Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe
A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.
Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.
She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.
Author Bio – I am a divorced mum of two adult sons and nana to three grandchildren, soon to be four. I’ve always had a notion to write but didn’t get round to it seriously until I became ill with M.E in 1995 when I was 40 and was too ill to continue my job as a learning support assistant in a mainstream high school. I was devastated to have to resign from my job but writing saved my sanity. My first attempt was a memoir, Shadow Across the Sun which covered the loss of my mum to breast cancer two days before my 13th birthday. When the rejections began to flow in from traditional publishers and agencies I joined a creative writing class and learned to write fiction. Whisper to Me is my 10th novel. I have a strong belief in the afterlife due to events following my mum’s death so most of my stories have some form of supernatural aspect to them.
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The Inspiration for Whisper to Me
The inspiration for Whisper to Me came from my mum and dad, and my stepmother’s scenario but it’s not their story, the events in the book are fictional. The true stories are in my two memoirs Shadow Across the Sun and Better or Dead.
My mum died of breast cancer aged 43 when I was 12 – two days off my 13th birthday – and my dad was devastated. He adored her. Everything he did he did for her. Without her his reason for living was gone but he did his best for my sister and I.
When he sat alone in his chair in the evenings watching TV my heart went out to him but on the nights when he went for a drink with his friends and came home maudlin and sentimental, fuelled by alcohol my sympathy vanished. It changed him, but it was on one of these occasions he told us what Mum had said. I don’t know if it was when she was ill or if it was just a passing comment made at random but it was the baseline for my story.
“Eric if I die you won’t remarry will you?”
He’d answered with something blunt like, “Don’t be bloody stupid.” No-one likes to think of dying young but then she did.
Nobody would ever match up to her, he idolized her, she was his perfect match, their characters balanced each other out. He was quite impatient where she wasn’t; she was a terrible worrier – something I’ve inherited – he took everything in his stride. They were soul mates. I only knew them ever have one argument and that was over a mix up where we’d meet in town when they’d split up to do different parts of the weekly shop. No, nobody else would ever match up to her.
He didn’t marry again for a long time. He dated a lovely woman called Elsie for a while but that came to a full stop when she lined up a matchstick on the table when they were out for every pint he had! He couldn’t possible have that!
It was some months later when the woman he married came along. Initially my sister, who was still at home at the time, and my auntie, Dad’s sister, liked her, said she was a bit like Mum, but the first time I saw her I thought she was nothing like my mum but if Dad was happy I was glad and if my sister could live with her then it was all good. I was married by that time and living in Stockton on Tees, 162 miles away from our family home in Stoke on Trent so it didn’t matter much whether I was bosom buddies with her or not, well at least that’s what I thought.
Her family were the most loud, large, overbearing mob you could ever imagine and when we visited I felt completely taken over. Within weeks my sister was unhappy, the woman’s cleanliness and hygiene standards were nil, she stank, the bungalow stank. My sister had a sensitive nose and we’d always been used to Mum’s spotlessly clean standards even when she’d been ill; Dad had no sense of smell. All these unsavoury attributes I gave to Sheena in Whisper to Me. I gave Sheena an unhousetrained Chihuahua. The real life model was a stinking toy poodle.
Dad’s new sister in law who was a much more fastidious and likeable person than his wife was interested in the spirit world and once said to him, “You know you can still sense Lily’s spirit here.” I knew that, we’d all always known it from the ghostly goings on since my sister and I had first communicated with Mum through an ouija board but that’s another story. I felt certain that my mum’s spirit must have been enraged by the state of her once beautiful bungalow and this woman with her husband!
I use a lot of life events and anecdotes for my stories and I also got the idea for my short story The Journey from our connection to this obnoxious family, nothing like what actually happened but how I’d have loved to have served up a tasty dish of retribution for their stealing of our inheritance.
So that was my inspiration for Whisper to Me, my mum’s comment and my dad’s answer to his loneliness. Here’s a picture of them in the happier times of their youth.