Phyllis M. Newman
I have always felt like a writer. I started creating poetry as a child and even wrote my first murder mystery at the age of 14. Between then and now, however, life intervened. Given school, responsibilities at home, dance, clarinet, and piano lessons, I rarely put pen to paper except to fulfill an academic assignment.
Then I spent forty years at The Ohio State University, working in finance and human resources (during which time I also moonlighted as a belly dancer and bouncer at a gay bar). Although such activity actually provides exceptionally rich fodder for creative writing, between work, children, home, and husband (not necessarily in that order) there was little time to contemplate the possibility of writing fiction.
Then I retired. The most daunting question that plagued me was, “What in the world was I going to do with myself?” Boredom was not an option. Since I was quite disciplined at spending hours sitting at a computer and doing research into one thing or another, writing seemed the natural next step for an avid reader. To date, I have written five novels.
The first was a 130,000 tome about loss. Realizing it was far too dreary to ever find a publisher, I then relieved my gloom by dancing my fingers across the key board to produce Kat’s Eye. It was fun to write a little noir mystery and great to see it in print.
My next novel, coming in January 2018, is The Vanished Bride of Northfield House. When I wrote it, I was experimenting with genre. But mostly, I wanted to write a genuine, creepy ghost story, not a tale where frightening events have a rational explanation, where it’s really a cat on the piano keys or squirrels in the attic. I wanted to write of real ghosts, with a reason for haunting, something left undone, something to communicate to the world of the living.
I hope to publish Circle of Darkness, a historical mystery set in Baton Rouge in 1933 against the backdrop of the Great War and the Depression, next year. A women’s adventure, coming of age story, Clearing in the Woods, is still searching for a publisher.