The house has been waiting for someone like Tyler.
Tyler is hoping for a fresh start at a new school, where no one knows his past. But things go wrong right from the start. Luckily, he finds a cool abandoned house out in the woods where he can chill out, ignore everything going wrong in his life. The house is too tempting, however, and when Tyler sets a fire in one of the rooms, an evil spirit awakens…
Despite taking three graduate classes and working 30 hours a week, I decided to write a novel in one month. This was my second year doing Nanowrimo. I grew up loving a good ghost story and I certainly enjoyed writing this one.
The first inkling of an idea for The Abandoned came from the movie “The Messengers.” I had this idea that a kid might set a house on fire because there were ghosts in the house, in order to get rid of the ghosts, and no one would believe the reason why they started the fire. Especially if the kid happens to have a history of fire-setting or even just being a delinquent. In the case of the scenes where Tyler comes face to face with the ghosts, my inspiration for how the ghosts moved came from the Japanese horror movie “Pulse” (not to be confused with the American remake–you really have to see the Japanese version).
I also had some inspiration for the abandoned house: photographs from the book Ghosts in the Wilderness: Abandoned America by Tony and Eva Worobiec. It’s a really beautiful collection of photographs of abandoned houses, and a few of the photos in particular inspired my design and description of the Birdsall house.
My original cover: I took this picture of the building next to the library, which had a collapsing roof (the roof has since been fixed). It wasn’t a completely abandoned building, but it was good enough, especially after adding some effects in Photoshop that made it look dark and fiery (without actual flames).
Wattpad cover: Cover design created with Canva. Cover image found at https://fshoq.com/free-photos/p/186/abandoned-old-staircase-and-room