My novel Magic Guest takes us beneath the bustling streets of a modern city for a tale of terror–a true adventure into the paranormal. Her new book, Wildfell, makes use of some of her own experiences. And take just a minute and a half to watch her freaky good book trailer. I guarantee you’ll get a shiver–or more than one.
Writing the Supernatural
by London Clarke
When I first started writing Wildfell, I hadn’t expected to turn it into a supernatural thriller. Originally, I set out to write a classic Gothic suspense novel with a spooky house that only suggested something paranormal. But somewhere in the middle of the story, the supernatural made an appearance, and it worked so well it prompted me to rewrite the whole novel.
Although Wildfell is fiction, there are parts of the story rooted in details from my own life. No, I never dumped all of my belongings and jumped on the next plane out of town, but like my main character, in my early twenties I left my life in America to live in London for a time. That was when I first encountered the supernatural.
While I was living in the UK, a friend and I took a trip up to Edinburgh, Scotland. If you’ve never been to Edinburgh and you’re a fan of spooky tales and hauntings, I highly recommend checking out this city (supposedly one of the most haunted places in Great Britain). The area is full of the old and the ancient, and night-time ghost walks abound, including the ever-popular underground city tour. Under the depths of Edinburgh’s bustling streets, abandoned catacombs make for nightly entertainment. Edinburgh was literally built on top of these tunnels, which served as streets once upon a time. They were originally used by merchants and peasants until they became too unsafe. For a while, only the poorest of the poor lived underground, and finally, people abandoned the lower levels altogether.
Nowadays, the underground city burgeons with people again—tourists, who pay to descend into its cold depths and listen to spooky tales of the macabre.
When my friend and I took the tour of these vaults in 1996, parts were still being renovated. We were shown through the areas that were open to the public, one of which was a cavernous space, where a huge red pentagram stretched across one of the walls. Once we were all packed inside, the tour guide told us that the room was sometimes used by a coven of witches—hence the wall art. She’d just started telling us a story relevant to this section of the catacombs when the Australian couple standing behind us screamed and shot forward.
I turned just in time to see a floating black mass swim by me like a large eel or a snake. Immediately, the crowd began to push and shove, eventually pressing in on the tour guide until she was forced out of the room—lucky not to have been trampled by the rest of us.
Once in the lighting of the corridor, she asked if we wanted to continue the tour. The answer was a resounding and unanimous “no,” so she led us all out through an emergency exit and into the blessed freedom of an above-ground alley.
Our tour guide asked us what we’d experienced, genuinely curious to know what she’d missed, and several of us described the dark, shadowy thing we’d seen. The Australian couple even claimed to have been physically touched by it.
I returned to the vaults again in 2013 but witnessed no such phenomena. Even so, I still felt the cold spots, the shivery elements of that underground world. Honestly, something undeniably supernatural occurs down there—certain narrow tunnels or alleys (called closes) raise the hairs on my arms and the air is somehow colder, darker, more pressurized.
This and other supernatural experiences I’ve witnessed during my life come out in my writing from time to time. They’ve prompted me to research other people’s run-ins with the supernatural and to use these accounts in my stories. Although some scenes are strictly formed from imagination, as much as possible I draw from documented cases or personal accounts. I think using realistic events and details make stories creepier and more believable. As Lord Byron said, truth is stranger (or in this case, scarier) than fiction.
WildFell by London Clarke
Running away isn’t always an escape…
Anne Fleming can’t stand her life for one more minute.
An ill-fated relationship with her graduate school professor drives Anne to dispose of all her possessions, assume a new identity, and board a London-bound plane. But a chance meeting on that flight leads her to Wildfell, a gothic mansion with a cast of strange characters and a long history of disappearances and deaths.
While living at Wildfell, Anne is plagued by voices, ghostly mists, and a mute girl with a sketchbook full of murders. She only remains because of her strong attraction to a fellow inhabitant—gorgeous actor Bain Tierney. But when Wildfell tenants begin disappearing one by one, Anne must decide if she trusts Bain. Is anyone in the house who they claim to be? Or are there are other forces at work inside Wildfell? And will they ever let her leave?
Watch the book trailer–This is CRAZY GOOD!!!!
Meet Paranormal Author London Clarke
Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young age, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes. Wuthering Heights and Dracula are her favorite novels, and although now happily married, she readily confesses that she is a recovering runaway, who once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London holds a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She’s had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.
London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and two greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or binge watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.
9 thoughts on “Novel Magic: Writing the Supernatural by Paranormal Author London Clarke”
When I went down years later, the tour was much more commercialized. It was a completely different experience. ?
London, I can’t believe you went back down in the tunnels years later after that creepy experience. You’re either brave or a glutton for punishment! LOL!
I’m reading Wildfell and love, love, love London’s spooky story. It’s just so much fun! I have a few hunches what will happen at the end and can’t wait to see if I’m right or wrong.
Looking forward to reading more of this author’s novels.
Thanks, Elaine! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I really do wonder if it’ll turn out the way you think. 😉
That catacombs tour was definitely an experience I’ll never forget! To anyone debating about reading Wildfell – I HIGHLY recommend it! It was such an interesting and gripping story. And very scary to read late at night.
Thanks, Lisa! Ooh … I’m kind of glad when I hear people say the book keeps them awake at night. 🙂
Thanks for hosting me, Sorchia!
My pleasure. The catacombs are on my list of Places To Go.
You will not be disappointed, Sorchia. The catacombs are impressive!