SERIOUSLY SERIALIZING

When I began to write the first of the Michael Flint/Nell West haunted house series, I didn’t actually know it was destined to become a series. In fact I had never previously considered writing a series at all – or even so much as a trilogy. Despite working in the...

THE MOTIVES OF GHOSTS

Ghosts, like any character in a book, need a motive – a reason for haunting.  They don’t just turn up because there’s a vacant slot at the moated grange, or because the grey lady at the old rectory wants someone to make a fourth at bridge.  They don’t attend night...

THE MASQUERADE. A short story by Sarah Rayne

I seldom attend parties unless I think they might be of use in my career, so it was all the more remarkable to find myself attending this one.  This reticence is not due to shyness, you understand, nor to a lack of self-confidence – I value myself and my attainments...

RE-TELLING A FAMOUS FAIRYTALE

When, some years ago, an editor commissioned a series for the re-telling of modern fairytales, I had a terrific time writing them, but I saved what I believed to be the best until last. Little Red Riding Hood has to be one of the most famous of all children’s stories,...

HARMONIC PRACTICALITIES – PULLING OUT THE STOPS

It was, admittedly, a strange request to make, and it must have sounded very peculiar indeed over the phone, because initially the voice at the other end was suspicious. ‘What kind of research for a novel?’ I explained.  ‘I need to know if a church organ can make any...

UNDERSTATING THE CHILLS

It’s a fact of life that there are times when the shadow can be mightier than the substance. Over ninety years ago the German film-maker F.W. Murnau chilled cinema audiences with the 1922 silent movie, Nosferatu.  It’s still chilling people today, and probably the...