Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz Interview – Ghosts, Mirrors, and Imaginary Friends

Have these authors ever seen a ghost in a mirror? Is there any place in the world where horrible things still occur in orphanages? How did they come up with the name Lilith Pandor? Is Onyx Webb the first character to defend herself in court as a ghost?

ghost, pixabay

Do you personally know anyone who has ever seen a ghost appear in a mirror? Are ghosts drawn to mirrors? Are there any historical instances of this happening?
The idea that mirrors are portals from this plane to the next goes way back to when man first glimpsed his/her reflection in the surface of water and wondered who was looking at them from the other side of the surface. And then there are all the urban legends (like Bloody Mary) and other such folklore.  There are many stories of someone bringing a mirror down from the attic and seeing a dead relative, which is where the practice of covering mirrors up with cloth came from—so the dead couldn’t get to the living. So, for the purposes of the Onyx Webb series, using mirrors as part of the story was a logical story device. Do we know for certain that ghosts are drawn to mirrors? Who knows? A lot of people think so. And to the question as to if we have we ever seen a ghost in a mirror? No, but that would be very cool indeed!

children at Melbourne Orphanage, Brighton, flickr

There are many evils that have been done in orphanages down through history and in fiction. Have orphanages improved today?
The horrors that have taken place in orphanages (and asylums) is almost unthinkable. In the United States, fortunately, yes things have gotten better. But in certain places in the world—China, Romania, Russia—the horrors continue.

Pandora’s box, wikimedia commons

I found the character Lilith Pandor interesting, and the name fits her perfectly. Which came first: her character or her name? Does she perform the experiments she does because her name has had an evil influence upon her? If her name had been Mary Jane, would she have been just as evil and twisted?
Ah, yes, Lilith Pandor… what a horrible, despicable human being (like many of our characters). The character came first, then the name… which we used as a device/play on the term “Pandor’s Box” since that is where she places her research subjects – in the sensory deprivation chamber. We think the naming of characters is extremely important. If her name was Mary Jane it would be hard for people to take her seriously as an evil character. Also, because we have so many characters we try to make the names distinctive and hard to confuse with someone else.

courtroom, wikimedia commons

Onyx Webb defends herself in court, but she does it while being a ghost. Has this ever been done before in fiction, in books or movies? As the author, are you proud that Onyx was able to pull it off without anyone discovering she was a ghost?
To the best of our knowledge, no one has had a ghost character defend themselves in court before. And to be honest, the decision to have Onyx defend herself in court was something we struggled with as it stretches the bounds of believability. Even in the most outrageous kinds of fiction, it’s important to remain believable. The reason we did it was so that Onyx and Claudia could talk face to face (to “face-off” against one another). Onyx deserved the moment, and we weren’t going to make her sit by and let another lawyer have all the fun.

imaginary friend, flickr

Imaginary friends: are they real or not? What role do they play? Are they maybe ghosts of children or people who have already died? Do they try to influence the lives of those they visit?
There is nothing creepier than the idea that a child has an imaginary friend, only to discover the friend isn’t imaginary after all. But, like so many other things that are part of people’s beliefs in any area of the supernatural, half the fun is not knowing for sure where fact (reality and truth) ends and fiction (fantasy) begins.


Recommended Articles: 
Onyx Webb: Book Four: Episodes 10, 11, &12 – a Review
Onyx Webb: Book One: Episodes 1, 2, & 3 – a Review
Onyx Webb: Book Two: Episodes 4, 5, & 6 – a Review
Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz Guest Post/Interview – Music, Historical Events, & Developing Characters
Onyx Webb: Book Three: Episodes 7, 8, & 9 – a Review
The Fun of Fiction: Using Famous People, Infamous Mobsters, and Real Places – Guest Post by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

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