Behind the Scenes Don't Date the Haunted

Behind the Scenes of “Don’t Date the Haunted,” Chapter 9

Movie nights! Where did “Nearly Dead Newlywed” come from? And what was the poltergeist’s name?

Ah, movie nights. If my roommates and I weren’t doing homework, or playing pranks and games (as told in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6), we were watching movies.

While at university, I made a many discoveries, including; first, I missed my parents and their large collections of VHS and DVDs. Second, I could spend money however I wanted. Third, Amazon sold lots of movies for under $5 year-round. So, I bought movies like “Twister” (1996), “The Mummy” (1999), and “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). You know, action films that have “dark romantic comedy” elements. My roommates had similar discoveries. We once had a Nacho Night of making nachos and watching “Nacho Libre” (2006) . . . Honestly, it was just an excuse to invite guys over. Movie nights without guys were often spent watching either “Hitch” (2005) or “She’s the Man” (2006) with a half-gallon of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream or Totinos pizzas.

One more memorable movie night, we convinced an apartment of guys to pull their couches from their living room to watch a movie projected onto the outside wall of our apartment building. I’m pretty sure the temperatures were below freezing…

With such memories, of course I had to give Pansy and her roommates a movie night.

Before I get into the details, please note; this is chapter NINE. If you haven’t read “Don’t Date the Haunted” up to this point, please remedy that before reading further. If you don’t have it, here’s the Amazon link>>>

For those who have read it and are curious why Pansy makes phone calls while she showers, it’s partially because I knew a guy who called his girlfriend while he showered. Not because he was paranoid or for safety reasons. While I imagined Pansy and Sean talking to each other over speaker phone, this guy would put his phone into a plastic bag to have it with him. So . . . at least Pansy’s not that weird.

When exploring the possibility of the prologue, I developed a background for the poltergeist that killed Sean. I deleted it because it was unnecessary information that cluttered the beginning of the story and didn’t fit anywhere else. His name was Ulysses Dethrage: Latin version of Odysseus, Greek meaning “to hate.” Dethrage is an actual last name that I came across while imprinting it on a set of scriptures. They were lovely people, but tell me there isn’t a more perfect name for a villain. I’m still working on the short-story prequel that will expand the story of Sean’s last Haunting.

As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve lived with, listened to, and witnessed other people go on a lot of dates. Some of the tidbits from Emma and Heather in this chapter are little gems I’ve harvested through these second-hand experiences. There’s the “girl code” rule about not dating the same boy as your roommate, so I tried to make the switch clear between Pansy and Heather with Theo and Jake. No poaching.

Whenever a guy’s interested in what a girl’s saying it’s because he’s interested in the girl.

Emma, from “Don’t Date the Haunted,” chapter nine

This statement was actually something I overheard between my brother and his guy friends. They were high school boys at the time, so . . . that’s why I included Pansy’s side of reason, “That can’t be the rule every time for every guy.” However, these same boys taught me the lesson of making a move, then waiting for them to make the next move as the ball was in their court.

Unfortunately, I didn’t study as well as Pansy until my later years at university. I was a queen of procrastination. I’d joke that “do” and “due” meant the same thing, and shout, “Procrastinators Unite! Tomorrow!” It was sometimes followed by “Misspellers Untie!” Since then, I’ve discovered ways to procrastinate . . . productively. Such as right now, I should be writing new words in my novels. Instead, I’m writing this blog post two weeks earlier than its scheduled post date.

I like to add “Procrastinate” on my To Do list. That way, I can check off at least one thing.

From my drafted presentation on procrastinating productively

That said, Pansy didn’t get the chance to procrastinate. We meet Marcellette’s fiancé, Lord Rochershire (who is, indeed, named after Rocher chocolates). Unlike the “historical texts” referenced in “Don’t Date the Haunted” (our classic novels), the movie that they watch, “Nearly Dead Newlywed,” is a product of my own imagination. Sounds like a fun “dark romantic comedy” though. I took a few sayings I’d collected through the years to add as supposed movie quotes.
In case you didn’t catch the inflection of the written word, when Theo says “You are beautiful,” Pansy’s response is like a statement with an after-thought, saying “You are too…kind.” Like, “You are also…[oh, wait, that’s awkward]…you’re kind.”

Surprisingly, I didn’t have any real second thoughts about Theo’s title. He was always The Trusted. The harder part was deciding why he was trusted, but I’ll explain that in Chapter Ten.

As for this chapter, this is the turning point in Pansy and Theo’s relationship. If you haven’t finished the book, please stop here because I’m about to spoil parts of the romantic plot.
Alright, if you’ve finished the book, then you know that Theo experienced Love at First Sight for Pansy. But it was one sided. At first, he thought it was just a mistake (“What if we introduce ourselves again?”). During the game night, he was simply and thoroughly confused. At the cathedral, he tried to be casual and hoped to gain her interest with his natural charm. By the end of the movie, he felt like he did everything he could, but thought he only pushed her away. When Emma and Marcellette mocked his title and Pansy tapped on his shoulder, he expected her to join the teasing. He was on the verge of giving up on Pansy and rationalizing away his feelings.
Then, Pansy surprised him. Good thing she did, or this book would have been a true tragedy.

2 replies on “Behind the Scenes of “Don’t Date the Haunted,” Chapter 9”

Commemorating BEF Day, quoting every line, or introducing each scene with “I’ve been there!” Good times, good times. 😀


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