Saturday, 30 December 2017

GHOSTWRITER! What if you were a writer who could see ghosts?

Ghostwriter has its own meaning in the book-writing lexicon.  But what if you were a ghostwriter who also saw ghosts?  Alison Bruce's new book takes that clever title and spins a compelling tale that takes us to the chilling waters of the Arctic Ocean.   I couldn't resist asking her three questions that have nothing to do with the Arctic, and everything to do with how Alison sees the world.

1.     This is a comedy blog, so of course I’m going to ask about humour.  I hark from the “Comedy has its roots in tragedy” school.  So tell us about your thoughts on humour in fiction.

I'm an adherent to the Shakespearean school of writing. All tragedy must have comic relief. All comedy must have tragic relief. And stealing from history and classical sources doesn't count as plagiarism.

2.   I’ve been called a “literary slut” in my time, due to my tendency to wander from genre to genre.  I think you might be a kindred spirit.  Why can’t you settle down, girl?

 Can I count you as a classical source? Because I've stolen your term "literary slut" when describing my work too. I am faithful to three things, strong women, mystery, and romantic adventure... four things if you count coffee. With genres I tend to play the field. I suppose you could also say I have a thing for men in uniform, or at least those toting badges. In that way we are not at all kindred spirits since you tend to gravitate toward the criminal element.

3.  What character in fiction would you like to be?  (Ha! You thought I was going to say, which do you wish you’d written?  But nope.  Let’s hear about your secret imaginary life.)

The first character that popped into my head is Wolverine of the X-men. No, I don't generally identify as male, but I can get into his head. Back when I was writing fan fiction, I switched the genders of all the X-men and got into the female Wolverine's head too. (I could never identify with Professor Xavier, however, whether it was Charles or Charlotte.) My next thought was Jen Kirby. I know it's kinda cheesy picking one of my own characters, but if I had her career as a ghostwriter, imagine the material I'd have to write novels when I retired.


She has to deal with two kinds of spooks: spies and ghosts.

But which one is trying to kill her?

Jen Kirby has seen ghosts since she was a teen, but she can’t talk to them or help them cross over. And, after a violent death in the family, she doesn’t want to see them anymore.

In her role as ghostwriter, Jen joins a Canadian Arctic expedition to document and help solve a forty-year-old mystery involving an American submarine station lost during the Cold War. The trouble is, there are people—living and dead—who don't want the story told, and they’ll do anything to stop her.

Now Jen is haunted by ghosts she can’t avoid or handle alone. That means confiding in the one man she doesn’t want to dismiss her as “crazy.” But can he help? Or is he part of the problem?

A compelling mystery with a unique setting and skillfully handled supernatural twist.
Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times Bestselling  Author

A maritime mystery full of twists and turns, heart-pounding suspense, and ghosts!
Ghost Writer plunges you into the icy depths of the Arctic Ocean with breath-stealing twists and turns, maritime adventures, page-turning suspense … and ghosts. A great read!
Ann Charles, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Deadwood Mystery Series

EXCERPT from Chapter 1

My name is Jen Kirby. I have several things going for me including great hair, nice eyes and an ability to turn experts' research into readable prose.

I have a few weaknesses. I enjoy chocolate too much. I hate enclosed spaces. And I prefer to experience open bodies of water from a distance. One sailing trip with my cousins made me swear off boats for life. So, you'll understand how much I wanted the job when I said I'd go to the Arctic Ocean to look for a sunken underwater base.

The offer came from Dr. Dora Leland, a forensic psychiatrist and my good friend. Dora is a professor at the University of Toronto, a consultant to various law enforcement agencies and author of seven books which I have ghostwritten with her. Her idea of a vacation is volunteering her skills to researchers who would never have thought they needed a forensic psychiatrist on their team, let alone afford one.

Her latest project was helping out a team who were bent on raising US Navy's Arctic Station Alpha and finding out what happened to its crew. AFFA, which stood for “Answers For Families of Alpha” not the Hell’s Angels motto “Angels Forever, Forever Angels,” included now grown children of the crew. Other family members contributed funds or in kind services. But it was Dora and her agents that made the expedition possible.

As the only team member who wasn't paired off, Dora anticipated needing a buddy to play cards with of an evening. She sold the deal by offering me co-author credit on the book we were going to write.
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Short bio
Alison Bruce writes history, mystery and suspense.  Her books combine “clever mysteries”, well-researched backgrounds and a touch of romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, sense of humor and the ability to adapt to new situations. Four of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.

Links & Stuff

Twitter: @alisonebruce


Amazon Author Page:


  1. Can you believe I posted this on the coldest day of the year? And the coldest temps I've ever seen! (-23C) Your Arctic story is perfect for this month.

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