It all began with a lazy Saturday, back in those days of trying to make a living as an adjunct professor. People often ask why such folks don’t do more publishing, but the fact is that as an adjunct most of your time outside class prep and teaching is spent looking for a full-time job. On a weekend, after all the job postings had been examined, I’d sometimes head to the local FYE and look through the bargain bins. I’d taken to watching horror as an inexpensive kind of therapy years before. I came home with a two-fer A Haunting in Connecticut and A Haunting in Georgia. I hadn’t heard of either one, but hey, this was bargain bin entertainment. It turned out they were television movie documentaries and they were scary, but not what I was looking for. I resisted watching the theatrical movies when they came out.
Eventually curiosity got the better of me, and I watched The Haunting in Connecticut and its sequel long after their release. The strangely named The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia dramatized the story of Heidi Wyrick almost beyond recognition. Since the documentary had been based on a true story I wondered what had happened. This wasn’t an Ed and Lorraine Warren case, so I turned to The Veil: Heidi Wyrick’s Story, written by two of Wyrick’s aunts. Much of the book follows the documentary, only, strangely, with less detail about some of the hauntings. It’s a quick read, and it’s fairly well paced. It is, however, self-published.
A real dilemma, I imagine, for anyone wanting to publish their paranormal activities (unless they’re already influentially famous), is how to find a publisher. From my own experience (and I work in the biz), finding a publisher isn’t getting any easier. Self, or vanity publishing offers a physical book, but the usual gateways to believability (editors, editorial boards, etc.) are missing. Established presses have reputation to worry about, and why take a chance when you can afford the luxury of buying projects that come to the top of an agent’s pile? I enjoyed The Veil—I appreciate the effort of those who have a heartfelt story to tell. But I couldn’t help thinking how much better it could’ve been with an editor’s guidance. Those of us who write are often too close to our own work to see the problems—this is the real danger in self-publishing. Hiring an editor is expensive and you need to have the income to do so, often creating a cycle of unaffordability. I’m curious as to what really happened in Georgia, and I’m still curious after both the book and movie.