Will O’ the Wisp is a paranormal tale from C. S. Boyack. It involves a mildly handicapped girl facing a mysterious threat. The wisp has been killing off Patty Hall’s family for generations, and she’s next on the list. It is suitable for young adult readers. It’s a perfect Halloween read.
All stories involve some kind of research. I set this story in 1974, because I wanted Patty to use her wits, and display a bit of patience in revealing this story. Suspense is a great story technique, and having high speed internet would have spoiled some of the fun.
1974 threw down the first research challenge. I was around in ’74, but memories fade over time, and I had to verify my details. Patty’s home town has an International Harvester dealership, there’s a Montgomery Wards catalog store too. Greyhound Busses make an appearance in the story, along with the early microwave ovens.
Some of these things are still with us, but they had a different nuance back then. A microwave oven was looked at as a modern miracle. Pay telephones were the order of the day in an era before cellular. I even researched the baseball playoffs and incorporated them into the story. Who can forget Catfish Hunter?
This is a paranormal story. I had to research the American colonies, and discovered an old system of land grants called hundreds. These were basically 100 acre grants for forming new colonies.
The Will O’ the Wisp is a very rare natural phenomenon. Modern science still doesn’t know exactly what they are, but they’ve been reported all over the world and in almost every culture. They are associated with swamps, old cemeteries, and earthquakes. I even found one, and only one, video of them appearing right before a Canadian earthquake.
It’s hard to research something so rare. Theories abound as to swamp gasses that ignite, to a plasma phase of some rare element, to tectonic plate friction. As humans drain swamps, and fill in marsh lands they are becoming even more rare worldwide.
Legends from all over the world involve ignis fatuus, Jack o’ lantern, fairy lights, and more. The legend usually involves some evil spirit leading a traveler to his or her doom.
In my mind, it was witchcraft. It ties in with colonial America, makes a great curse, and sets the stage for Patty’s adventure. Salem, Massachusetts seems like the logical place to set this tale, but that’s been done before. I learned that most of the colonies have records of witchcraft in one form or another. I set my story in Virginia.
Patty goes on quite the adventure, and I’m very happy with this book. I hope you’ll give it a chance.
You can pick up a copy on Amazon using your Kindle or a free reading app. Download it here:
North American version:
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
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