GRAVE SIGHT is an idea I’ve played around with since way back in 1995, when I first started working as a medico-legal death investigator for a medical examiner’s office. I originally wrote the first treatment of this book in an unpublished short story. It was dark and gritty. And, I’ll admit, a bit depressing. I eventually gave up on the idea because I’m just ‘not that guy’. I’ve never aspired to be the next Poe, and I had no interest in even trying.
So I’m approaching the wrap-up of my next book, The Ghostfeast (Book 3 of the Ezekiel Crane Mysteries), which leaves me with a familiar dilemma that happens at least twice a year. That dilemma, of course, is ‘what now’? If you follow my Facebook page, you’re likely aware that I’ve developed several book covers for potential stories to write next. Each of these stories have a special interest to me. Each of these stories are dear to my heart. Each of these stories must one day be written. But how’s an author to decide? They all excite me. Fortunately, I’ve been able to choose my top two books I’m most interested to tackle next.
Despite that, I still need your help. I’ve decided to let you, my readers and friends, help me decide which of these three will be next. This post will be sort of a special preview of these ideas. It will contain an image of the mock cover I’ve developed (the covers I do more for inspiration than anything else) and a brief synopsis of what the book is about. Then, it’s up to you. Read the post. Figure out which is your favorite idea. Then let me know. Leave a comment at the end of this post. Or email me. Or reach out to me on Facebook. It doesn’t matter. Just let me know which project you’re most excited about and that will help me decide on the direction to go.
Ready? Okay. Here goes:
Since then, the idea has progressed in my mind. Developed into something still rather dark, but also something baring a semblance of light and hope as well. I now have a clear vision of the protagonist…a rather likable character, though a tragic one in many ways as well. And I also developed a much clearer concept of the underlying plot than when I originally wrote that short story. So, without spoilers, here’s the idea…
“What would YOU do if you woke up one morning with the ability to know if a stranger was about to die?”
An ex-con on the run from the law and cursed with the ability to see the ‘Pattern’ (ultimately the ability to know if someone is about to die) in those he encounters drifts from place to place, sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong whenever Death looms its ugly head. Shane Morrow is now a drifter…traveling from town to town. Avoiding eye contact at all costs, lest he should see the Pattern again. But when he does see it, he knows he’s got to do whatever he can to prevent the death from happening.
The moment when Shane drifts into Corral Junction, Florida…a suspicious town with a dark secret, and sees the young nine year old girl who’s about to die, he knows his life is about to get a lot more complicated.
THE CHESHIRE MAN
A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I think the Cheshire Cat is probably one of the coolest and creepiest literary creations of all time. A mystical cat that can phase in and out of reality at will. Of course, there have been myths (most notably among known of the Tuatha De Danann faery legends) of creatures very similar to Lewis Carrol’s creation. But the smiling cat has always stuck with me.
Another chilling legend that has always captivated me was that of the Grinning Man. A creature associated with UFO myths and conspiracy theories that began to circulate back in the 1960s. Ordinary people would encounter the Grinning Man on the side of the road somewhere. He is described as extremely tall and lanky and usually wearing strange looking metallic coveralls. He’s not usually described as looking like a typical alien, but there is something always decidedly ‘off’ about the man. His incessant grin, perhaps, is the most disturbing thing of all to those who’ve encountered him.
So, this is somewhat the inspiration for the Cheshire Man…a novel of Supernatural Suspense in the vein of Stephen King, I’d say.
Rainier Prison has been abandoned since the ‘incident’ of 1952 that left thirty-six guard and two hundred and twenty-one prisoners dead. No one ever discovered what happened there, but legends say, the Cheshire Man arrived and killed everyone in the prison. Through the decades, stories of the Cheshire Man grew. Teens were challenged to spend the night in the prison on dares. The few who entered rarely ever came out alive the next day.
But now something has happened. The Cheshire Man has left the prison. Bodies are being found in the small quaint town near where the prison sits. Witnesses describe the killer’s sparkling eyes and grinning teeth, but nothing else.
The Cheshire Man is invisible except in just the right light. Then you can see his shadow. His eyes. His teeth. The Cheshire Man is intangible. Unless he wants to be otherwise. He’s not quite a ghost, but he appears to be in every sense of the word.
And as the death toll in town rises and the sheriff is at his wits end, it falls on the shoulders of a down-on-his-luck newspaper man solve the mystery that started more than fifty years earlier with a government experiment gone terribly wrong.
So, these are your two choices. Which would you prefer to read first? Let me know in the comments, in an email, or on Facebook. And thanks!