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Monday, 25 March 2013

Guest Post ~ Jessica by Laura DeLuca


Today I'm very excited as I've got Author Laura DeLuca here with me today to tell us the story on how "Jessica", the story came to life. I'm going to tell you a little story on how I was lucky enough to nab Laura for a Guest Post. I was promoting another of Laura's books; "Morrigan", please click here to view the Author Interview with Laura DeLuca and my review on "Morrigan". Anyhow, I was contacting Laura regarding "Morrigan" and as we got talking I asked if I can add a short Author Interview to this promo post, Laura was much gracious and offered me this wonderful content instead, so thank you so much Laura! 

About The Book


Jessica 

by Laura DeLuca

Date Published: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal


Jessica

Book Description


Wilbur was used to going to his college formals alone. He thought the Halloween Ball would be no different. He’s amazed when a beautiful girl in a Victorian costume displays an interest in him and even more amazed to find himself alone with her on one of the campus nature trails. What Wilbur doesn’t realize is that another woman has her eye on him too. The White Lady returns every Halloween to take revenge on the men of the campus for her brutal murder. She has chosen Wilbur as her next victim.

The Story Behind "Jessica"


Jessica is a little Halloween surprise my publisher arranged for my readers. Today, I thought I'd give you a behind the scenes look at how this short story came to be. I usually prefer to write full length novel as opposed to shorts, but this one was sort of thrust upon me. I wrote this story almost two decades ago during my freshman year of college. The story was influenced by two very interesting people--Jessica Pirnik Gittle and James T . Kirk.  

Jessica & Laura - Wildwood Catholic High School (1993)

This is a photo of me with Jessica. She was one of my best and closest friends in high school. We did everything together. We were in the chorus, the yearbook staff, the school newsletter (I was editor, of course), the ecology club, and just about every other club that wasn't a sport. I don't do sports. We met when we were freshman in high school because we were seated alphabetically. Her name was Pirnik and my maiden name was Rice. Yes, it was a small school so there wasn't anyone in between us in our homeroom.  So, this is my best friend who I laughed and cried with, who always supported me in my writing and in all my crazy schemes. Yet, she never got a part in one of my books. She doesn't even remember this, but she used to bug me about it all the time. It wasn't until after we graduated from high school and I was in college that I finally put her name in a story. That story, of course, was Jessica.

Fall Formal at Stockton - I was 17

So this brings me to James T. Kirk. I bet you thought I meant the one from the spaceship. Well, no offense to the captain, but that's not the James. T. Kirk I'm talking about here. I'm referring to a professor at my old college, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. I was in his creative writing class back in 1994, and one of our projects was to write a Halloween themed story that was set on the college campus.

This is me at Lake Fred - 1994

At first, I wasn't into this project at all. I like inspiration to flow naturally. I don't like trying to force it. I remember sitting in my dorm, chewing he edge of my pen, coming up with nothing, and the deadline was hours away. Then, feeling a homesick moment, I started to flip through an old photo album I had brought with me.  I saw that picture of Jessica and me together. It reminded me that she had asked for her name to be in a story. I thought it would be even better if her name was the title of that story. From that point, the idea flowed pretty flawlessly.

Nature Trail at Stockton

Bringing the campus into the story was even less challenging. It’s truly stunning, especially in the fall, and with its circling trails and lily covered ponds, it’s the perfect setting for all kinds of spooky happenings. I changed the name of the college for the story, but the scenery remains pretty much the same. Stockton is surrounded by acres of woods and there really is a beautiful lake there named Lake Fred. There isn't really a White Lady haunting the lake, at least not that I know of. Still, if I were a guy, I wouldn't want to be wondering around Lake Fred all alone on Halloween night...

So that's the story behind the story.

Excerpt


Wilbur thought he was going to collapse when Jessica wrapped one arm around his waist. He could feel her fingers, soft as silk, touching the nape of his neck with her other hand, and it made his flesh tingle. She even went so far as to lay her head on his shoulder. Her hair brushed against his cheek and the fresh, flowery scent made his vision blur. At first he thought it was just his allergies, but then the whole room and all the people in it seemed to change. The woman all wore full lacy gowns with their hair piled up in fancy up dos, while the men waltzed beside them in tailored suits with long tails and top hats. Even the music had changed from the typical sappy love song to a classical ballad played by a string quartet. He swore he saw the musicians in the corner; their bows sliding effortlessly over the strings of their instruments while their fingers pulsated in perfect vibrato. Even the floor under their feet had changed from the faded gymnasium floor, marked with the lines and circles of the basketball court, to hand laid tile in intricate patterns reminiscent of a Victorian ballroom.

As they circled the dance floor in an oddly quickened pace, the faces of the dancers started to transform even more. The beautiful nineteenth century ballroom aged and decayed, as did the men and women that surrounded him. Grotesque monsters with bloated skin and empty eyes dragged their decaying limbs in slow motion. Wilbur watched them with growing horror, almost forgetting about the girl in his arms. The monsters noticed the stranger among them. They reached for him with fingers green from rot. Catching his breath in fear, Wilbur pulled away from Jessica and very nearly stumbled to the ground.

Get Jessica by Laura DeLuca FREE for a limited time only


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