My indie publishing house, Third Person Press, decided to put together a ghost story anthology because we get more ghost story submissions than any other kind, too many for our other anthologies where we like to have a nice mix of genre sub-types. The resultant book, Grey Area, will be released in late October, just in time for Halloween.
I had never written a ghost story before and in writing one for this collection, I finally clued into why people like them. They give a more concrete, creative way for us to think about death. Our societies do not encourage us to dwell on death. We’re supposed to get through those stages of grief and get over it as quickly as possible. But the reality is that the prospect of death—either our own or our loved ones—resides in our lives, hovering at the edge of our awareness, every single day we are alive. Ghost stories give us permission to explore this taboo subject. There’s also the element of hope. The glimmer of possibility that death isn’t the end of communication with those we miss so much. Oh, and there’s that other thing that I have never understood: the deliciousness of being scared.
Third Person Press does these anthologies on less than a shoestring. While it’s a labour of love for us editors, we are also committed to paying our writers. As writers ourselves, we feel it’s the right—the only—thing to do. We are running an Indiegogo campaign RIGHT NOW. Please visit us there, follow our campaign, put it on your blog, tweet it or otherwise help us publicize it on whatever social media you engage in and, if you can, please donate. You’ll get some awesome perks for your donation and you’ll be helping us help writers. Plus: good reading. Please check it out: here.