Interview with Ken McGorry, author of 'Ghost Hampton'

Ken McGorry has been writing since third grade. (He learned in first grade, but waited two years.) He started a school newspaper with friends in seventh grade, but he’s better known for his 23 years as an editor of Post Magazine, a monthly covering television and film production. This century, he took up novel-writing and Ghost Hampton and Smashed are examples. More are in the works, like the promised Ghost Hampton sequel, but he’s kinda slow.

Ken lives on Long Island with his wife and they have two strapping sons. There are dogs. Ken is also a chef (grilled cheese, and only for his sons) and he enjoys boating (if it’s someone else’s boat). He has a band, The Achievements, that plays his songs (try Back at Manhattan College (English major!), he was a founding member of the venerable Meade Bros. Band. Ken really was an employee of Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons one college summer, and really did mow Dan’s lawn.


About the Book:

Author: Ken McGorry
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 450
Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Lyle Hall is a new man since his car accident and spinal injury. The notoriously insensitive Bridgehampton lawyer is now afflicted with an odd sensitivity to other people's pain. Especially that of a mysterious young girl he encounters outside a long-abandoned Victorian house late one October night. “Jewel” looks about 12. But Lyle knows she’s been dead a hundred years. Jewel wants his help, but it’s unclear how. As if in return, she shows him an appalling vision—his own daughter's tombstone. If it’s to be believed, Georgie’s last day is four days away. Despite Lyle’s strained relations with his police detective daughter, he’s shocked out of complacent convalescence and back into action in the real world.

But the world now seems surreal to the formerly Scrooge-like real estate lawyer. Lyle’s motion in court enjoining the Town of Southampton from demolishing the old house goes viral because he leaked that it might be haunted. This unleashes a horde of ghost-loving demonstrators and triggers a national media frenzy. Through it all strides Lyle’s new nemesis in high heels: a beautiful, scheming TV reporter known as Silk.

Georgie Hall’s own troubles mount as a campaign of stationhouse pranks takes a disturbing sexual turn. Her very first case is underway and her main suspect is a wannabe drug lord. Meanwhile, Lyle must choose: Repair his relationship with Georgie or succumb to the devious Silk and her exclusive media contract. He tells himself seeing Georgie’s epitaph was just a hallucination. But a few miles away the would-be drug lord is loading his assault rifle. Berto needs to prove himself.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Ghost Hampton came from a casual observation my wife made as we drove down a shady Westhampton lane. “I know the man who bought that house,” she said, gesturing at an old colonial. “He told me it’s haunted.” Oh, really? “Yeah, and it was once a brothel.” By the time we got out of the car I had the title for a new book.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Ghost Hampton was supposed to be easy. It wasn’t easy, and grew increasingly difficult as I delved further into it, until the work, the research and the editing verged on obsession. So how do you write obsessively and remain fresh and fun to those close to you?  I urge writers to step away from the desk. I finally took up a gym membership (five days a week!) and I’m better off for it.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Ghost Hampton was published by me. After a year and a half of author’s queries and many close calls with some high-end literary agents, I decided the book and I weren’t getting any younger. During that same time I had Ghost Hampton professionally edited (by three different people) and I rewrote quite a bit too. While lit agents were squeamish about my lead character’s various issues and bad reputation (as well as my unknown-ness as a fiction writer) I decided that readers were ready for a colorful character like Lyle Hall. Looks like I was right – readers, especially women readers, love Lyle!

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

There is something emotional about seeing the book in print form for the first time. I’d put years into the whole process. (And now I can sell Special Edition copies, the title page puckered with my own tears!)

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Ow. My first novel, Smashed (former Wall Street success goes to work in a substance-abuse rehab to save his relationship with his estranged son), is getting a good proofread right now for release in 2017. The sequel to Ghost Hampton is Ghost Hampton Harrier. It’s set in Sag Harbor and involves an old sunken ship.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

It is funny. Gruesome, but funny.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Selfishness may signify a deeper, hidden evil. If we look at infamous real-life mass murderers, aren’t they kinda selfish in the worst way? Meanwhile, our real-life heroes tend to be so not selfish.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Yes, I like to say that Ghost Hampton is about you! Why? Because, without readers, only our moms would read us!

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