Writing with Ghosts

We are pleased to welcome back Sherri Browning Erwin with her second monster mashup classic Grave Expectations. Today she’s here to tell us a little about what it’s like to write with ghosts, or at least reworking the classics while honoring their creators. Also don’t forget to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Grave Expectations. We’re giving away two!


Sherry Browning ErwinAs of this writing, my biggest claim to fame is that I’m probably the only writer, living or dead, who has published books with both Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens. I’m not sure it gets any bigger than that. Writing with dead coauthors is an art that I’ve tried to perfect, but it’s never easy. They’re oddly communicative from beyond the grave. 

Working with Dickens, especially, I could practically hear him shouting “Don’t touch that line!” or “How dare you shorten that chapter!” Charlotte Bronte, the imaginary Charlotte hovering over my shoulder as I wrote, was much more easy-going and forgiving. But Charles Dickens refused to let me have my way with his words without a fight. Fortunately, I didn’t hear his objections when I was changing young Pip to a werewolf along with his changing fortunes. Charles didn’t seem to mind Estella becoming a kick-ass slayer of paranormal creatures (Scapegraces, as they’re called in Grave Expectations). And he had high praise for Miss Havisham, vampire. Even in his original work, Miss Havisham had the demeanor of a woman who’d been sucked dry, a brittle shell of her formerly human self, and she was out for blood in return. 

It was an honor to have the opportunity to transform a second classic after the success of Jane Slayre. Eventually, I might try it again. For now, I’m returning to my first love, writing historical romance novels all on my own. Fans of Downton Abbey might enjoy my new series based on the family, servants, and villagers surrounding the grand Yorkshire estate of Thornebrook Park in Edwardian England. The series kicks off with NEVER A LADY, in which widow Eve Kendal becomes a lady’s maid to survive her change of circumstances after her husband’s death—until a developing attraction to her employer’s brother throws her future at Thornebrook Park into doubt. More information will be coming on my website currently in development and ready for a grand relaunch in February 2013. 

Thank you for your support! 

 What do you think about monster mashups of classics? Have you read Jane Slayre? Are you reading Grave Expectations with us?

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