Today it is my turn on the blog tour for Inheriting Her Ghosts by S. H. Cooper. This tour is part of the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA). This year, the BBNYA is celebrating the 55 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 10 finalists and one overall winner.
If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website: https://www.bbnya.com/ or take a peek over on Twitter @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.
Inheriting Her Ghosts is a Victorian gothic horror novella. Eudora Fellowes discovers she’s the sole heir of her estranged great-aunt’s seaside manor house High Hearth, so leaves her childhood home with her two faithful hounds hoping for a peaceful escape and a new start.
But High Hearth is a place of tragedy and deception, and Eudora discovers that the secret to her great-aunt’s clandestine history lies behind the door with no key. She soon realises Inheritance often comes with strings attached, but rarely are they as tangled as those hanging over High Hearth. What awaits is a dark legacy shrouded in half a century of secrets. It doesn’t take long before Eudora realizes she’s not the only one to call High Hearth home.
The author, S.H. Cooper is a Florida based, multi-genre author with a focus on horror and fantasy. Her work has been published by Sleepless Sanctuary Publishing, Cemetery Gates Media, and Brigids Gate Press. In addition to short story collections and novels, she is also the writer for the horror comedy podcast, Calling Darkness.
When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing, talking about writing, or sleeping (wherein she dreams about writing). She is kept up and running through the tireless efforts of her extremely supportive family and coffee. Her horror novel, Inheriting Her Ghosts, is published by Sleepless Sanctuary Publishing on the 9th July 2021
My stop on the tour involves an interview with the author, S. H. Cooper about the writing of Inheriting Her Ghosts.
Welcome to my blog. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by me as part of the penultimate stops of your blog tour for your haunting new book Inheriting Her Ghosts.
Tell us a little about yourself and the inspiration for your book Inheriting Her Ghosts.
I’m an American author of horror and fantasy. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, completing my first novel-length manuscript (which would much later become my YA fantasy novel, The Knight’s Daughter) at eleven years old. While I’ve always loved horror as a genre, I didn’t start writing it until 2016, when my sister suggested I check out the NoSleep subReddit to combat a long bout of writer’s block. It worked like magic and suddenly the words were flowing! Since then, I’ve published a slew of short stories, six books, co-edited two anthologies, and co-wrote a podcast.
Inheriting Her Ghosts drew inspiration particularly from Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 film, Crimson Peak. I’ve always been drawn to haunted houses and the gothic flair of both works struck a chord with me. The story of IHG came quite unexpectedly as I’d not done much in the gothic vein, and never anything Victorian. One day, I just heard a very distinct voice in my head (that sounded exactly like voice actress Erika Sanderson of The NoSleep Podcast) say, “The house inherited me as much as I did it. We were alike, this house and I…”, and wrote it down, not knowing I’d just met Eudora Fellowes and been given the opening lines to her dark tale.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Honestly, most of the time, there isn’t much of a selection process at all. It often feels less like I’m coming up with stories and more like I’m simply transcribing something that’s being told to me. Crawford Bentley was always Crawford Bentley, I never wondered over what to call Black Shuck and Cerberus. They just were. Eudora was actually a rare exception. She started with an entirely different name that never quite felt right, and early on, my editor, Elle Turpitt, confirmed my suspicion that it seemed off. Without knowing exactly what I was looking for, I started scouring Victorian baby name lists and when I finally came across the name Eudora and surname Fellowes, it just clicked and I knew without any doubt that was meant to be her name.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Getting in my own head. Longer works in particular give me a lot of time to second guess, cast doubts, and worry over the most minute details that a reader probably won’t even notice, much less question (“Is the color of this furniture appropriate for the time period?”, “Is ‘nightgown’ or ‘night clothes’ the better term?’, etc.). Thankfully I have a wonderful group of fellow author critique partners and, as mentioned before, my editor, Elle. They’re great at helping me work through my own thoughts and excellent motivators.
What part of Inheriting Her Ghosts was the most fun to write?
100% Eudora’s relationship with her dogs, Black Shuck and Cerberus. They’re loosely based on my own dogs and it was so easy and enjoyable to bring the love I have for them to the page. While my pups aren’t as large, intimidating, or (let’s be honest) well trained as their book counterparts, I have no doubt they’d put themselves between me and any perceived danger and I’d definitely throw down with a ghost if it threatened them.
Where is your most productive place to write?
This is my “Don’t be like me, be better” answer: My phone. It’s a horrible habit. Don’t do it. Since I can take it anywhere, location doesn’t matter that much, but it must be totally quiet and uninterrupted. While music can help get me in the mood to write before I actually sit down to do so, it gets shut off the moment I’m ready to put proverbial pen to paper and if anyone interrupts me while I’m in The Zone, I…typically politely ask them to wait until I’m done, but there is some serious side-eye while I do it.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given about writing?
Take every piece of advice you’ve heard about writing and chuck it out the window. Ok, maybe not the stuff about having to be disciplined and, as with any art form, needing to practice, but most of the other fluff. The “How Stephen King Writes a Billion Novels a Year” and “One Hundred Ways You NEED to Change to Be a Real Author” type schlock. Writing is an extremely personal process and what works for Mr. King might only be a roadblock for you. Maybe you’re a plotter, maybe you’re a panster, maybe you write better with a set word count to reach, maybe it’s easier to never count words at all. The how you do it isn’t nearly as important as the fact you’re just doing it. Figure out your system and grow in the way that works best for you (unless your way is writing on your phone…).
Thanks again for your time in answering my questions. I am looking forward to taking a peek at the last posts in the tour tomorrow.
You can find out more about S. H. Cooper and her books on her website: www.authorshcooper.com and follow her on Twitter: @MsPippinacious and Facebook: @pippinacious.
To can buy a copy of Inheriting Her Ghosts by S. H. Cooper on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58424258-inheriting-her-ghosts and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0977PL7BB.