Renee Conoulty: Virginia King *Guest Post, Giveaway & Freebie*


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Virginia King *Guest Post, Giveaway & Freebie*

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Virginia King, who is on tour with her latest novel, The First Lie.

When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came to create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a strange woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard until Selkie Moon turned up. All she had to do was jump, the first sentence said. Soon Virginia was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

Connect with Virginia via

Guest Post

A Ghost Story Needs … a Ghost
by Virginia King

When an author of paranormal mysteries was looking for ghost stories for a collection, I decided not to participate. My psychological mysteries have a mythical twist so I’m into visionary mirrors and mystical graveyards, suspect stalkers and symbolic objects. I’ve never sidled up to a ghost. And I was in the middle of my mystery-in-progress: book three of my Selkie Moon Mystery Series. A ghost story would be a distraction.
But the temptation took up residence in my mind. Ideas crept up on me, especially in the middle of the night – just like a … ghost.

Stalking the Spectre

My modern mysteries are inspired by folktales and mythology. I recalled a Russian folktale with an unusual ghostly theme. Perfect. If I set my modern ghost story in Pearl Beach north of Sydney – a good place to locate a deserted beach house and generate some suspense – then a character with a Russian name would usher in elements inspired by the original tale. The story started to take shape, quietly preparing the red carpet for the arrival of the apparition. Until I realised that an idea from this same folktale had seeped into my mystery-in-progress. If I used even a hint of the same theme in the ghost story, it would be a spoiler for the novel.

Googling the Ghost

I started researching other folktales. In a collection of Celtic supernatural stories, the introduction suggests a new angle on ghosts: ‘ghosts’ are created when violent acts leave an imprint on the landscape, like a sound recording. This imprint is reactivated at a future date by individuals sensitive enough to evoke it. Hmmm.
A quote from Robert Louis Stevenson became the epigraph to my story:
Certain dank gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.
Then I ‘googled upon’ a murder ballad from the 1700s that has been reinterpreted by musical artists ever since. But it’s not well-known and many versions include … a ghost. These three elements inspired my story.

Freebie - Laying Ghosts

Laying Ghosts is a 24-page ghost story with one character inspired by a Russian folktale, a dank garden imprinted with past violence like a Celtic landscape, and a haunting refrain with origins in a murder ballad from the 1700s. 

You can download your free copy here:

Giveaway of The First Lie

You could be one of ten lucky winners who will choose either a signed paperback or an audio book of The First Lie plus a $15 Amazon gift code. One grand prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift code.

Stay tuned for my review of the audiobook edition of The First Lie.


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