Hello again! Well, this crowdfunding thing is in full swing now, and I’ve gotten a couple more shares — thank you for sharing! Some of you on Facebook know me, but a lot of you seeing this post — especially if you’re seeing a share — might not know me. And yeah, having a total stranger ask you for money is kind of weird. So for those of you who don’t know me, or haven’t met me in person, let’s sit down and chat.
I’ve loved ghost stories ever since I was a kid, especially true ghost stories. As I got older, I tried to feed that curiosity by getting a Master’s degree in History. (And boy, has that come in handy when doing research for 44 Years in Darkness.) That was such a great experience, because it taught me that the people behind these stories were real, not just sepia-toned photographs or dry ink on a page.
But my brain kept saying, “Show me the spooky!” So what did I do with my history degree? I started writing books of true ghost stories. I’m lucky enough to live just a short ten-minute motorcycle ride away from one of the most haunted places in Illinois, the Peoria State Hospital in Bartonville. And that place has certainly cast its spell over me. It made an appearance in my first nonfiction book, Ghosts of the Illinois River. Soon I discovered that the asylum had many more stories hidden on its grounds. Those stories became my second ghost story book, Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital.
That book, Fractured Spirits, has been my best seller so far. So many people are interested in the real history of the Peoria State Hospital. When you say “haunted mental asylum”, your mind goes all American Horror Story on you, and you automatically assume there was pain and fear and abuse. It is my deep privilege to tell people that this was NOT the case at Bartonville. This was a place of compassion. And people are interested in the folks who lived there, too, the patients that Dr. Zeller and his staff cared for with such devotion. Rhoda Derry was one of those cherished patients. She suffered so much … but at the Peoria State Hospital, she finally found peace.
If you are interested in learning more about Rhoda’s story, I encourage you to follow this link: https://publishizer.com/44-years-in-darkness . It will take you to the crowdfunding campaign I’ve set up for my upcoming book. While you’re there, take a look at the many perks I’ve put together for you — perks like getting to read the book a full two months before the rest of the world does.
Thank you for your kind support. We’ll chat again soon.