Medium Wave

Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live on air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival.

‘This thing has no defined shape. Whatever energy exists within it, it cannot settle on a shape. The strands of darkness curl out and then wrap back inwards. The bulk of the shadow becomes concave, then bulbous, the height building in on itself but lacking any skeletal structure to wrap itself around. There are no eyes, no clearly defined head shape. It is creating itself from darkness, like a swirl of ebony ink dropped into a vat of putrid water, spreading silently….’

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About Rose Zolock
Her Irish grandmother first told Rose about the Banshee when she was just a small child. How the wailing sound of the spirit of the dead and dying could be heard when someone was about to pass.

It was family folklore that the women in the family had ‘the touch’, the ability to see spirits and other dimensions. Rose listened and grew up fascinated by those who claimed to have supernatural or psychic abilities.

Rose does not claim to have those powers. Take her to Venice in February when the mist swirls over the canals, walk by her side along the darkened streets of Greenwich Village in New York City in high summer, listening to a ghost walk tour guide tell the stories of death, murder and the unexplained – Rose would say those stories and our belief in them gives her a power to see into the shadows within our imagination.

As a journalist, Rose takes every opportunity to explore and investigate strange stories, myth and folklore. Living in rural Yorkshire, with a rich library of ghost stories and literary tradition, Rose also has a sceptical and forensic insight into those who peddle the stories which feed our imagination but of which we have yet found no proof. She has listened to the debunkers who argue against those believers who are convinced that sand the dark side exist.

Rose’s mind is open. Is yours?


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Rose Zolock

Guest Blog on the creative process for being an author.

Thomas Harris – who brought us the character Hannibal Lecter in the novels Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs – once wrote:

‘You must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up. It’s all there and you just have to find it’.

As a reader of horror and the paranormal, you may believe that statement is a bit of a stretch. After all, dark places, unspeakable scenarios, swirling mists and things hiding under the bed have to be made up in order to entertain and frighten. As a reader, you actually take comfort from the fact that you are reading fiction, a story, feeling quite safe holding the book in your hands with the lights on.

As a writer within the horror genre, let me assure you that Thomas Harris is correct. The creative process of creating characters and a scenario designed to frighten you has also to frighten me, the writer. When my novel Medium Wave was complete, I handed a copy to my mother who was familiar with my work as a journalist and broadcaster, where I often explored actual dark places in real life. She went away, with an expectation of a good story but she is neither a fan, nor a consumer of the horror genre and I smiled as she proudly clutched the manuscript. Two days later, she came to see me. She threw the book on the kitchen table. She eyed me closely. ‘Is there something wrong with you?’ she asked. ‘Where did THAT come from?’ There was a discussion and it was obvious to me that my mother was clearly disturbed about the subject matter of mediums and entities and of near death experiences. She also guessed one of the fictional characters was based on herself. I think it was the constant mention of the use of bleach, not wearing black all the time and the expressing of excessive maternal concern. I explained to her, as I now explain to you, the true nature of horror and the creative process of writing is a combination of experience, real fear mixed with an infusion of imagination.

For me, the creative process begins with an image. In Medium Wave, the image was a mirror, old, and with an aged patina and ornate scroll work carved into the black wood frame. I saw it in an antique shop and it was very expensive but there was something beguiling and mysterious about it. The starting point with all my writing is research. In Medium Wave, all of the paranormal incidents are based on actual incidents of alleged hauntings, or on objects with a history within the paranormal experience. Add imagination and feed the fear they suggest – the unexplained, the power of the mind, to think the unthinkable – and then to create characters who are believable. Once you’ve done that, your framework is complete. Medium Wave centres on a radio broadcaster who convinced the world she could hear the dead speak. She was lying, but not anymore. That concept drew me in and allowed me to create a story where fear could weave its way through everything and stitch together the various strands of the narrative.

I faced one big fear of my own during the writing of Medium Wave. For some inexplicable reason I have a fear of pictures of aircraft. No idea why, I fly on ‘planes frequently. I took that and worked on a story of a haunted Lancaster Bomber from WWII. Just researching the aircraft and stories of hauntings on disused airfields was very difficult for me. I had to look at many pictures, of the internal and external details of the plane, to create the concept of the restored bomber for the novel. Out of facing that fear, I believe, comes one of the most frightening narratives in the book.

There is a satirical view of the media in Medium Wave, a world I am very familiar with and wanted to play on its own sense of self-importance. I also wanted to explore why we believe in the paranormal and what place it has in a twenty first century world with so many real threats and an ongoing decline in the belief in conventional faith. Is this why so many people are attracted to it and believe in it? I have listened to many ghost stories and interviewed many who are convinced they have seen something or experienced something supernatural. They believe what happened actually did occur. I find it very interesting as to why they believe that, without, for one moment, doubting their sincerity.

The creative process of being an author draws all these elements together. Some say horror is a way of facing the very worst of possibilities from the safety of the pages of a book. In writing I want to make you question that principal, to tell you a great story and raise some questions in your mind. Perhaps, even, to keep you awake at night.

To quote Anton Chekhov:

‘Don’t tell the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.’

Enjoy exploring the fractured glimpses of ‘what if’ in Medium Wave.

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