In the old South, a haint was a ghost or evil spirit. George Haint, originally begun by Helen Diessner in 2012, takes us into the most unusual ghost story you will probably ever hear.
It is not only a ghost story but a short story of murder most foul and takes place in the mid-1800s, in the Virginia City, Nevada, area during the gold- and silver-mining days. The story contains a lot of local history of the area.
This book was written by the late Helen Diessner and her sister Marta Moran Bishop. The audiobook is narrated by Christopher Meglin.
This is a spooky and surprising ghost story. I thought it was going in a certain direction, but then was completely shocked and scared but delighted to go a different way. It’s a bit darker than I usually read, but worth it. In this ghost story/historical fiction mashup, we learn the history of Virginia City, Nevada during the gold rush and we meet some interesting characters with quite a tale to tell. Go on this short ghostly adventure to a town in the past, and prepared to be a little terrified but completely entertained, for that is what a good ghost story does. Fans of horror, magical realism, and historical fiction will love this story.
The audiobook is a story-length (45 minutes) treat read by Christopher Meglin, who does a wonderful job.
I received a free copy of the audiobook. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marta Moran Bishop walks in the shoes of her characters and weaves the tapestry of their lives with the threads of her dreams.
Ms. Bishop is a prolific and versatile writer, writing in multiple genres, while continuing to stretch herself and her craft.
Her series The Divide: Darkness Descends (book 1) and The Between Times (book 2) tells the story of a bleak world, where society consists of the poor and the rich and the poor live in squalor, depending only on a prophecy for hope of a better future. It has a touch of paranormal within its pages. She is currently working on Book 3 in the series.
George Haint is a story started by Marta’s late sister, Helen Diessner.
She has written three adult poetry books and a variety of fantasy and paranormal stories. A few of them are stories that her mother wrote over forty years ago and Marta finished, while others are new and vibrant stories.
She currently lives on a small farm in New England with her husband, three horses, cats and a conure parrot named Jack. They help her remember to view the world through a child’s innocence and keep her young and imaginative.
Q&A WITH MARTA MORAN BISHOP
Good Morning, Marta, and thanks for answering my questions today.
Marta: It’s so wonderful to meet you and an honor that you invited me to be on your blog.
Bonnie: Let’s go beyond the bio. Tell us something about yourself that we might not know from reading your bio.
Marta: I’ve worked as a magician’s assistant, and danced in a few TV commercials.
Bonnie: That is so interesting! Where did you work as a Magician’s Assistant, and what commercials did you do?
I worked as a Magician’s Assistant in Chicago. My brother and I did a disco/jazz act and won a few contests. The commercials were for Sugar Twin and a “Women’s Product.” Lol.
Bonnie: This story was conceptualized and started by your sister Helen Diessner, who has sadly passed away. I am so sorry for your loss. Can you tell me a little bit about Helen and what it means to you to complete this story and have it published?
Marta: Thank you for your condolences. Helen is and will always be so missed. She was one of the most intelligent people I ever met. Interested in just about everything, but in particular history, ghosts, mysteries, and had a love of animals and life, with a great sense of humor.
Bonnie: At what point in the story did you pick it up? Did you already know what the ending would be?
Marta: Helen and I had talked over her story, and I read her first few pages, gave a few comments regarding tenses, etc., and at that time she told me who she planned on the first kill to be, but not how to get there. She stopped writing it in 2016 and I didn’t see it again until after her death. What she had written was so good that I knew she’d want me to finish it. She stopped writing about a quarter of the way through chapter three.
Bonnie: Although this is a short story, it contains a lot of information about the mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. What was your (or Helen’s) historical research process?
Marta: Helen lived in the Gold Hill area of Virginia City for many years, and worked for The Way It Was Museum. She read everything they had in the Museum and knew all the legends. The shack on the cover was a picture she took that helped inspire the story.
Bonnie: George Haint seems to be going in a certain direction, and then catches the reader by surprise. Is this something you’ve done in your other writings and can you tell us a little about your previously published work?
Marta: Yes, I have done this in other books and stories I have written or finished that I inherited from my mother’s writings. I am a multi-genre author and prefer to write in first person (even if it is first person horse or cat) when I write I seem to fall into the mind of the characters and they many times surprise me. I’ve written poetry (both children’s and adult), paranormal short stories, dystopian novellas, as well as my award-winning novel Dinky: The Nurse Mare’s Foal, which is written through his eyes about the first year of his life. When a character begins to talk to me too loudly the book or story gets written.
Bonnie: Magical realism/the paranormal is very present in this story. Is this true of any of your other work as well?
Other than my animal stories it is present in all of my other books and stories.
Bonnie: Are you currently working on anything else and can you tell us about it?
I’m currently finishing the sequel to my series The Divide, a dystopian series with magical realism and paranormal mixed in to give hope and save the world. I’m also writing a book based on the premise that Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickenson had a love affair through letters.
Bonnie: The Poe/Dickenson love affair sounds intriguing! What was your inspiration for that and will you come back again to talk about it when it’s ready to publish?
Marta: The idea came out of some poems I wrote between them, way back when someone said I was “Emily to his Poe,” and an “inspiring force in his creative process.” They are published in two of my first poetry books. Absolutely I’d love to come back!
Bonnie: Thanks Marta for your great answers and for joining us today! I look forward to speaking with you again!
BEFORE YOU GO
*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books. Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.
*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!