Archive for the ‘giveaway’ Category

Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind when Writing About Ghosts

My upcoming book They Stay is about ghosts. I spent two years designing, implementing, and writing about my ghost world, and so I learned a lot about how to worldbuild using ghosts.

This is a list of the 10 most important questions you need to ask yourself when building a ghost world. There are many different types of worlds you can build involving ghosts. You can write a horror story about ghosts who terrorize a family. You can write a story similar to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Bookwhere the ghosts are friends to your main characters. You can write a story where ghosts are an allegory for mental illness or another type of trauma. Before you even get into this list of questions, you need to figure out what you want the purpose of your ghosts to be because that is going to inform your answers to the rest of these questions.

The more readers know about your ghosts, the less scary your ghosts will be to them. Creating a cast of terrifying ghosts requires you to make your characters powerless against them and ignorant of how your ghosts function, and make your ghosts powerful and able to do brutal things to your characters. If you want your ghosts to be friends, write them as you would any other character. Regardless of how much information you want to give your readers about your ghost, here are the top 10 questions you need to answer about your ghost world before writing.

  1. Do ghosts stay on earth forever after dying?

Or do they fade away? Is the earth populated with the ghosts of everyone who has ever died roaming around everyone who is currently living? Or do they go somewhere else?

  1. Does everyone become a ghost?

 Are there just some people who don’t become ghosts? What determines whether or not you are going to become a ghost?

  1. Does becoming a ghost change the way you act?

 In a lot of horror movies, ghosts can act pretty erratically. Do only erratic people get turned into ghosts? Or does being a ghost take your normal brain and twist it into an erratic version of itself?

  1. What is life like as a ghost? Is it miserable? Is it ok?

Having to live a miserable existence would make my brain pretty twisted, to be honest.

  1. Can ghosts move through things?

If so, are there any materials that they can’t move through?

  1. Do ghosts retain their physical appearance on earth, when dead?

 If they died in a house fire, does their ghost look all burnt? Do they take on the physicality that they had at their Prime? Do they look like the age they were at when they died?

  1. Can ghosts affect the physical world?

 Can ghosts kill people? Can ghosts make books all off of shelves? Or do they just pass through stuff? What kind of ghosts can affect the physical world, and what kind of ghosts aren’t?

  1. Can anything kill, deter, or summon ghosts?

 Does salt or iron deter ghosts? Are there any incantations or weird spells that can summon ghosts? Do Ouija boards work?

  1. Can ghosts move everywhere or are they bound someplace?

 Are ghosts bound to objects that were important to them in real life? if you get rid of that object, does it get rid of the ghost? If you move the object, does the ghost move with it?

  1. Is there a place where ghosts go after they become ghosts? Do they stay ghosts until the end of time?

Does an afterlife exist? If so, what does it look like? Do all ghosts go there, or do only the people who are rejected from the afterlife become ghosts?

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I have made a YouTube video about worldbuilding with ghosts which can be found here. I run a YouTube channel called Write with Claire Fraise  where I share specific and actionable writing tips that helped me make my own writing better.

They Stay
Claire Fraise
(They Stay Series, #1)
Publication date: October 12th 2021
Genres: Supernatural, Thriller, Young Adult

For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.

What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?

Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.

When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?

But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.

And a ghost told her where he is.

As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.

THEY STAY is the first book in the They Stay Series. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.

Content Warnings: This book contains death, kidnapping, domestic abuse, references to suicide, bullying, and mild adult language.

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Author Bio:

Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She is also the author of YA dystopian novel Imperfect (winner of the San Francisco and Beverly Hills Book Festivals), which she published when she was 16. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at

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A Story is Born

It was 2015, and I was sitting in a dirty chair at my mechanic’s shop. The place was busy, as usual- the natural byproduct of having a fair and friendly business with a small town atmosphere. I was naturally drawn to it amongst the busyness and anonymity of the city. I was there for an oil change and tire rotation, toddler in tow.

My toddler started getting fussy and bored, so I handed him my phone with its preschool-based games. Immediately his interest was piqued, and as my eyes swept over the pile of magazines in front of me- my interest was piqued, as well.

They landed on a well-worn magazine cover with a picture of a child on it. The headline read: “Legacy of Love: The Children of 9/11.”

I picked up the worn issue. The date on it was September 12, 2011, the day after the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It’d been living at this dirty old shop for three years. It was heavily torn and crinkled, and some pages were missing, too.

But not the ones that mattered.

The feature article was a piece on 9/11 babies, 9, almost 10, years old. I read their stories with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart, and thought:

“They’re teens now, and already they’re heroes. They were born heroes, just like their parents.” And the seed from that single thought began to grow into the story that exists today:

A group of 9/11 babies find out their parents who died in the attacks had superpowers and saved people on that horrible day. The Army tells them they’ve inherited the same powers, so they go to West Point to train. In the meantime, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could, and step into a destiny marked for them since birth.

I remembered clambering into my car, calling my sister, Jennifer, and telling her, “Do you have a little bit of time? I just have a story burning in me and I need to get it out.”

I rambled on for minutes, maybe even an hour. “Maybe they…”

“Oh! And THEN they could….”

“And what if…”

And all the while my soul felt like it was going to burst.

Since then, I’ve come to recognize that feeling as God’s prodding.

What started as a “what if” has morphed into characters and a storyline that has stolen my heart.

And I can’t wait for you to meet and fall in love with them, too.


Becoming Brooklyn
Amanda Deich
Publication date: January 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Brooklyn never knew her father. Rex Blackburn died in the 9/11 attacks four months before she was born.

And even though she never met him, she always dreamed about what he must have been like before he died. In her mind, he was a hero.

Little did she know.

After an attack at a 9/11 memorial gala, Brooklyn learns her father had been a member of an elite, anti-terrorism, military task force, made up of a very select group of people who had superhuman abilities. On the day the towers fell, he died using his power to save people.

The Army believes she inherited his gift, and Brooklyn is invited to train at West Point in order to hone her skills. Knowing deep down she is different than anyone else her age and wanting to learn more about a father she never knew, she readily agrees to become a cadet at the prestigious military academy.

She and five other 9/11 babies strengthen their superhuman abilities and spend weeks preparing themselves for their future in the army, fighting terrorists at home and abroad. And in the process of training, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could.

Brooklyn knows she’ll go to war someday, but when terrorists find out about the group’s gifts, they don’t bother to wait.

They bring the war to West Point.

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Author Bio:

Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, CO. In her non-writer life, she is a teacher and coach to hundreds of kids, and she is a mama to two. If you meet her, she’ll talk Jesus and identity like no one’s business.

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Nidhi Chanani
Published by: First Second/Macmillan
Publication date: June 22nd 2021
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery, Time-Travel

Grab some coins for the jukebox, and get ready for a colorful, time-traveling, musical tale about family and courage

A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts…glowing?

Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches, to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops? This time-bending magical mystery tour invites readers to take the ride of their lives for a coming-of-age adventure.



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Author Bio:

Nidhi Chanani was born in Kolkata, India and raised in California. She creates illustrations that capture love in everyday moments which are often featured at Disney Parks. In 2012 she was honored by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change. She’s the author of Pashmina, Shubh Raatri Dost/Good Night Friend, and illustrator of I Will Be Fierce. Nidhi draws and dreams in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and kid.

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