For Ghost Writers: Us Haunting Them, editors Keith Taylor and Laura Kasischke asked twelve celebrated Michigan writers to submit new stories on one subject: ghosts. The resulting collection is a satisfying mix of tales by some of the state's most well-known and award-winning writers. Some of the pieces are true stories written by non-believers, while others are clearly fiction and can be funny, bittersweet, spooky, or sinister. All share Michigan as a setting, bringing history and a sense of place to the eerie collection.
Ghosts in these stories have a wide range of motivations and cause a variety of consequences. In some cases, they seem to dwell in one person's consciousness, as in Steve Amick's "Not Even Lions and Tigers," and other times they demonstrate their presence with tangible evidence, as in Laura Hulthen Thomas's "Bones on Bois Blanc." Spirits sometimes appear in order to communicate something important to the living, as in James Hynes's "Backseat Driver" and Lolita Hernandez's "Making Bakes," to change the course of events, as in Anne-Marie Oomen's "Bitchathane," or to cause characters to look inside themselves, as in Elizabeth Schmuhl's "Belief." The supernatural stories in Ghost Writers visit a mix of Michigan locations, from the urban, to the suburban, and rural. Authors find ghosts in family farmhouses, downtown Detroit streets, an abandoned northern Michigan lighthouse, gracious Grosse Pointe homes, a mid-Michigan apartment complex, and the crypt of a Polish priest in the small town of Cross Village.
Taylor and Kasischke have assembled a collection with a diverse mixture of settings, tones, and styles, ensuring that Ghost Writers will appeal to all readers of fiction, particularly those interested in the newest offerings from Michigan's best fiction writers.
"James Hynes's 'Backseat Driver'" deftly contrasts female powerlessness in daily life with revenge from beyond the grave, Anne-Marie Oomen's 'Bitchathane' and Lolita Hernandez's 'Making Bakes' use regional flavor effectively, and editor Kasischke's 'Ghost Anecdote' neatly shifts focus from narrator to reader, memory to imagination, and mundane to fabulous. Mainstream readers will find these hauntings very accessible, and their endearing naïveté will charm horror fans."
"By turns bone-chilling and heart-stirring (not to mention heart-chilling and bone-stirring) these gripping tales are deeply haunted by Michigan history. My hat-and my hair!-is raised to the authors and editors."
-Peter Ho Davis