By: Antara Roy O
“A scene should be selected by the writer for haunted-ness-of-mind interest.
If you’re not haunted by something, as by a dream, a vision, or a memory, which are involuntary, you’re not interested or even involved.” ― Jack Kerouac
I don’t know about you, but I love a good ghost story. Growing up in the Ozarks I remember hearing stories that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. There were no explanations, no reasoning, just a story, and it was scary. Naturally when I came across Ghost Stories, I jumped at the chance to talk with author, Antara Roy O.
Johnny– Hi Antara, thank you for taking the time to talk with me. This was so much fun! What made you want to write Ghost Stories?
Antara– Hi Johnny, it’s always a pleasure to talk to fellow ghost story enthusiasts, and good to be here!
I have always been a keen ghost story enthusiast. Perhaps, growing up in a small, quaint town with majestic pine trees all around me helped to nurture my interest in the paranormal. There was my grandma’s old, rambling bungalow up on a hill that is said to be haunted, and then there were plenty of ghostly tales that I listened to while sitting around bonfires during winter nights.
You could say that the atmosphere I grew up in was perpetually infused with countless supernatural tales. The ghosts were everywhere, part of my growing years, and I never stopped being intrigued by them.
Johnny– That sounds like a beautiful place. Has any of the stories you heard growing up ever been solved or explained scientifically?
Antara– None that I know of. It is hard to explore these inexplicable terrains and in a small town like ours, no one was up for exploring or finding a scientific perspective to things. Those who sighted the ghosts or experienced the hauntings told their stories, and those who were afraid kept out of the way! You could say that we mortals maintained a respectful distance from the supernatural beings.
Johnny– Are these stories that you’ve heard, or did you create them?
Antara-Most of these stories are inspired by true life encounters I have heard through the years, while some are works of my imagination.
Johnny– Are the works of your imagination inspired by something you may have experienced in real life?
Antara– Most of my stories are inspired by the eerie and majestic setting of my home town. I have once heard a door open all by itself in the dead of the night in my childhood home. Also, the true-life encounters of my immediate family members and relatives were enough to keep my creative spirit going.
Johnny– If you had to pick one out of your book, which would be your favorite?
Antara– My favorite would be ‘The girl by the lake.’ This story is inspired by a local legend about a beautiful girl who wanders around the highway, by a lake. She waylays travelers who are much smitten by her beauty and follow her into the depths of a forest.
Johnny– That one is my favorite as well. What made you a fan of the paranormal and supernatural? Have you ever experienced anything like that?
Antara– I have always been fascinated by the paranormal and supernatural. I have had a couple of experiences which have left me both terrified and intrigued. When I was in school, there was a ghost visiting our house and like I mentioned, I heard a door creaking and opening in the middle of the night. When we turned on the lights, there was no one around. Needless to say, such experiences are unnerving but they also make me feel alive and strangely curious about the otherworldly.
Johnny– Was this the only ghostly or paranormal experience you ever encountered?
Antara– There was one more, and this was much away from my original home. It happened here in the city that I now live in, Bangalore. A dear friend had lost his life in an accident and that very day I had seen a vision of him across the road. This experience chilled me to the bones and at the same time I was grateful that his spirit had appeared to come to bid me goodbye.
Johnny– Are you more fascinated or frightened by the unexplained?
Antara– I would say a good measure of both. At times my fascination helps me bridge over my fears and at times my fears keep my fascinations in check!
Johnny– In your opinion, what makes a good ghost story?
Antara– While there are no set rules to writing a good ghost story, but it helps to have the element of suspense. It is also important to create an apt eerie atmosphere, to draw the reader in and offer a completely satisfying, spooky experience. One of my readers told me once of how he loved the way one of my stories transported him to another world, as he sat waiting for his doctor’s appointment for a nasty ear infection.
Johnny– How do you collect ghost stories? Do people contact you or do you try to go out and experience it yourself?
Antara– Whenever I can, I speak to people of their supernatural experiences. Also, a really fascinating thing happened after I began to write and publish ghost stories. I started to receive messages on Facebook and Twitter from strangers who said they enjoyed reading my ghost stories and would like me to hear their stories. While some of these I have listened to and respected them for their personal details, the rest I plan to turn into stories, with the permission of the narrators.
Johnny– Tell me a little something about yourself , (where are you from, what do you do for fun, favorite foods, hobbies, pets etc…)
Antara– I come from the Eastern valleys of India, and although I have traveled far away from my home and have moved towns and cities ever since, my heart always belongs to my native valleys.
Other than my fascination with the paranormal, I love writing poetry. I write a lot of nature poems, some of which are motivational and inspirational. You can find my poems on Instagram (antara.ro). It does sound funny- my two interests, nature and the supernatural, but one does strangely complement the other, and I always believe that everything in the universe is inter-connected. I also enjoy playing the guitar and the piano. One of my favorite things to do is to head out on long drives with the music on. I enjoy baking and cooking new, exotic cuisines. When a newly cooked dish turns into a disaster, my dear husband is always there to encourage me to keep going.
Johnny– He sounds like an awesome individual. When you go out on long drives what kind of music do you listen to?
Johnny– Great bands! Sounds like a 90’s roadtrip waiting to happen. Is Ghost Stories the only book you’ve written?
Antara– I have written another book of short stories. These are mostly stories of childhood adventures. The book is named, ‘Simply, Bahadur,’ inspired by the character of an old, quirky gardener who worked in my grandma’s garden. These are gentle, feel good childhood tales describing the picturesque beauty of the valleys and the many delightful, eccentric people I met through my growing years.
Johnny– That sounds like a good read. It almost sounds like what we call around here, folk-stories, does the study of human behavior and customs interest you?
Antara– I’m immensely drawn to the study of human nature and folklore. There is so much magic in this world and I believe that one lifetime isn’t enough to thoroughly revel in it all!
Johnny– What other books do you have planned? Are you currently working on anything?
Antara– Presently, I’m working on a paranormal mystery novel. The story is set in an old, quaint town and there will be plenty of black magic and witchcraft thrown in. I’m truly excited to complete it and get it out into the world!
Johnny– Oh that sounds interesting, will this be released in 2020?
Antara– Yes, most definitely, and I hope it appeals to the lovers of spook and witchcraft out there!
Johnny– I’m sure it will! Thank you so much Antara for taking the time to talk to me, it has been a pleasure!
What can I say, I’m a sucker for the supernatural.
Growing up in the Ozarks nothing delighted me more than hearing a tale that made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It was exhilarating. It made me feel alive.
This is what delights me about Ghost Stories, Antara has captured in this book everything that I love, it’s both frightful and delightful!
Warning! 👻 Enter at your own risk. ⚠
From her native India she share tales that were passed down through local folklore and legend. Her prose is smooth and calm, her openings are so clear I feel as though I see the lay of the land a half a world away. The beauty of this book it that it’s without boundaries.
Ghost Stories does what governments has been trying to do for hundreds if not thousands of years, it unites us as people, it brings us together if only for a short amount of time as humans sharing a spine tickling experiences.
I’m giving Ghost Stories five stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on both Amazon and Goodreads. It fascinates me, it makes me feel young, it made me feel alive.
If you haven’t already read Ghost Stories I highly recommend that you do.
Antara has proven that she is a master of storytelling, passing along the spoken word of her ancestors to this written work of art.
Purchase ‘Simply, Bahadur,’ HERE.
Visit her Authors Page on Amazon.