Interviewing Mara Reitsma – Forever Touched

What can I say about Mara Reitsma. Wonderfully creative who writes great stories and builds worlds with astounding success. Her short story ‘Forever Touched’  and Poem  are a wonderful addition to ‘Love from The Otherside’A Ghostly Writes Anthology.


18471829_10155156016865535_849827660_oIntroduce Yourself and where you’re from.

My name is Mara, and I live in Canada. No, I do not live in an Igloo, though it would be kind of cool, I live in a house, on the West Coast of British Columbia. It rains here, a lot, which gives me ample time to warm up with my laptop and finish a story or two; when I’m not enforcing a peace treaty between my three children. There is never a dull moment around here. I’m either entertaining my minions, writing, or doodling. If I stop, my head would literally explode.

Anyhow, I love to write, and so far, have managed to squeeze myself into the following anthologies 😊

*The Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017 – Primrose Point

*A Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories – The Secret of Dry’r

*Ghostly Writes Valentines Anthology: Love from the Other Side-

Tell it to The Rose & Forever Touched

* We Are The Devil’s Daughters:
Zahara, Madrina & Euphamia

*Sins and Secrets Series:
Ezrianna, & coming soon, Ambrosia

* The Devil’s Daughters Crossover Series, with Mark McQuillen, includes:

Legends, Chronicles, Judgments, Distorted Pasts & coming Mar 24 th, Illusions of the Present.

Now, because writing doesn’t seem to be enough, I’ve also taken to graphic design for covers and promo art, and got a few hand-drawn coloring books out there. One for the inspirational seeker, and another for those who can’t say it at work, and should color it instead. Both, are only available at!

*Emotion Commotion

*Lewd, Crude and Totally Rude- A Folio of Foul Language
I told you, it never stops.

Tell us about your writing journey?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. Always had a story to tell, just wish I’d actually written most of them down. I have what’s called ‘Word Salad’ and it flat out means that my mind works ten times faster than my mouth can keep up. So yes, I get my merds wixed up. My fingers, however, are able to keep up, and voila; but that was only one part of the problem. The second half, was having so much information stuffed into my head, that I had to start writing it all down. If I didn’t get those stories out, I’d literally go insane; though it didn’t end with the stories; which also, don’t seem to end.

I have written novels, taken part in various anthologies, created cover and promo art, as well as dabbled with a few book trailers. My mind just doesn’t stop. So here I am, not totally bat-shit crazy, hoping someone else will enjoy my insanity with me. 

What is your story about?

I have two contributions to the anthology, one short story and a poem. Un-related as of yet, but as most of my stuff has a way of finding a place in the Universe I have created with my co-author, Mark McQuillen, only time will tell.

 First up, is Forever Touched. A short, sinful story with a wicked ending. Though it has yet to secure its place in our Verse, it has quite the potential, and was based on a true story, of a friend of a friend of mine. It starts off with a young man who seems to have forgotten the last few days and awakes in an elegant farmhouse surrounded by older men. As the story plays out, he starts to remember bits and pieces. He suffers from flashbacks of what he believes to be a dream, but soon enough that dream turns into a nightmare, and a game played with friends, at a party that never should have taken place, leaves the young man with a devastating future. How was he to know it would steal his soul? How was he to know how deadly the woman truly was?

My second piece is a poem called Tell it to the Rose, and bears a description of the Guild and the Petals who frequent its halls. A spicy little endeavour, made to lure you in. The Guild resides in the Verse created by Mark McQuillen and I, and is used by the Petals to covet secrets that most would have soon seen buried. With their chapterhouses located all over the Verse, the Petals seek out those lonely warriors, in hopes of trading skin for secrets. They’re sinful assassins, working their wiles with the knowledge that secrets fall during the most pleasurable moments. You can find more about them in the Sin and Secrets Series, or the Devil’s Daughters Crossover.

Why did you choose this topic/genre?

I’ve always just written what comes to mind, and with friends like mine, a lot, comes to my mind. There are always tales of intrigue or mention of a dream, and well, one thing leads to another and bam, we end up with a story. And they say I’m the crazy one, they’re the ones feeding me ideas; but in all honesty, I’ll try writing anything once, twice if I like it.

Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?

Why not? I have stories to tell, people, how could I pass this up? It was a lot of fun, and the people at Plaisted Publishing House are super easy to work with. Professional and courteous, always working to make the anthologies even better. I’ve worked with other anthologies before, but none have been as resourceful and on the ball as Claire and her crew, always willing to help out. They are knowledgeable and informative as to what’s happening throughout the publishing process, and leave me feeling that my script is in good hands, with good people. I don’t think I could work with anyone else, they’ve set the standards too high.

Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.

The best part of all this, was getting to know some wicked new Authors, and getting to create covers and promos to my heart’s content. But really, there are so many of us out there, doing our thing in our own way, and watching as each piece was put together to create the Ghostly Writes Anthology, it blows my mind. So many stories, so many different takes on the ghostly realm…  You guys rock, you really do, cause you love what you write, and you write what you love, and now, I get to read it all. It was a pleasure working with everyone, and I’m in for the next round!

Thank You for Participating


Interviewing Karen Hansen – Stay

Friday has arrived and it is Karen Hansen’s turn to tell you about her extraordinary self. Such an accomplished young woman who is going places. Karen’s short story in Love from The Other Side – A Ghostly Writes Anthology is called Stay.


Image may contain: Karen Hansen, smiling, closeupIntroduce Yourself and where you’re from.

 My name is Karen Hansen, and I am from an amazing fast growing city in New Zealand called Rotorua. We are the birthplace of tourism in our country, and the posterchild for geothermal activity. To be honest, we live in the Rotorua Caldera, INSIDE a volcano. Crazy and Wonderful huh!

Growing up, I moved house a number of times – but the place I identified with most was a little yellow cottage in Tiketere on the outskirts of Rotorua. This cottage sat on the complex of ‘Hells Gate’, so named by George Bernard Shaw. “George, a famous Irish playwright living in England, visited the area for a week (in the early 1900’s) and on looking at the thermal park decided that this must be the gateway to Hell, which his theologian colleagues talk about.

He was well known as an Atheist, however after being here a week it is understood that he changed his ways. Our people were so taken by the playwright that from that time on, they allowed the area to be known in English as Hells Gate.” (Hells Gate Histories and Legends, 2018)

As a child of HELL(s Gate) I played with sulphur instead of sand, bamboo forests instead of tree houses, played with free roaming peacocks instead of caged birds, cooked kai (food) in natural geothermal cooking pools and swam under the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere.. all in my back yard.

As an adult I have a close affinity with nature, studying herbal medicine and spiritual tradition from many cultures. I am  a social entrepreneur, with a passion for people empowerment and social change through multi-media and artistic expression. I have three beautiful children, and am currently completing my BA of Creative Technologies and creating out of the box high end events with a community arts focus.

Tell us about your writing journey?

My writing journey began when I was 5 years old. My Mother used to write poetry, and I remember being inspired by a piece she wrote entitled ‘Self Confidence Story’. She wrote this at a time when she was at her lowest point, in hospital. I have carried those words with me forever:


“I am a castle,

A fortress:

Built upon a rock,

In the midst of an ocean

of unfriendly faces,

unknown entities,

and nameless perils.

I fly my banner in the face of the world!

Whatever happens,

I shall triumph,

may occasionally falter,

But NEVER fail.

Though time may rip at my walls,

And batter at my gate,

I will not give in…

I shall survive…


(Gillian Hansen, 1988)

 When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own poetry. I wrote my first childrens book “Karen’s Burglar” when I was 12, although that is sitting unpublished (to date). Around this time, I began writing horror inspired stories along the line of my favourite authors at that age: R.L. Stine and Francine Pascal. None of these survived.

Over the years, I have written articles, speeches and media releases for companies such as Miss Burlesque New Zealand. However, Fantasy, SongWriting and Poetry are my favourite mediums.

I am currently working on two non-fiction books on life coaching and philosophy, and two fantasy novels “Pictures of the Lost” and “Ysabel’s Gate” I am aiming to have one of each released in 2019.

What is your story about?

Stay’ is about a love that transcends time. “A love so powerful, it stopped her heart”. It follows the main character Annie, through her lifetime – and a star crossed relationship. I won’t say much more, as it’s only a short story! You’ll just have to go read it 😉

Why did you choose this topic/genre?

I chose this genre, as I have always been fascinated with the paranormal … and you know… I’m a terrible romantic! I cried writing my own story.

Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?

 The Ghostly Writes Anthologies is a fabulous platform! I’m all about empowering the people, and it offers indie authors all over the world the chance to submit their work and be included in a number of collections. I am honoured to have this, my first piece of published work, accepted and printed for the world to see! Onwards and Upwards .. Watch out world!

Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.

The Ghostly Writers Group is full of creatives, which is my kind of place to hang out. We all lift each other up, and offer constructive criticism and our own talents to help push the industry and the platform further. Thanks Plaisted Publishing, for offering such a great space and putting in many hours of complimentary work in order to bring our stories to the world.

Thank you for participating.

(Thank YOU for the opportunity, the love is reciprocal!)


Interviewing Lynn Mullican – Raven’s Hill: The Ritual

Today I’m introducing you to multi talented author, editor and graphic artist Lynn Mullican. Lynn has published several short stories in our anthologies and last year she made the book cover for our main Halloween Anthology. It is great.  Here is her interview.

Ravens Hill


10626676_801907846499375_4472329126923053513_nHi, I’m Lynn Mullican. I’ve worked in Research and Statistics under the Bureau of Labor Statistics federal program for twelve years. I’ve been married to the love of my life for 30 years. I have three adult children, five grandchildren, and two furry kids (cats), which I’ve nicknamed, my boys. I enjoy dancing, reading, martial arts, archery, camping, hiking, and spending time with my family and friends.

I started writing when I was seven years old, and grew up watching the old horror movies with Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price. With that, I became interested in the darker side of the psyche’ and the paranormal. Since then, I have enjoyed using a component of the old classics, twisting it, and making it something of my own. I like to indulge my readers and make them question life, the reality vs. the myth.

Though, most of my work falls within the horror and paranormal genre, I make sure to mix in the psychological aspect, something I feel is important when writing. One example is my Bad Elements series, which falls within the mixed category of horror, thriller, paranormal, erotica, adventure, and martial arts.

Another example is my Awakening series, a sci-fi, horror, and psychological thriller. Currently, I have several stories in the works; a religious horror novel, a zombie story, the fourth in the Bad Elements series, the third in the Awakening series, and a psychological thriller. Those are only some of the stories I have started.

My story, Raven’s Hill: The Ritual is about a couple, Gisela and Nate, who begin having marital problems when Nate starts acting strange. About the same time, a stranger, Asmodeus, comes to town and women begin disappearing. When the Sheriff comes to question Nate about the women’s disappearance, Gisela questions her trust in Nate.

I had already written Raven’s Hill for the Ghostly Writes Valentine’s Anthology in 2017 which told of a brief and haunted love story. After writing it, I felt I needed to delve further into Gisela and Nate’s relationship.

I already had an idea for Raven’s Hill and Raven’s Hill: The Ritual and felt it would be a good fit for the Ghostly Writes Valentine’s Anthologies.

There’s no better experience than coming together as a team when working on a project, particularly on the Ghostly Writes Anthologies. I enjoyed it immensely; the input, the collaboration, and the contest. Combined, it was a great experience. I look forward to working with everyone again.


Interviewing Jane Risdon – Alexa

It’s time to introduce you all to the lovely Jane Risdon. One of our Anthology regulars. Jane wrote Alexa which is a chilling tale. You can find this wonderful story in “Love from the Other Side”

1-image1Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.

My name is Jane Risdon. I am English and have lived all over the world at various times…I am a nomad.

Tell us about your writing journey?

I began writing almost a decade ago having wanted to do it full-time ever since I can remember. I’ve always written for myself.

A full time career in the international music business prevented this until I took a step back from it and decided to stop dreaming and get a grip. I am now a full time author with a novel published, four others in various stages of completion and a crime novel in with my publisher. I’ve had stories in 13 anthologies and stories and articles in various online magazines and newsletters.

What is your story about?

ALEXA is about a man widowed suddenly and grieving for his wife. His world has closed in on him and he tries various on-line dating sites to try and fill the void she has left, but gives up without meeting anyone. His love for his dead wife is still too strong.

His life changes when he buys something on-line which keeps him company – a human voice who answers him and he thinks is almost human at times. His need for his wife and his longing for her strikes a chord with his on-line purchase. This ‘humanoid’ voice becomes important to him and he sometimes forgets she isn’t a real person.

Why did you choose this topic/genre?

Before Christmas 2017 we – the rock god and I – spent a week with an old school friend of mine, and her partner, in Cornwall. It was too wet and cold to go out much and we sat in her massive kitchen, whilst the men played their guitars in the sitting-room, chatting and drinking tea and coffee and generally putting the world rights.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when I asked her something – forget what now – and a voice from the counter behind me, answered. My friend roared with laughter and began chatting to this tower with a purple light surrounding the top, which actually answered her.

My friend thought it was hilarious that I’d no idea about her little box and its tricks. I ran into the sitting-room and dragged my puzzled other half into the kitchen where I asked the little box to name his hit singles. He nearly fell off his perch when she did.

We spent a lot of time – how sad we have become in our latter years – asking this ‘humanoid voice’ lots of daft and complex questions. Talk about having fun. We love it when she couldn’t answer a question, and she said, ’hmmm, I don’t think I know that one.’ Sending us into peels of laughter. 

We all agreed that for someone who might be lonely, never or seldom hearing a human voice, ALEXA might well be great company. She was certainly highly entertaining in a wet and cold Cornwall.

The idea for my story was conceived in that kitchen.

Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?

I had never read let alone written, a ghost story – crime is my thing – until I saw Claire’s request for submissions and wondered if I might be up to it or not; only one way to find out. I wrote a story which Claire accepted for the anthology much to my shock and delight.

It is ‘The Beneficiaries of Secret Cottage,’ in Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016. Since then I have had stories in three other GW anthologies.

It is great fun and very testing for me as a writer to write outside my comfort zone. It is also a great way for new readers to discover my work, and the work of so many other authors who are possibly writing outside their normal genre too. I love it.

Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.

I love the group and the fact that everyone tries – if at all possible – to do their bit to help each other and to share the anthologies and spread the word. It is a lovely little family. Claire is fabulous, very efficient and professional. Her books look great and have the best covers. Proving that everyone who has a skill and lends it to the betterment of us all, works well.

So far the anthologies I have contributed towards have all been in the Best Sellers listing on Amazon and have been well received.  What’s not to like and enjoy!

Thank you for participating.

Thanks for inviting me to chat about my experiences with Ghostly Writes and to share my thoughts about the group. I appreciate being a member and for being included in so many wonderful anthologies. Long may we all prosper in this group.


Interviewing Cathy-Lee Chopping – Burying Love

Introducing you to new Author Cathy-Lee Chopping who wrote Burying Love which is in our Ghostly Writes Anthology – Love from the Other Side

Author Pic2-Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.

I am Cathy-Lee Chopping, and I am from Perth, Western Australia. We are located in one of the most beautiful cities in Australia, and I am lucky enough to live around 4 minutes from the beach and my local café where I love to sit and write overlooking the Indian Ocean.  My background is Hospitality and Administration, and I currently run a successful distributorship selling cosmetics and skincare. I am married with a 6-year-old son, and my hobbies include reading (of course), writing short stories, listening to music and enjoying downtime watching reality tv about cooking and renovating.

-Tell us about your writing journey?

I started writing when I was around 12 years old, as a way to cope with immigrating to Australia from New Zealand.  I had to make all new friends and that pushed me into my own little world which I expressed by writing short stories about the people in my life and the new friends I made.  It was a way of journaling for me, and one that I thought was a secret, so imagine my surprise when 20 years later my younger sisters told me that they used to sneak into my bedroom and read my latest short stories when I wasn’t home.

I started taking it seriously when I turned 21, and in the last 14 years I have amassed a huge folder of stories that have not yet seen the light of a publishers screen.  I have enough material for my own anthology of short stories, to which I am seriously considering having published.  I have also been working on a novel that I am planning to release in early 2019, and I am really looking forward to this.  Why did I decide to start publishing my secret work?  To be honest it was when a friend of mine passed away in January.  She was 34, too young to have been through a heart and two lung transplants over the last decade, and she once told me that I was crazy to not want to show my work to anyone; that life was too short.  After she passed away I submitted my first ever published piece of work to Plaisted Publishing House. 

I realised a story not written is a story not told, this has motivated me to start publishing my work.

-What is your story about?

I wrote this story as it came to me one afternoon in the middle of January 2018.  I had just received the news that my friend had passed away, and being in the UK on a family holiday I was unable to get back in time to pay my respects.  This was my way of coping and honouring her.  My character in ‘Buried Love’ is a woman who is saying goodbye to someone, and needs to get a message to the other side so that everyone can move on.

One of my favourite lines in the story is “I wonder why people wait to say nice things about people until they’re gone. Why did they not say thank you and how much they loved and appreciated her when she was right in front of them?”

Why did you choose this topic/genre?

I was invited to submit a piece of writing for the Ghostly Writes Anthologies Valentine Edition for 2018, and as I was grieving for my friend, I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to write about love and the passing of a loved one.  I wrote “Buried Love” especially for this Anthology.

-Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?

The Ghostly Writes Anthologies offer a wonderful platform for budding authors from around the world to showcase their work.  I am very happy another author, who is also published in the Anthology, contacted me to let me know that they were taking submissions.  I look forward to working with them again.

-Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.

As a newcomer to the publishing game, I had a lot of questions which were happily and quickly answered by the members of the group.  I would like to extend my thanks to every one of them who pointed me in the right direction so that I made the deadline.

Thank you for participating.

(You’re welcome!)


Interviewing Rianne Moss – My Mother

I would like to introduce you to another talented Author called Rianne Moss. Her short story is called My Mother and shows the strength of  Love from The Other Side.


Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.

I’m Rianne Moss, which is a pen name as my real name is long and hard to pronounce. In addition, I wanted to separate my writing career from my everyday life.   I’m from Canada and live in the prairies. I live with my partner of eight years and our three kids. I have a certificate in Youth Care Work, which has acted as a huge inspiration for my writing.  In my spare time when I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my family, cooking, reading (a lot of it), and playing on the computer.

Tell us about your writing journey?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I published my first novel Shatterproof in 2015, its sequel Unbreakable in 2016, and It’s Never Water Under the Bridge in 2016, with the second version released in 2017. I have a literary fiction novel, Black Sheep being released sometime in 2018.

I don’t write in a particular genre. I write about real life issues such as drug addiction, abuse, prostitution, violence, etc. I don’t sugar coat these issues and try to show them in a realistic way.  I don’t go into gory details of certain topics and try to remain respectful for those who have experienced the many things I write about. 

I have a few WIP in progress: a crime drama, a middle grade steam punk novelette and several short stories and flash fiction stories.

What is your story about?

My mother is about a woman who is shot by a mysterious man. Her child (the narrator of the story) is the last person she spoke too before dying. The circumstances following aren’t as they seem. I won’t go into further detail without risking spoiling the story.

Why did you choose this topic/genre?

When I wrote this, the theme I followed was “haunting” and needed to involve a ghost of some kind.

Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?

I had this short story lying around, came across the “Valentines Ghostly Anthology,” and thought my story would be a good fit.

Thank you for participating.

Interviewing C A Keith – Pinetree Trail

Introducing the lovely C A Keith who submitted a short story called Pinetree Trail to Love from The Other Side which is the second Ghostly Writes Valentines Antholgoy. The paperback has a huge 60% and the ebook is FREE. Our gift to you.

Pinetree Trail

LorriHi, I’m Charlotte.  My author name is C.A. Keith. I live in the Niagara wine district of Ontario, Canada. I live between Toronto and Niagara Falls, a stones throw to Lake Ontario. I have two boys 26 and 20, two Bernese Mountain Dogs, and a furry cat. I work as a College Professor in a local community college and I work with a Physiotherapy team. 

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I wrote more romance poetry back then. Currently, I am exploring many genres. I started writing romance and erotica, to ghost stories, children’s stories and murder mysteries. As I learn from other talented writers from social media groups, my writing style has improved. I am thrilled to have some of my short stories in various anthologies. The Ghostly Write series being one of them, a couple of fund raisers with the ever so talented, Paul White, (a romance short story), another a collection of short stories for the LGBTQ community. My story hopefully raises awareness about the transgender community. Another short story I wrote was based in Liverpool, a murder mystery investigated at the Albert docks,  for an anthology published by Adam Mitchell. 

I have always been intrigued in the paranormal. I believe spirits move within our realm. The universe is a big place and our living bodies isn’t the end of our life as we know it. My first short  ghostly tale, is based on many true events. The other three short stories were fictional. I tend to bring a lot of myself into my stories as I tend to relate to the characters I write about. The most recent Ghostly Writes Valentine Anthology, was renamed Love from the Other Side.  My short story called ‘The Pinetree Trail,’ follows Sammy and her lovable Bernese Mountain dog Lucy, as they are hiking up the escarpment one frigid wintery day. 

I’ve really enjoyed submitting flash fiction stories and poetry in newsletters published by Plaisted Publishing House and CQ International. My experience working with other authors has helped me grow as a writer. It is a tough market and working with talented writers has been thrilling for me. 

I’m ecstatic to think what the future holds for me as a writer. To me, writing is freedom. A world of fantasy and playfulness. I relate to my two childhood favourite story books; Alice in Wonderland and Charlotte’s Web. I am a daydreamer like Alice and creative like Charlotte. I will continue writing as long as letters become words and words form sentences that string into paragraphs and weave into stories that become novels.  It’s a playful magical journey that my mind lives in. I am OK with that. 

I would definitely continue working with Plaisted Publishing House.  They work hard to make everyone happy. Everyone in the Ghostly Writes social group help to make teasers and videos and always willing to help in any way. 

Thanks for letting me be part of this anthology and others.