I was doomed to be a writer. I wrote (well, dictated) my first book in first grade. It was about a witch and I’ve been writing about the supernatural ever since.
My formal education includes a degree in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. My ongoing studies are eclectic: Victorian death and mourning, dressed religious images, folklore, jewelry, costume history, doll houses and miniatures, Hispanic Colonial art, nuns (particularly cloistered orders).
I’ve done a fair number of jobs in my life: I’ve been a housecleaner (discovering a friendly neighborhood counterfeiter with a printing press in the basement), a church organist (accompanied by a ghost who sometimes sits in the dark church, listening to me practice), a technical editor and writer of children’s textbooks (yes, I wrote story problems!—the Horror….), and owner of a vintage clothing store (haunted by a ghostly man who pushed my assistant down the stairs.) It’s a full life….
I’ve written a series of books on the ghosts and ghostlore of Ohio: The Haunted Ohio series. These consist of Haunted Ohio, volumes 1 through 5 (I-V) as well as Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Haunted Ohio and Spooky Ohio: 13 Traditional Tales for younger readers and storytelling. Haunted Ohio volumes I-V are available both in paperback and e-book for Kindle. Ghost Hunter’s Guide and Spooky Ohio are available in paperback. The first of my newest series, The Ghosts of the Past, is The Face in the Window: Haunting Ohio Tales, a scrapbook of Victorian hauntings and horrors. The second in the series, The Headless Horror: More Haunting Ohio Tales was published in January 2013, tells of ghosts, as well as Fortean wonders and mysteries. The third, which expanded coverage to the US, is titled The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past. Our best-seller is The Victorian Book of the Dead, a macabre collection of the morbid and the mournful from the Victorian era. Ghosts, petrified corpses, undertaker interviews, and tales from the crypts. My newest book is A is for Arsenic: An ABC of Victorian Death, where I delve into the basics of Victorian mourning and death, with brilliantly gothic illustrations by award-winning artist Landis Blair.
I’ve also published a collection of short stories, A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales, as an e-book for Kindle. In these neo-Edwardian tales you’ll meet a sentimental succubus, a ghostly seamstress with a lethal reputation, a vindictive aunt demanding respect from beyond the grave, and a homicidal Edwardian housekeeper. Think Downton Abbey meets Dexter.
I grew up reading writers like Saki, Wodehouse, and Dickens and classical ghost stories by authors like M.R. James and E.F. Benson. I like subtle ghost stories and stories with details about sewing and costume history (see “Stitches” and “Crape”, in A Spot of Bother), because of my fascination with vintage clothing. “Crape”, for example, is a story about Victorian mourning conventions gone horribly wrong.
I’ve got a number of projects in the works including more books in the Ghosts of the Past series, the Killer Budgie blog, and a new fictional collection: Suction: Tales of Domestic Horror. The title story is about a haunted vacuum cleaner, reflecting my horror of housework.
I’m always happy to hear from my readers. The quickest way to reach me is to visit my Facebook page: Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard. And please visit my Killer Budgie Blog at http://www.hauntedohiobooks.com/the-blog-of-chris-woodyard/
Thanks for reading my books and happy hauntings!