I haven’t always been a writer. From childhood, I was a voracious reader. As an adult, I segued into book reviewing. It has only been in the last year or so when I made the transition into writing. If you had asked me six months ago what genre I wrote, I would have responded, contemporary romance.
Indeed, my first novel is a contemporary romance called Change of Address, which will be released by Secret Cravings Publishing this January.
I have always been a fan of the paranormal genre. But as a book reviewer, I have seen it all—vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, even zombies. The paranormal genre has always been popular, but has exploded over the last few years. Writers are writing it well, too. I felt an inclination towards the genre, but I knew that if I wanted to writing paranormal, I was going to have to find a fresh idea.
The inspiration found me. I am an avid collector of Victorian and Edwardian-era photographs. To me, there is much beauty in these black and white stills. This past spring, I found a photograph from an online seller that completely captivated me. The size of a postcard, but printed on a much thicker stock was the image of a funeral home (I come from a long line of folks in the funeral care business). Outside, a very handsome man stands proudly with his hands clasped in front of him, most likely one of the owners at the time. Although the photo is slightly faded, you can still clearly make out the reflection in the glass of a black funeral carriage tied with elaborate ribbons. The back of the photo reads in very elegant script, Week of Oct-11-1896. Although the photo was pricy, I splurged and bought it for myself.
When I finally held it in my hands, I was in love. It was then that an idea occurred to me. What if a very lovely lady who is just starting out in the funeral business buys this particular funeral home, determined to restore it to its former glory. And what would happen if one night this woman was visited by the very handsome man in the photo who claims to still own the funeral home?
To me, the idea seemed like a good one. He wasn’t a ghost or a vampire. The closest I could describe him is as a dybbuk. In Jewish folklore, the wandering soul of a dead person that enters the body of a living person and controls his or her behavior.
This is how Antique Charming came to be. I get frequently asked why this story is so short. My reason is because Antique Charming was never meant to be a full-length novel, but more a delightful bite to be enjoyed by the reader. Perhaps at some future time I will speak with my publisher about turning it into a full novel. But for right now, my photographs are beginning to speak to me again and just maybe inspiring a few more paranormal spins.
About the Author:
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia. She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at http://natalienicolebates.blogspot.com/
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