Category Archives: Haunted Hospitals

Eerie Edmonton

I just got the signed contract back from Dundurn Publishing, so it is official! Eerie Edmonton is a go!

While I was working on Haunted Hospitals I met up with Rona and Ben of The Paranormal Explorers here in Edmonton to talk about their investigation of the Charles Camsell Hospital. I was straight-up with Rona and Ben from the start, letting them know that I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to paranormal phenomena but if they were willing to accept that I was willing to accept that they believed everything they were telling me. It worked out really well. I got some great stories for the book and I enjoyed the time I spent with them.

So, when Dundurn invited me to pitch them a new book after Haunted Hospitals came out, I pitched to Rona first. “Why don’t we team up and write a book about haunted locations in Edmonton? You’ll come to it from the point of view of a believer, I’ll come to it from the point of view of a skeptic (but one who likes a good creepy story) and we’ll meet in the middle?” She agreed.

Even better? Rona shares my interest in local history so after we’ve investigated the haunted locales around the city, we’re going to research them to see if what Rona sees and experiences matches up with actual historical events.

I’m going to do all the writing, Rona will lead the investigations, and we’ll work together on research.

It’s gonna be awesome πŸ™‚

Oh, and you can be a part of it! If you have seen or experienced something spooky that you can’t explain here in Edmonton, please use the form below to get in touch with me. I’d love to hear your story and maybe investigate the location where it takes place with Rona.

Using this form will give me access to your email address and I may reply to you at that email address. Your story, name or identifying information will not be used in the book without your permission. I promise.

So. Exciting!

My WWC Schedule

When Words Collide is kinda my jam. Technically apparently it’s a ‘Festival for Readers and Writers’ but I just call it my favourite convention, and I go every year.

There is a ridiculous amount of programming at WWC. I’m not kidding. There are twelve separate programming tracks, and it’s not like there are three real program tracks and a whole bunch of filler. Nope. All of these tracks are packed full of awesomeness so I wanted a bit more time to take it all in. So this year my schedule is a bit more laid back than on previous years πŸ™‚

Friday

1pm — Live Action Slush: Early Bird Edition (Fireside)

Bring the 1st page of your short fiction manuscript to be anonymously read aloud and
receive comments from our editors.

This was the first ever panel I was on (at WWC or any convention ever) and it was so much fun I ask to be put on it every year.

5pm — Blue Pencil Session (Heritage)

Bring the first page or two of your manuscript (max 1000 words, typed, double-spaced) for
1-on-1 feedback from an editor.

These are booked ahead of time and I’m fully booked already (though there is usually a wait ist you can get on in case someone cancels). If you are one of the people coming to see me it’s a really good idea to send your work ahead of time so we don’t spend all our time together with me reading.

Saturday

11am — Equus Book Social (Fireside)

Whether winged or at home in the water, mechanical or mythological, the equines that gallop through the pages of the Equus anthology span the fantasy spectrum. From steampunk-inspired stories and tales that brush up against horror to straight-up fantasy, one theme connects them all: freedom. Join several contributors (and a couple special guests)
as they read short excerpt from their stories.

This is going to be awesome. I’m just sayin’…

12pm — Tyche Books Presents (Fireside)

Tyche Books introduces new books for 2017. Join the editors and attending authors for teaser readings and Q&A.

Okay, so I’m not actually ON this panel, my book from Tyche is a 2018 title, however since this panel immediately follows the Equus panel I can’t see any reason why people shouldn’t just hang around and watch it too πŸ˜‰

4pm — Edge Publishing Presents (Fireside)

I’ll be talking briefly about the upcoming Tesseracts anthology that Greg Bechtel and I just finished putting together. Mostly, however, there will be readings from Edge authors πŸ™‚

8pm — Autographs

I will be taking part in the mass autograph signing as will many Equus and D is for Dinosaur contributors so if you have a copy of either anthology this is the best place to collect a whole bunch of signatures πŸ™‚

Sunday

2pm — Featured Author (Edge Publishing booth in the Vendor Room)

I’ll be spending an hour hanging out at the Edge Publishing booth in the vendor room. Last time I was the Featured Author I managed to wrangle two other people (Cat McDonald and Sandra Wickham) into joining me so we had a trifecta of awesome featured authors, so who knows what this year will hold? Swing by to talk about, well, whatever you wanna talk about. It’ll be fun πŸ™‚

4pm — Collaborative Publishing (Fairview)

How HAUNTED HOSPITALS was born, created and developed (inspiration, origin story, how we divided the book up, and tools we used). This workshop provides insights on how to successfully collaborate on a writing project.

Haunted Hospitals wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for When Words Collide. Mark and I talk about it specifically and also more generally about collaboration πŸ™‚

If you’re going to be at When Words Collide I hope to see you there! And please don’t be shy, even if we’ve never met before if you see me, please come up and say hi πŸ™‚

Haunted Hospitals

Haunted Hospitals is officially out this weekend and the timing really could not be any better. You see, When Words Collide is next weekend and really, that’s where this all started.

A couple years ago I met my co-author, Mark Leslie, at WWC. I was sitting with him and a handful of other people at a table after the autograph session had concluded and I said, “You know, I live near a haunted hospital.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

We had several discussions via email and an in-person meeting at the next year’s WWC and slowly the plan for a book about haunted hospitals began to take shape.

And tomorrow that book is officially going out into the world!

I keep saying ‘officially’ it comes out tomorrow because last weekend I actually spotted a copy of it out in the wild — on the shelves at a local Chapters. Of course I squeed (like a total professional) and snapped some pictures.

I did leave it as I’d found it, spine out, on the shelf. So give me some points for that, anyway πŸ™‚

This was my first foray into book length non-fiction and though it was incredibly challenging it was equally rewarding. I owe my co-author, Mark, a huge debt for showing me the ropes and demonstrating incredible patience as he answered question after newbie question. It’s been a huge adventure.

An adventure that continues even now.

The first review of Haunted Hospitals came out in the Sudbury Star and was then picked up by the National Post.

“If paranormal phenomena are going to occur, what better place than in a hospital?” noted Parrish in the book’s introduction. β€œDay after day, the most extreme of human experiences play out within the walls of hospitals. The most intense emotions are experienced again and again. Birth. Death. Trauma. Suffering. If paranormal activity is tied to energy or emotions, hospitals are the perfect petri dishes in which to culture it.

β€œFurthermore, if human spirits are trapped on this earth by trauma, disturbance or unfinished business, again, what better location than a hospital to forge the chains that hold them here?”

Read the full review here.

And yesterday I was a guest on J’lyn Nye’s show on 630 CHED here in Edmonton. That was my first ever radio appearance and I was super nervous. People have said nice things though, so I guess I hid it reasonably well. I thought I talked too much and stammered but you can judge for yourself if you’re so inclined. For the next week the show will be archived here at theΒ 630 CHED Audio Vault. For the show I was on you’ll want August 3rd at 3pm πŸ™‚

Mark and I will be at When Words Collide next weekend (August 11 – 13 at Delta Calgary South) to talk about Haunted Hospitals and how it all came together. There will be copies available there and we’ll be happy to sign them, however tickets are sold out. But fear not! Even if you can’t attend this year’s WWC you can still get a copy of Haunted Hospitals.

It should be available at your favourite local bookstore and/or library (and if it’s not you can usually ask them to order it in) or you can totally pick it up online!

Haunted Hospitals Online:

Direct from the Publisher

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

(Note: Some of these links might be pre-order links until the book officially comes out)

Check it out and let me know what you think! And, if you have a scary, spooky or eerie hospital story of your own I’d love to hear it. Share it in the comments or drop me an email πŸ™‚

Haunted Hospitals Cover

I wasn’t going to share this just yet because my bio on the Amazon page is wrong (I haven’t lived in Calgary for 36 years) but I can’t resist πŸ™‚

Check. This. Out.

Haunted Hospitals

The cover for Mark and my book, Haunted Hospitals has been decided upon. What’s more, it’s all online and has a release date and everything! Exciting!

Making this move into non-fiction was definitely not easy but, thus far, it’s been a very positive and rewarding experience πŸ™‚

 

p.s. I’m glad this is the cover which got used in the end. I liked the hospital beds option, thought it did a fantastic job of capturing the lonely, institutional feeling of a great many of these stories and the hospitals they are set in, but “Mary” captured my heart from the beginning. I love the colours, the imagery of an empty hallway (who knows where it leads?) and I think when it’s sized down to a thumbnail it will be much more legible than the beds.

p.p.s. I named this apparition Mary (and Mark was lovely enough to go along with it) because, as I frequently bemoaned on social media while I was researching this book, a disproportionately high number of female ghosts are named Mary. It makes me happy to see us continuing with that tradition πŸ˜‰