Last month I shared an excerpt of my recent novel Miss Mary Mack and I’m sure some of you are really confused. I understand after Fedelta, Miss Mary seems very different and maybe even strange but I followed the muse and she took me in a different direction. A very different direction.
Miss Mary was based on an experience I had one hot, summer’s night. In fact it was so hot that I decided to sleep with the window open and as I was falling asleep, I heard giggling and a little girl singing, “Miss Mary Mac, Mac, Mac all dressed in black…” At first I thought I was dreaming but it was just some silly neighborhood kids who had snuck out and were playing around at 1 a.m. Yeah, I live in that kind of neighborhood. When I realized what was going on, I was angry but also, inspired. I wondered, how would these kids have survived back in the days before child abuse was considered a bad thing? What can I say, I was having a Stephen King moment! As my mind swirled, it was then that I saw her. A woman, standing at the end of my bed and she was dressed in a matronly 1930’s style dress with granny boots. As she looked down on me, I could see the scowl on her face and I knew immediately what was going on. The muse was speaking. So I got up and scribbled on a piece of paper the words: Miss Mary Mack and went to bed.
The next day, I did write a brief paragraph outlining the idea but did nothing with it. At that time, I just started writing for this blog and Fedelta was born, I was also finishing up Eternal Bond, so I didn’t have the time to start yet another project. But fate has a funny way of making you do things because over the next few months, I started hearing stories about Orphan Trains on Youtube as well as ghost stories from the Civil War. The spark that lit the flame was a story I read about a woman by the name of Rosa Carmichael who ran an orphanage and was alleged to have abused the children in her care. So I sat down and grudgingly wrote a few paragraphs which I finally shared last month.
I don’t have any idea as to where this story is going, but I know it’s going to lead me down paths I’ve never explored before. Most books do. What a lot of readers don’t know is that sometimes our stories surprise us (the writers) as much as it does them. Actually this is the fun part of writing where characters become real, and situations uncertain. In any case, I hope you stay tuned for the next couple of excerpts from the book because something tells me that Miss Mary is going to be one of my most challenging characters yet.
Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books. Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad. She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.