Behind the Scenes Don't Date the Haunted

Behind the Scenes of “Don’t Date the Haunted,” Prologue

Want to learn the secrets behind “Don’t Date the Haunted”? How about the deleted prologue?

If you’re reading this, you are awesome. Why? Come on, do you really need a reason? You’re awesome enough that you shouldn’t need a reason, but ONE reason you’re awesome right this very moment is because you’re reading my post, and that gives me warm fuzzies. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back for brightening someone’s day.

See? You’re awesome.
Because you’re awesome, I want to share some secrets with you. Okay, they’re not super secret, but up to this moment only about ten people in the world of 7 billion (and counting!) knew about what I’m going to tell you. That’s right, I’m going to take you Behind the Scenes of my published book, “Don’t Date the Haunted”! If you haven’t read it yet, that’s fine. I won’t start giving dirty glares until my post of chapter 3. Maybe 4.

I’m going to take this chapter by chapter to make it easier for you (as readers) to find your favorite scenes and get the nitty gritty details. Also, this book took me 4.5 years to write, edit, edit, edit, and publish. That means I have a LOT to say about it.

So, let’s get started on the prologue!

Wait…You ask, “Prologue? There isn’t a prologue.”
To which I respond, “Exactly!”
This is what I mean by Behind the Scenes! Secrets, secrets, secrets!

Yep, so “Don’t Date the Haunted” originally had a prologue of Pansy and Sean defeating their last Haunting. It was set six months before the rest of the book, so it didn’t belong as Chapter One when the very next chapter said “Sean is dead” and no explanation was given (until much later in the book–shhh!).

If you’ve read “Don’t Date the Haunted,” then you know that Pansy and Sean went searching for a Haunting because their year remission was almost up, and they didn’t want a Haunting to attack them during their upcoming high school graduation or wedding. This concept has been true ever since I determined how the world of Novel works between Hauntings, Romances, Cases, Adventures…etc. Sean’s last Haunting has always been against a poltergeist. How that poltergeist functioned, however, changed between drafts.

Here are some sections from a later draft:

We fled down the hallway of a colonial mansion as knives lodged themselves into the wall behind us.  Tracking the movement of the poltergeist was difficult since we couldn’t see it, but its path of destruction was clear.  A trail of fire from shattered lights and ripped cords illuminated the front room.  We scurried into the kitchen and around the island.  It was a terrible hiding place, but barricaded us from the next foray of knives.  A fire-poker sailed over our heads and skewered the painting across the room.
. . .
Sean and I crouched low as the kitchen shredded itself.  Drawers sprang open and every sharp utensil from cleavers to butter-knives flew through windows and glass-doored cupboards.
. . .
The knives landed dangerously close, though any knife in the room was dangerously close.  I nodded to Sean and he chucked a metal spoon beneath the table to send a clatter in that direction.  The poltergeist fell for the distraction and flung a knife at the table.  I took the chance to swing the last drops of my water bottle over our counter barricade.

A small sizzle and screech confirmed that my water struck the poltergeist.  In its moment of weakness, Sean and I bolted for the back door.  The stupid thing was locked and sealed with rubber cement.  Sean and I kicked at the door together.  My ankle twinged with the off-balance collision as the glass shattered.  We tumbled through and stumbled back to our feet.  A paring knife and three butter knives hovered in the air, as if held by the poltergeist.  Their points marked us.
Sean and I dashed into the backyard.  My ankle pricked with pain and I followed a step behind.  We couldn’t hide our footprints in the frosted spring grass, and we couldn’t run fast enough to escape.  We tried anyway.
We sprinted for the tool shed across the yard.  Halfway, a sharp pain zipped up my leg.  I screamed and fell forward.  Blood streamed down my calf from the paring knife sticking into the back of my knee.
. . .
I rolled to my back with my good leg.  Those three butter knives hovered over me and slowly turned down.  They would impale me.  I could already picture my pathetic obituary; “Death by butter knife, in the middle of a fresh lawn.” I survived a werewolf attack, bath of leeches, and serial killers to die like this?
. . .
The poltergeist had been too distracted with me to notice the little sprinkler heads pop out of the ground.  The knives fell with simple gravity, and I rolled out of their way.  Their previous master screeched like a car slamming on its breaks into a murder of crows: a sound of victory.

Finally.  But why did a knot in my stomach say it wasn’t over yet?

If you’ve read “Don’t Date the Haunted,” then you know that’s not exactly how it goes down. I changed their Haunting to a cabin in the woods with a mad scientist experimenting with poltergeists to twist the expected poltergeist functions and to clarify its limitations and powers.

The prologue was meant to pull the reader right into the action as it began with the ending of an earlier story. To quote my first editor: “Your first line is perfect. Simply perfect.”

Sean threw me one of his award-winning smiles as we scrambled from a poltergeist’s whirlwind of knives.

“Perfect” first sentence from cut prologue

Yeah, I really liked that first line too. That’s why a revised version is the second line in the final print. However, that same editor also told me to make the prologue important or cut it.
Guys, believe me. I tried to make it important. I tried to fill it with information about the poltergeist and cut later explanations in the book…But it felt forced. So…goodbye prologue.

If you’re super sad that the prologue wasn’t included, don’t you worry! I’m writing a prequel novella that spans the time from Oz’s death to Sean’s last Haunting. If you’ve read “Don’t Date the Haunted,” then you already know how it’s going to end, but trust me when I say it’s a roller coaster to how they get there.
If you haven’t read “Don’t Date the Haunted,” you can buy it in eBook or paperback on Amazon. Feel free to read one chapter at a time with me as I reveal a new Behind the Scenes post each week! We should finish around the time for Book 2’s publication!

3 replies on “Behind the Scenes of “Don’t Date the Haunted,” Prologue”

[…] The second reason I’m freaking out is this is the LAST CHAPTER of Behind the Scenes for “Don’t Date the Haunted!” Squee!It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, just in case. If you haven’t read “Don’t Date the Haunted,” please-please-please go finish it before reading this post of Behind the Scenes! If you don’t have it yet, you can get it from Amazon! Then, I highly suggest you start with the beginning Behind the Scenes posts of the Cover and Prologue. […]


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