(Janet Morgan will be speaking at the Wiscasset Public Libarary this coming Thursday at 7:00)
Do Ghosts Haunt Me?
In my last post, which was during National Library Week, I talked about the Wiscasset Public Library ghost. A ghost also plays an important role in my Killdeer Farm mystery series. It would seem that I am fixated on ghosts but I suppose many people can claim that distinction. I became interested in them as a child; that is probably about the same time I decided that I wanted to be a writer.
It is, therefore, not surprising that I would combine the two. To begin this journey, I wrote a short story about Ben Ames, an American Civil War solder who died after committing what he considered a mortal sin. His story begged for more, so I sought a foil for his tragedy and my protagonist was born. Jessie Tyler is a librarian who lives at Killdeer Farm. When I began writing my third mystery, Katahdin Drowning, I decided to take her away from the farm. Since I have hiked Katahdin twice, Baxter State Park seemed the ideal setting.
Jessie, her son Jonathan, and three friends go to places I have visited in the park. They cooled off at the Slide (as Nesowadnehunk Stream’s Ledge Falls is called), went moose watching at Grassy Pond, and hiked to the top of Katahdin. It was a trip down memory lane for me and great fun. But my mystery had to have a crime, so Jessie was doomed to find a body floating in Katahdin Stream. Soon Jessie’s friend comes under scrutiny and Jessie must clear Dara’s name.
Because Ben Ames is an essential element to my stories, I returned my protagonist to Killdeer Farm during an interlude. Ben became Jessie’s lifeline when she lost her beloved husband. Ben, who resides in the attached outer building of Killdeer Farm, is always there as Jessie’s rock in times of distress.
In Katahdin Drowning Ben provides the key to the solution of the murder. The gentle specter’s ongoing presence also draws Jessie into his mysterious past, which lends itself to the individuality of the series. Ben’s wisdom keeps Jessie on the right track through the power of love.
For me it all began in the small coastal town of Wiscasset, Maine where I was born and raised. I grew up loving libraries, so it was no surprise that I became a librarian. I received a BA in English from the University of Maine at Augusta while working full-time as director of the Wiscasset Public Library. After having several short stories, poems, and essays published in The UMA Scholar, I began writing my first novel.
I am a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and the Wiscasset Public Library Writing Group. I have been published in several issues of the Goose River Anthology. My first two Killdeer Farm mysteries are Poetic Justice and Composted Tyrant.
My future projects include a work of non-fiction about homesteading in central Maine and my fourth Killdeer Farm mystery. To learn more about me or to purchase my books, visit my web site at janetmorgan.org.