I Returned to the Scene of the Crime…and it was Magic

The most amazing thing happened to me the other day. I returned to the “scene of the crime”—the Cavanaugh House—and my characters showed up.

THC-BookCoverPreview-2While visiting my family in upstate New York, my husband Rich and I drove to the house that, for me, is the Cavanaugh House. There it stood, looking more forlorn than ever. The weirdest thing happened as I stood in the yard looking at it. I could feel Jesse Graham, my protagonist, there. Scenes from The Cavanaugh House floated before me as I stood and watched: Joe swinging the scythe while Jesse pushed the lawn mower; Maggie sipping a glass of wine; Bert parked on the two-track driveway; Marty helping Jesse after she found the threatening note tucked in her door; the whole crew grilling Zweigle’s white hots and drinking Genesee beer in the backyard. I could hear their voices. I could sense Helen.

I also “saw” scenes from the sequel, Buried Secrets, due out in August. I saw Jesse, so upset, after the Fall Soiree at Wyndham Manor, sitting on the back porch step, hurling a beer bottle at a tree. I saw her with Maggie after Jesse got shot at the dressage event at St. Bart’s. I saw Joe in his Carhartt’s, dozing on her front porch, waiting for her to get home.

I told myself, “Stop. That is all fiction. Those people aren’t real.”

But standing there in the yard of the Cavanaugh House, they were very real.

There’s a wonderful book called Inkheart by Cornelia Funk in which a father has such a powerful gift for reading stories that he reads the characters to life. That’s how I felt as I stood there. What a sensation. To actually feel as if my characters were right there with me. I was hoping to see Jesse give me a thumbs-up—her approval of my telling her story.

Rich and I visit the Finger Lakes

When I published this book, I wrote about my journey from conception to delivery in a May 2014 blog post, The Cavanaugh House Has Arrived!,  I wrote about the mysterious way we found the exact house I had pictured as the idea for the book came to me. There has been a mystic sense to this book all along—from my muse, Boris, whispering the first words in my ear, to this experience of my characters. Why was I surprised that my visit to the scene of the crime would be any less magical?

Have you encountered characters in a special way? Either as a reader or as a writer?

The Cavanaugh House is available on Amazon.







4 thoughts on “I Returned to the Scene of the Crime…and it was Magic

  1. Kathleen Shaputis says:

    Isn’t it amazing how some characters are so vivid in our hearts and imagination? I believe this comes across in our writing, making their feelings and adventures come alive on the pages of the story. I have just started a third book with my “Her Ghost Wears Kilts” characters as they are too excited and demanding to be content with just the sequel. How incredible to find the exact house you envisioned, though. It is truly magical and meant to be.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Vivid characters bring our stories to life for sure, Kathleen. How wonderful that you continue to bring your characters -especially ghostly Scottish ones – to life! Sometimes one book, or even two, just aren’t enough to tell all of their stories. LOL All best with “Her Ghost Wears Kilts”!

  2. Excellent post! As a young girl, I “felt” the Ingals family on my grandparent’s farm. The chores, the hard work, and even my grandfather helped me connect personally with Laura.

    Your adventure sounds so exciting! Thank you for sharing.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      How wonderful to connect with Laura Ingalls! I imagine those characters were very present to you while you helped with the chores, CeeCe. Thanks for stopping by.

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