from Ginger

Character Walks

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Welcome to the Untold

First comes the story, then comes the rest of the story. Right?

Well . . . .

Ask any writer, and you are likely to hear this: no book can print everything we want to say. Sure, you as a reader can meet a handful of people and see a few exciting things happen; but do you ever wonder what was left out? Every tale comes from a brand new world, full of its own life. Who else can you meet there? What motivates them? How did their society evolve? The author knows all about it, but you may catch only a glimpse.

After you read one character’s viewpoint, count the number of other characters. It begs the question: what if you could talk to them? What questions would you ask? Imagine diving into the pages of a book, and taking a walk with someone who lives in it.

This section of my site is dedicated to books that you may have already read. If you haven’t, I hope you will soon. For my part, I have journeyed to some fantastic worlds, and now I am ready to take it to the next level. I want to go again, and interact with the people who live there — people who may not live anywhere else. Every author in this section has written a story worth telling. Now, they will give their characters chance to tell a little bit more.

Join me, as I explore other lives in distant dimensions. I am interviewing new storybook characters one post at a time. I am treated to brief tours with unbelievable scenes, all of them full of surprises. Come out for just a few minutes, and take a walk.

A Monster and a Gentleman

gingercmann : October 22, 2015 2:00 pm : Beyond the Wail, Characters, Xchyler

A Walk with Thomas Murphy

And Author Julie Barnson

Thomas Murphy from "Go Gentle" by Julie Barnson

Thomas Murphy said the ghost was harmless

Gossip Columnist

But I knew the truth, and I was out to prove it.

I am fond of my little Walks, you know . . . it’s not every author who gets to act out a scene with someone else’s character. So far, I have been a set of twins, a steampunked tourist, a girl who rides a flying horse, and a medical student. With that understanding, it should come as no surprise to see me play a smarmy, scum-of-the-earth gossip columnist. Anything for you.

Why? Well, to meet this fascinating young man, Thomas Murphy. He’s barely alive at the end of Julie Barnson’s story “Go Gentle.” His granddaughter talks with him in his sickbed. But I, or rather my character, met him way back in the year 1969. Thomas Murphy just bought a farm outside of the tiny little town where I live. I am playing the journalist grand-daughter of an established local family. As a member of the media, I know that the town has a dark history. In fact, I know everything about this town; but I love to dig up scandalous new stories and put them into print.

Today’s walk happened on Mr. Murphy’s property. I traveled there to investigate a popular ghost story, but I had good reason to suspect that the ghost was no rumor. Watch what happened when I tried to tease him out of Thomas Murphy’s barn.

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Eva’s Dark Secret

gingercmann : October 21, 2015 2:55 pm : Beyond the Wail, Characters, Xchyler

She knows something about the river. Will she tell?

She may know something about the river. Will she talk about it?

A walk by the River

With Author A. F. Stewart

I am walking today with a young college woman. She just arrived back in town to support her family, and I’m afraid she has come in to a scene of chaos. See, tonight, I am with a number of townspeople involved in a search party. Eva’s sister Layla disappeared today: she went out for a walk by the river, and did not come back. The girls’ mother organized us to look for her. What are we finding? She was here, we can tell, but other than that, the news does not look good. It has been hours now, and we are unable to find anything except some confusing traces of her visit.

Layla is a sister by adoption — Eva’s adoption; but the two are as close as twins. That’s how I’ve known them through their entire childhood. I taught both girls a few music lessons once, but I kept up with the news of them after that. I think of my students as family, so my nerves are a bit on edge tonight. You will read that as you eavesdrop on my talk with this understandably tense young woman. I tried to hide it, but I, too was very worried about her sister. more »

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Meet Father Mahoney

gingercmann : October 20, 2015 4:23 pm : Aunt Betty, Characters, Xchyler

This young priest has seen a lifetime of hauntings.

This young priest has already seen a lifetime of hauntings.

A priest that sees ghosts? Can he help Aunt Betty?

Interviewed by Author A. F. Stewart

Young Father Mahoney never wanted to see a ghost. In fact, the parapsychologist-turned-priest hoped for just the opposite: as a Ph. D. student, he set out to find a cure for paranormal activity. How? By fixing sick minds. College led him to the niche field of parapsych. For Mahoney, it was pure serendipity: to explain a spook as mental illness made sense to him. So, before meeting Aunt Betty and her family, Father Mahoney pursued the exorcism of all spirituality, everywhere.

It might have worked, but the ghosts had other ideas.

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The Laughing Mirror (From the Poltergeist and Aunt Betty)

gingercmann : October 19, 2015 1:32 pm : Aunt Betty, Beyond the Wail, Characters

Aunt Betty is so funny that even the mirror giggles.

Aunt Betty is so funny that even the mirror giggles.

Betty woke up, confused and in a cold sweat. She put her hand out, searching for clues to her surroundings. An old-style paper phone book jumped into it. Slowly, she focused her eyes on the words ‘Lake Charles.’

“Oh, yeah,” she mumbled.

“Aunt Betty!” A cheery voice piped into her room from somewhere.

“Somebody’s awake.” She chuckled. more »

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Dragon Tales

gingercmann : October 16, 2015 5:00 am : Beyond the Wail, Characters

Dragon Librarian

She greeted me kindly, but her eyes pierced my skull.

Love, death, and books

My walk with a Librarian
and Author Danielle E. Shipley

I was privileged (?) today to walk as myself: a tall, blonde, suburban Texan woman; a new author looking for opportunities. I don’t know what to make of the character who has received me, but her invitation was so kind, so enticing. She said she wanted to offer me exclusive rights to publish my new work-in-progress.

Look, you’re an author. You know how it is, to be up in the early morning burning some outline onto the computer screen before hitting the shower and going to a “paying job”. You know what it’s like to want that one contract that can change everything; the one that brings royalties in excess of $2.98 per quarter? Look, I see your face, but don’t judge me harshly! I am new on the market, and I fell victim to a monster. more »

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My house is haunted 

gingercmann : October 15, 2015 12:31 pm : Aunt Betty, Characters, Prose, Water Cooler Blog

They stalk me, they surround me. I am not alone.

They stalk me, they surround me. I am not alone.

My house belongs to “them.”

They are everywhere. I put something away, it jumps back out. I walk down the hallway, something walks behind me. The television turns itself on, the lights flicker, a dish falls to the floor. Sometimes, a piano plays. In the thick veil of early morning, I hear them and feel them. They stalk me, they surround me, I am not alone. more »

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Meet the Ghost

gingercmann : October 12, 2015 6:39 pm : Aunt Betty, Beyond the Wail, Books, Characters, Xchyler

Aunt Betty's Ghost

Aunt Betty knew she saw dead people. She just never brought it up.

Betty knew it, she saw dead people. They walked around just like ordinary people. Unlike that movie cliché, they did, too, know that they were dead. Like that movie cliché, they sure liked it when somebody saw them.

Betty caught on to that early, but she stopped trying to sell it to anybody else. In Nacogdoches, they were bankers, maybe some of them, loan sharks. They came in hot and heavy after Timothy died. Hoards of them, all zombies, always looking for money-or-flesh, money-or-flesh. They stalked her with horror tales of debt and imprisonment . . . or dismemberment. “This is Texas,” they said, “just try to stop us.” more »

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Meet Beverly

gingercmann : October 11, 2015 6:52 pm : Aunt Betty, Beyond the Wail, Characters, Xchyler

Meet Beverly: mother of four, and niece of Aunt Betty

Meet Beverly: young mother of three, and Aunt Betty’s niece

The good niece expects her pretty aunt from twenty years’ past. What will she find instead?

Beverly gazed at the cab as it pulled out of her driveway. It had deposited someone there. A pudgy, awkward creature was staring straight up at her through the window upstairs. It wore giant sunglasses and a daisy on its head. The creature fumed and spat, or that’s what it seemed—like a teakettle on the boil. more »

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Meet Aunt Betty

gingercmann : October 10, 2015 10:45 am : Aunt Betty, Beyond the Wail, Books, Characters, Xchyler

Aunt Betty's new roommate is out of this world, but how much is ghost and how much is just plain crazy?

Aunt Betty’s here, and she’s got a ghost, but how much of that is just plain crazy?

Everyone has “that family member” right? I mean, it was for them that we invented this phrase: “That’s not just wrong, friend, that’s crazy uncle wrong!” It’s the guy that yells at the Fox News channel and then clears out the room with a single fart. It’s the woman who stalks little children, pouncing out of dark corners to pinch their cheeks, and cover their faces with red lipstick. They have the manners of your preschooler, but not the charm. They are adorable and terrifying. more »


The Quiet Sister

gingercmann : April 2, 2015 7:00 am : Characters, Mechanized Masterpieces II, Xchyler

A heart of gold: if only it were strong enough.

with Neve Talbot, author of “West End”

Today, I am walking with a close friend. I only met her a few weeks ago, but when I did, I loved her instantly. She is one of those people that “fits” wherever she goes. I do not mean she is a social butterfly; she is really very quiet. What I mean is that walking next to her is like walking next to a cool ocean breeze. See, Beth has the gift of healing. She volunteers in a hospital in Jamaica, sitting with people in their rooms and attending to their needs while they are there. I have seen her in action, and seen the radiant smiles of the patients she attends in the hospital. I would venture so far as to say that Beth has saved some lives, lifting broken spirits from the depths of despair.

She is also a resident patient, and I wish her prognosis was a happy one.

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