Sepia-Tinted Creepy (Or, Where Maia Chance does NOT write)
Mystery author Maia Chance fills us in on the space where she did NOT (and why) write her delightful Prohibition-era caper, Come Hell or Highball, out now.
I’m knee-deep in change these days, writing as I go. We moved to a new town only three weeks ago, my kids are just starting school—one for the first time ever. Oh, and our rental house is . . . incredibly creepy. As in, sepia-tinted creepy.
I write mysteries and hey, I thought it would be FUN living in a weird Victorian house with a tower and a secret back staircase. It’s something straight out of my childhood fantasies (I read a lot of John Bellairs and Zilpha Keatley Snyder). But. But every nook and cranny has unsettled energy. All of the rooms are asymmetrical or even trapezoidal. There is a gnome-sized door leading to a cavernous attic. And I swear there’s a spot of molasses-thick energy at the top of the main staircase. The new age book I bought on “space clearing” calls it stagnant energy. In a nutshell: eek.
(Also, the “space clearing” book had a chapter on ghosts, so guess who only slept two hours last night? *finger twiddle*)
So needless to say, I’m not writing at home these days. I’m usually a nomadic writer anyway, out of necessity (i.e. kids and before that, grad school). I work in coffee shops, libraries and—my favorite—in my car. But oh how I long for my dream workspace. It’s not a bohemian garret (ESPECIALLY not in a tower—ugh), nor is it a book-lined office complete with roaring fire and purry cat. No. Someday, someday, I will have the house all to myself. Not, mind you, THIS house, but a house with lots of white paint and only ONE staircase. Kids and husband out for the day, tea boiler ON, my dog snoring at my feet. And I’ll sit at the kitchen table and write . . . hmmm. Perhaps I’ll write a mystery about a maybe haunted Victorian house with a tower, a gnome-sized attic door, and stagnant energy at the top of the stairs.
Maia Chance was a finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington. She is writing her dissertation on nineteenth-century American literature. She is also the author of the Fairy Tale Fatal mystery series.
Learn more and order your copy of Come Hell or Highball here.
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