Friday, October 14, 2011

Frightful Fridays: Sue Ann Jaffarian

In honor of Halloween, I've asked several authors to offer up some ghastly 'true' tales for Frightful Fridays. Today's guest post is by Sue Ann Jaffarian. Win a copy of Sue Ann Jaffarian's latest book, Baited Blood? Just comment below about an 'otherworld' or Halloween experience. Be sure and add your email address.

Sue Ann Jaffarian is the author of three critically acclaimed mystery series: The Odelia Grey series, the Ghost of Granny Apples series, and the Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries. In addition to mysteries, Sue Ann recently launched a short story series for e-readers called Holidays From Hell. She is also a motivational speaker and full-time paralegal living and working in Los Angeles. Baited Blood, the 3rd book in her Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries was recently released.

SUE ANN JAFFARIAN: 
YOU’RE BATHROOM’S A WHAT?

I’m not particularly fond of my apartment. I don’t care for the building or that it overlooks a very busy Los Angeles street and intersection, complete with traffic noise, sirens and even the occasional car crash. When I moved here, it was with the attitude that it was temporary. Just a year or two and I’d find myself nicer digs. That was over seven years ago.

Not that my apartment doesn’t have things going in its favor:

• It’s 10 minutes from my office;
• It’s spacious;
• It has tons of storage;
• It’s reasonable and under rent control;
• It allows pets.

Any of the above are major pluses, but there’s something else. Not something that would keep me from moving, but something I’ve discovered over the course of seven years that cannot be lightly dismissed.

I believe my bathroom is a portal.

Um, you read that right – a portal. More specifically, a doorway to unexplained things bordering on the bizarre, paranormal and even creative.

Several years ago I had a dream, or maybe it wasn’t a dream but a vision. And this was before I started writing about ghosts and vampires. Anyway, two women approached my bed. One was tall with short gray hair dressed in jeans and an oversized men’s shirt. The other was slim, wearing an old-fashion floral house dress with an apron, the type you’d see on a farm wife from the 50’s. For a moment, they stood together at the foot of my bed with friendly looks before turning and heading down the hall. In my dream, I followed them into my bathroom where they disappeared behind my shower curtain. When I pulled back the curtain, they were going through the tile wall. Just as she was halfway through, the taller one turned to me. I told her. “I’m not afraid.” She smiled and replied, “We know. But it’s not your time.”

Okay, fast forward a year or so. Different dream. Same bathroom. I’m in bed and hear music and see lights coming from the bathroom in the middle of the night. I push the door open and instead of my rather dull bath, I find a party in full swing, complete with a crowd seated at scattered, small round tables, like in a nightclub. There are people of all ages and types, including a group of young boys wearing school uniforms. No one is eating or drinking, but they are chatting with each other and having a good time. An elderly woman offers me a seat at her table and I take it. After a few minutes, I lean over to her, “You’re a ghost, aren’t you?” She smiles, “Everyone here is but you.”

Okay, before you all starting wondering about my alcohol and drug consumption, let me tell you, I’m nearly a teetotaler. Not quite, but close.

Now these two instances are bizarre enough on their own, but I gotta tell ya, I get most of my best writing inspiration and ideas when I’m in that particular shower. Coincidence? I’m not so sure.

When I started writing my Madison Rose Vampire Mysteries, I thought I had the idea down pat. I had listed my main characters and created their backstories. I’d even finished several chapters. One morning, after I’d written for a couple of hours, I took my morning shower. While I was shampooing, I heard the deep voice of a man say to me, “I am Samuel La Croix. I was a slave in Egypt two thousand years ago. I am blind and the head vampire.”

Really, I heard that. Finishing quickly with my shower, I went straight to the computer and pounded out Samuel’s character notes and backstory. His presence in the series changed everything for the better. He is also my personal favorite. After all, the man saw me naked.

I have no plans on moving soon. I’m worried my writing would suffer if I did.

And I’m still not afraid.

14 comments:

CPatLarge said...

Oooh - I want a bathroom like that!

Lana said...

So cool! Can I come visit?
(lana_h16@yahoo.com)

CPA Mom said...

Spooky! I wish I did have an otherworldly experience to share. Only one I have is after my husband died he did visit me one morning. I saw him on the edge of my bed as I woke up. Just smiling.

(angcpamba@hotmail.com)

Jill said...

My "other-world" experience happened in college. It involved a Ouija board and very loud knocks on the door by "no one" at 4 in the morning. The invisible knocks were witnessed by an uninvolved third party. And I WAS afraid - scared the bejeepers outta me (my friends and I even burned the board afterwards!).
jilliebean29@yahoo.com

gregkshipman said...

First of all let me say I’m not crazy (don’t most crazy people say that?)…

‘Bout 15 years ago I had a dream (vivid). My recently deceased brother (now a ghost?) and I were driving down a highway in an’86 944 Porsche Turbo… (a car we both loved but could never afford). I was driving and he commented on how nice it was. I mentioned how expensive it was and how I could never afford one— he smiled and said, ‘It’s yours, bro… if you don’t hesitate.’

The car was silver gray with matching interior…

A week later I was driving by a Buick dealership and saw an ’86 Porsche Turbo sitting on its hill. I drove into the dealership found a salesman… heard the price… yanked out my over-used checkbook... bought the car. I left my Mazda 626 on the lot for later pick-up and drove my Porsche home… It was silver gray with matching interior… (and it still is)

Thank you, bro…

gregkshipman said...

First of all let me say I’m not crazy (don’t most crazy people say that?)…

‘Bout 15 years ago I had a dream (vivid). My recently deceased brother (now a ghost?) and I were driving down a highway in an’86 944 Porsche Turbo… (a car we both loved but could never afford). I was driving and he commented on how nice it was. I mentioned how expensive it was and how I could never afford one— he smiled and said, ‘It’s yours, bro… if you don’t hesitate.’

The car was silver gray with matching interior…

A week later I was driving by a Buick dealership and saw an ’86 Porsche Turbo sitting on its hill. I drove into the dealership found a salesman… heard the price… yanked out my over-used checkbook, bought the car. I left my Mazda 626 on the lot for later pick-up and drove my Porsche home. It was a silver gray with matching interior… (and it still is)

Thank you, bro…

(gregkshipman@yahoo.com

Janel said...

I had to come and read this past after I saw you mention it on Facebook! My WIP has a ghost residing in the bathroom. :)

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janet A said...

Sue Ann, we have a ghost in our house. He is friendly, no not Casper, protective of me when i don't feel well. He even rode on the treadmill with me one morning. I have seen him several times.

Since I have already won one of your books, I guess I should take me out of the running. Lucky person who wins. I have read Baited Blood. It's great!

Vickie said...

My other worldly experience was working in a haunted pizza joint in England. I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath (Iam retired USAF) in late 80's and found a part time job in the nearby town at Pizza Works (So You Don't Have To) as a pizza delivery person.

One night, I had to use the facilities which was upstairs in the apartment set up above the pizzaria. All of the doors upstairs were wide open, so I went around closing them. I went in to use the bathroom, came out very shortly as there was only the cook and I to watch the place and I had to get back downstairs.
Every door was open again. I closed them as I headed back downstairs. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I heard noises above me...back up I went...the doors were open again.

I told the pizza maker and he grinned. "Did we forget to tell you that the place is haunted?"
Uh...yeah...

Apparently the lady who'd owned the place forever had died upstairs and was still meandering around the place. She liked the doors open up there and she like to come down and help put pizza boxes together. A friendly ghost.

I look forward to reading this series, too. I already love Ghost of Granny Apples series.

VWinship at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Aunt Lizzie is a legend among my relatives. A crazy, mean old lady who loved dogs, specifically black/white terriers, all named Dolly. Aunt Lizzie would never ever use her good china so, when she died, out came the good china for the wake. I was standing at the table (no cloth), waiting my turn to pick up a plate along with about fifteen other rels when there was an enormous whomp! and the china on the table rattled. People jumped and looked under the table thinking a kid had done it. Nope. No kid. Laughter and then back to the food. The next person to pick up a plate did so and moved on. The person after him, picked up a plate. Only problems was it was a half of a plate. The entire stack of about 20 plates had broken in half.

I adopted a shelter dog a week ago. It's a black and white terrier, very much like those she loved. Now the problem is...I can "feel" Aunt Lizzie and it seems she's come to stay. I keep tellin' her, "Hey! This is my dog!" but...any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

At least with ghosts in the home, you'll never be alone!

Michele said...

About ten years ago I was checking in on a elderly neighbor a few times a week. One morning I didn't want to go over because I felt like I would find her dead. I tried convincing my sister to go over but she wouldn't. Well I got over there and the lady was just fine making her breakfast. I took her dog out and did what else I had to do.

I go home a few hours later and I was told to call a friend of mine who also was taking care of a some older ladies. My sister then said "By the way one of them passed away this morning." I whirled around and said it better not be a joke. I called my friend who confirmed one of the ladies died that morning...

redcurleyz@hotmail.com

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I love all of these stories! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I've also had other paranormal experiences that were not in my present bathroom. While I write about both ghosts and vampires, I only believe in the ghosts. ;)

Diana James said...

Sue- I love to hear from those who have paranormal experiences to share, especially those who are open to the spirit world. My grandmother was a medium and I've seen and heard many unusual things in her 150 year old farm house. Grandma loved knowing that her ancestors still resided in her home and felt at peace there.