gothic’ or even the ‘paranormal’ genres.
Why? because ghostly voices assist my main characters, and my ruthless villain, in small ways. Their aid culminated once a murderer gets too close to my heroine, while my hero desperately attempts to save her. Here is a small excerpt. Do you think this pushed it out of the thriller genre?
Rage festered over time until the urge to force his will on another woman led him to raping and killing that college girl. She’d wandered through the woods and played right into his hands.
“Evil deeds bring a hideous end,” whispered a voice.
He swung his head back and forth, but saw nothing. The echo of a faceless feminine voice, oddly familiar, drifted on the stiff breeze. He ignored it, making sure he was alone, and reviewed his plans.
Intrigued? How about this excerpt?
“I must be crazy,” she murmured in the night. Careful to keep her voice and breathing shushed, Destiny rested on the log. He mustn’t find her.
“You are not crazy,” the voice insisted.
Had the voice originated from somewhere behind nearby trees? Had the monster found her? Her iced-up brain worked in slow motion until she realized a woman’s voice had spoken.
“Who said that?” She coughed to clear her dry throat. The frail croak from her lips sounded foreign to her ear and the sound reverberated through the snowflakes, muffling the madman’s approach.
The cold might win if she didn’t locate a safe haven. But, if she moved from this spot of relative safety, her attacker might find her.
“Run for your life. He comes!”
So, though the book is titled SHIVER: a White Mountains Thriller, keep your mind open to the ghostly voices peppered throughout the story.