It’s always fascinating to learn what inspires authors and their work. Some writers are hugely inspired by their surroundings, others by the things they see and hear or their own personal experiences. Here we find out a little more about author Estelle Maher, author of the hugely popular novel Grace and the Ghost.
From dancing grey figures to falling coins and screaming children, Liverpool writer and blogger Estelle Maher knew from a young age she had something akin to a sixth sense.
It started with a dream, or so she thought when she was just five-years-old. A dream she still vividly recalls 40 years on.
“I remember it as clear as day,” explains the Amazon bestselling author.
I woke up screaming and I could see the form of a person. It was all grey but was bleeding into various colours. It started to dance and that’s when I screamed.
“My parents came in and told me it was just a dream. I believed that for a while but looking back I think that was my first paranormal experience.”
By the time she reached her teenage years, Estelle began experiencing other strange happenings which made her question whether what she’d seen that night had indeed been just a dream.
“In the 80s we moved to Wareham in Dorset and lived in a fairly new house. My niece and nephew also lived there for a bit and after a while, all sorts of strange things happened.
“Doors started slamming and there were sounds of children screaming and playing. Mum and dad eventually moved back to Liverpool and I stayed in the house with my sister where strange things continued to happen. When I left, my sister said it all stopped.
“Every house I’ve lived in since then has been haunted and I think it’s connected to me in some way.
“I think for whatever reason my presence triggers something. I’m not quite sure how but if there is anything spiritual connected to a house I seem to disturb or unsettle things.
“I don’t for one minute think that I’m some kind of psychic or medium – I just think I act a bit like an aerial and pick up on things that other’s don’t.
I don’t think death is black and white and I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts or spirits but I do question what happens to all the energy a person carries when they die. It cannot just disappear `– it has to go somewhere.”
Recalling her strangest paranormal experience 45-year-old Estelle explains: “The first night I moved in with my husband, Pete, things started happening. We were upstairs in the bathroom.
“The two of us were just standing there and all of a sudden something fell between us. We were both really taken by surprise. When we picked the object up it turned out to be an Irish penny.
“Thankfully the experience didn’t frighten Pete away and we are still together all these years later. But, to this day we still have no idea where the penny came from. We still have it and keep it in a pot in the cupboard. It’s kind of become our good luck charm.”
Estelle, who now lives on the Wirral with Peter and their two children, Chloѐ (18) and son Zack (12), has never before spoken publicly about her paranormal experiences.
But, she has opened up after publishing her top-selling debut novel Grace and the Ghost – a book about life, fate and divine intervention.
Combining romance and humour Grace and the Ghost follows the journey of a young woman who becomes haunted by a man named Crowley and finds her long-held beliefs about heaven and earth being challenged.
Released on Amazon earlier this year, the book has already climbed its way up the charts to become an Amazon Bestseller.
Estelle, who is supported in her writing by publishing organisation Team Author UK and is currently penning the sequel Angel’s Rebellion, says: “I guess one of the first things people want to know when you’ve become a published author is where the inspiration for your work comes from.
“I’ve been writing on and off since I was a teenager, scribbling on wallpaper covered exercise books but until Grace and the Ghost, I didn’t feel anything I’d previously written had the legs to become a successfully published book.
“Grace, the main character, is not based on me as such but I guess some of the challenges she faces and the questions the book raises about life and death do ultimately reflect some of the weird and wonderful paranormal experiences I’ve encountered throughout my life.
“It’s not a ghost story but it does make you think about whether life is dictated by us, fate or divine intervention.”
Estelle, who is also the author of popular a popular lifestyle blog recalls an overwhelming urge to write Grace and the Ghost.
“I was on my way home from work one night and Crowley the ghost popped into my head and he wouldn’t go away. It was like he was nagging me to write his story and I’m so glad I did as it’s really kickstarted my lifelong dream of becoming a published author.”
For more information on Estelle’s work and to keep up to date with her latest novel Angel’s Rebellion, which is due for release in 2018, visit www.estellemaher.com.