Ghosts Make the Best Spies
by Gail Z. Martin
I love ghost stories. In fact, I don’t remember ever not loving them in some form. One of the earliest that I remember was a short story in a children’s magazine that I made my mother read over and over to me. I could blame my love of ghosts on Dark Shadows or ScoobyDoo, or the Nancy Drew books that teased a ghost that didn’t turn out to be real. Then there were all those 1970s Scooby knock-off cartoons with even more teen ghost chasers, visits to haunted places like Salem, Massachusetts and the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the book of regional ghost stories I picked up on vacation when I was ten years old and read again and again until the cover fell off.
I happen to think that ghosts, magic and maybe a monster or two make every story better. Real life is boring—give me some spooky fantasy!
Ghosts play important roles in all of my series. Sometimes they are harbingers, carrying warnings from beyond the Veil. In other cases, they’re companions, advisors, or teachers. Now and again, they rally to fight battles, infiltrate enemy territory, carry messages, or act as sentinels. That’s why I maintain that ghosts make the best spies, because they can move through walls, eavesdrop unnoticed on conversations, observe enemy fortifications and do it all without worry of being captured or killed.
Of course, having ghosts do all that is for naught if there isn’t a person who can see and hear them to gather their intel. That requires a sensitive, a medium or a necromancer, and my stories just so happen to have an abundance of all of them.
In my Assassins of Landria series, for example, ghosts, psychics, mediums and a necromancer play essential roles in the plot, helping to watch for danger, protect the living, and report back on enemy locations and numbers. Sometimes, ghosts help because they aren’t ready to move on and want to feel like they can still make a difference. In other cases, they left unfinished business and want to tie up loose ends before they fade away.
Gus the ghost makes repeat appearances in the Spells Salt and Steel series I write with my husband, Larry N. Martin. Gus was a deer hunter who fell out of a tree stand and broke his neck back in the 1950s. He stuck around, and befriended monster hunter Mark Wojcik on several hunts, saving Mark’s live more than once. Now he lends a hand with the cryptid preserve Mark and his allies set up, happy to feel useful, and appreciating the six packs of beer Mark brings for him.
There are plenty more ghosts who serve as recurring characters in my series—both as good guys and vengeful spirits. I’ve discovered along the way that the only thing better than reading ghost stories is writing them!
Plenty! Sons of Darkness (Night Vigil Book 1) and Inheritance (Deadly Curiosities Book 4) are now on audiobook. Monster Mash and Creature Feature are the newest Spells Salt and Steel books. Witch of the Woods and Ghosts of the Past are the newest in the Wasteland Marshals series, and Black Sun is the latest Joe Mack Adventure. Coming soon: Fugitive’s Vow (Assassins of Landria Book 3) and Reckoning (Darkhurst Book 3).
My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new guest blog posts, giveaways and more! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at www.GailZMartin.com
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.
She and co-author Larry N. Martin write the Spells Salt and Steel, Wasteland Marshals and Joe Mack Shadow Council Archives Adventures.
As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series.
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