Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview with Maralee Lowder Author of The Morticians Wife

Please share a little about yourself, your genres:

Growing up, I read everything I could get my hands on so I was exposed to just about every genre.  Then, as a young teen, I read Jane Eyre, which for many years was my very favorite book.  So, it’s not surprising that my first books turned out to be romance novels.  But, also because of my varied reading history, my romances covered several genres within “romance”, including historical/family saga, humorous, mystery and horror. 

Most recently, I was drawn to write a straight out horror – The Mortician’s Wife. This book was inspired by an intriguing old building here in my hometown that once was a mortuary and is most definitely haunted.  The story consumed me so much that, after finishing it, I realized the building’s story had not ended with just the one book.  I am now in the process of writing a sequel to The Mortician’s Wife and I haven’t ruled out that there might even be a book following the sequel.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

The Mortician’s Wife is my most recent release, and as I mentioned above, I am currently working on its sequel.  The story behind both books really is the old building which has, and still is, inspiring me.  When I first began thinking about writing the book I contacted the then current owner of the building and asked for a tour.  He was kind enough to take me through it, from the basement (which still contained everything needed to prepare a body for burial) all the way up to the attic apartment.  Although not completely furnished, each of the three upper floors still contained pieces of Victorian furniture – brass beds, Victorian furniture, claw foot tubs, a pump organ and various other old items.  I was amazed to discover that the last mortician’s wife’s clothes (vintage 1950s) still hung in a closet.  And, according to Mr. Lowden, the man who owned the building, the house was most definitely haunted.

Have you ever based your book or characters or on actual events?

For the most part my characters come out of my very fertile imagination.  Of course, like most writers, I do use mannerisms I see in other people to bring my characters to life. 

However, I do find two very wonderful old men popping up in my stories now and again.  Old Tom and his best friend, Uncle Billie were the type of friends who were never happier than when they were teasing one another.  As a child, I could not spend enough time with them.  In one of my romances, Cupid’s Error, they appeared as two cupid’s who couldn’t seem to get the job done right.  In another case, in a book I have not yet had published, which I have titled, The Gold Rush Deception, they are much as they were in true life – two characters who simply cannot help stirring up the pot with each other, as well as with everyone else who happens to be nearby.

What would your readers by surprised to learn about you?

If you’ve only ready my romance novels, you may have a fairly good picture in your mind of who I am - a relatively quiet woman with a rather overly active imagination. But, if you’ve only read my horror stories, you most probably have a completely different impression of who I am.  The truth is, I do believe in ghosts, but I do not spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to torture people!

When you’re not writing, what do you do?

I am very fortunate to be living my dream, which was always to live in the northern California mountains. So my favorite occupation, when I’m not writing, is to walk outdoors.  I try to walk for an hour or so every day, enjoying the sweet air and the gorgeous scenery. I actually enjoy shoveling snow!  Which is just as well, as my husband and I live where we get plenty of the white stuff.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite?

That’s a hard question to answer, but I’d have to say that one of my favorites is Ada, the main character in The Mortician’s Wife.  Although her life is often tragic, she never gives up.  Many people might not understand why she does what she does, she always remains true to her beliefs.

If this book is part of a series ... what is the next book?

The next book (so far not titled) will be a sequel to The Mortician’s Wife.  Ada will not be part of this story, but the building that shaped so much of her life still remains.  In this book, the building is one of the main characters – it and the ghosts that haunt it.  Will there be a sequel to the sequel?  I don’t have the answer to that question, but after spending time in the actual “mortuary” and learning about its many haunting, I would not rule out the possibility.

I’d like to thank you for this opportunity to tell you a bit about The Mortician’s Wife. Of all the books I have written, I have never felt myself so drawn to a story.  Is it my favorite book?  I don’t know that I would say that, but I can say that I have never been so consumed by a book’s characters.

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The Morticians Wife
Maralee Lowder

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Taylor Street Books

ISBN: 13: 978-1480011229

Number of pages:194
Word Count: 71000

Cover Artist: Tim Hewtson

Book Description:  

“I have spent the night in supposedly some of the most haunted buildings in America. I have met people who could fairly be described as evil incarnate. I have been to the Old Mortuary in Dunsmuir. It is gorgeous but I wouldn't spend a single night there.” Kathleen McKenna, author of horror novels 'The Wedding Gift' and 'Family Matters'.

Five miles from the new age Mt. Shasta City, the sleepy Northern California town of Dunsmuir plays host to a nightmarish house – the Old Mortuary – where the mortician's wife spent four decades alone, and some say insane, sleeping in an alcove off one bedroom where she believed the evil spirits of the house could not get to her, harboring terrible secrets.

With the steady flow of dead bodies through the basement and the murderous events upstairs, this is the story of how the Old Mortuary of Dunsmuir became one of the most haunted houses in America as a result of the personality and misdeeds of one man, Horace Carpenter, whose eternal soul most certainly does not rest in peace, as many will attest, and probably never will.

About the Author:

Maralee Lowder found so much pleasure in reading such a wide spectrum of romance genres, she has never been able to write in just one.  Her novels run the gamut of contemporary, historical, humorous, horror, paranormal and suspense. 

Look for the sequel to "The Morticians Wife"  coming soon

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