“Great to see such a good turnout on a filthy night like this,” said the creative writing tutor. “Without more ado I’ll introduce our first speaker on Ghosts and Writing Ms Marcia Killington Webley.” “Hi, there,” the smart young woman began, “As y’can guess, I’m from across the pond. Born in New York, college in Boston. Now, y’all have seen books by famous people, pop stars, athletes, footballers and such. Have you ever thought how someone so busy can find time to write their life story? D’you know what they do? They get someone like yours truly to give a helping hand. Sometimes we get an acknowledgement with ‘as told to…’ on the cover, mostly it’s just the cash, But remember Doctor Johnson said ‘no one but a fool ever wrote except for money’ Well, folks, that’s me.”
She went on to talk about famous people she had worked with and how they treated a ghostwriter. At the end of the talk the tutor invited questions.No-one could think of any.
The second speaker was Margaret Bosworth, a pleasant middle-aged woman with greying hair and glasses. “How many of you read “Woman’s Own?” she asked, “Woman’s Weekly? The Lady?” Several hands went up. “I write short stories for these, some of them about ghosts. I’ve also had factual pieces in “Paranormal Quarterly” and “A Guide to Haunted Houses in Essex”.I’d like to read you one of my latest stories…”
Her audience settled down to enjoy the tale. When Margaret had finished there were the usual questions about where she got her ideas and whether she wrote on a computer screen or in a notebook and the best way for a would-be writer to get into print.
The third speaker was entirely different; she was quietly dressed in a long brown ankle-length outfit. She gave no introduction, just assumed her audience were familiar with her work. “There are some ghosts appearing in my tales, of course, as there are in those of my sisters. With the surroundings of our home it could hardly be otherwise. The ghost of Catherine is an important part of my best-known story. In fact without her the tale would lose much of its force.” At this point she began a lengthy extract from Wuthering Heights. It sent shivers down the spines of her audience. She ended by asking “Do ghosts exist outside a writer’s imagination?” Suddenly a clock struck twelve, even though it was nowhere near midnight. “I regret I must take my leave, thank you for listening.” With that the ghost of Emily Bronte walked out of the room through the wall. No trace was found on the outside of the building just a solid wall on the second floor. She had certainly answered her own question.