Have you ever seen a ghost?
Well, I have, though only once. And before you offer me any sympathy or concern, I can assure you he wasn’t at all scary! Just a transparent, smiling young man who appeared in the corner of the room one night while I was on my own, watching TV. He was definitely there, it wasn’t a reflection of the screen, or a brief, hallucinatory flip in my mind. I blinked and looked again, and he was still hovering. I can’t remember his clothes, whether they were contemporary or from another era. Likewise I can’t remember much about his looks, except that he had smiling eyes. Romance readers will know what I mean!
I was watching a comedy show, and even before I had time to be startled, he put his finger to his lips and grinned, like we were both sharing the jokes, but privately between us. It was a long time ago, but I’m sure I asked him “Who are you? What are you?” He just looked at me, still grinning, and shrugged.
I must have laughed then, because I do now when I recall it. He had no more idea of what was happening that I did myself. Why do we automatically expect ghosts to have all the answers? To be somehow wiser and more at peace? Or, like the horror movies, to be angry, tortured or vengeful souls?
Maybe they’d be characters just like us, except … well, in ghost status.
I think I’ve always been interested in ghosts that are not the typical stereotypes. And that’s partly what led me to write The Tourist, out now at Carina Press. My hero Ace was a young Victorian man, living on his wits on the London streets. He tells us the tale of how he lived and died then, how he turned up to meet us in this novella as a ghost, and what he seeks out of life now. And that’s fun!
I tried to write Ace as any other person, looking for entertainment and comfort and company. He soon represented himself as a cocky, sexy, good time guy, but I was happy to follow him there! Still inhabiting the streets of London’s now-fashionable Chelsea, he visits men’s bodies as a “tourist”, the closest he can get to real life. When he meets two lovers, steady Dan and disturbed Ricky, we find out about them through his eyes, and the fun he has with their love affair. And when things turn dangerous for the lovers? Well, rather than seek another host, Ace finds there’s something he can do for the young men in return.
So if you have seen a ghost, has it changed your view of life – and maybe of ghosts themselves? Let me know!
The Tourist available now at Carina Press: http://tinyurl.com/4q9l242
BLURB: Visiting isn’t a science, at least not for me. It’s just what I do. Not that I mind, though. It’s not a bad thing, you understand, to find yourself in someone else’s body, stepping into a hot shower stark-naked and sporting a decent-sized morning wood.
Ace is a tourist. A spirit who spends his time visiting the lives of others for entertainment and sexual satisfaction. He can’t make anyone do anything they aren’t willing to do—but he is able to push them to their personal limits.
He’s currently visiting Dan and his lover, Ricky—a couple struggling with jealousy and words left unsaid. Emboldened by Ace, Dan becomes more sexually aggressive, a pleasant surprise for Ricky. But when an abusive ex threatens their newfound happiness, how far will Ace want to get involved? Will his fascination with the couple’s sexual games tempt him to protect them from a very real physical danger?
Clare London online:
At eHarlequin: http://community.eharlequin.com/blogs/clare-london
At GLBT bookshelf: http://bookworld.editme.com/clarelondon