When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories
I tried to avoid writing a memoir but my family’s stories wouldn’t let me go. In fact, they grabbed my by the tail and swung hard. After many temper tantrums, much stomping of my feet, and much cursing my fate, I finally wrote down the tales of our travels and travails living in Nigeria, Peru and Bolivia.
I’m in the final stages for publication–filling out paperwork for publicity preparation. Soon we will have a pub date, and I’ll be sure to post it here. In the meantime, this is what the book is about:
When Amy Wallen learns her parents are grave robbers and her memory is out of focus, she tries to figure out what truly happened. She excavates both their sojourn overseas and how her family was one-by-one sent away from her until she was left alone at the age of seven in Lagos, Nigeria. When We Were Ghouls, A Memoir of Ghost Stories is about a search for family. In 1971, Amy’s blue-collar Southern peripatetic family was transferred from Ely, Nevada to Lagos, Nigeria. From Nevada to Nigeria, and elsewhere, When We Were Ghouls follows a family that has been dispersed around the world, a family who, like ghosts, come and go and slip through Amy’s fingers making it unclear if they were ever there. A cross between Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, with some Indiana Jones thrown in, the tale starts in the middle, around a pre-Inca grave her family uncovers. We see her family members appear and disappear in Peru and Bolivia and beyond. On one level the story is about family, but it also represents how with both innocence and denial our worldly treasures are neglected—not just our children, but the artifacts of humanity, and ultimately humanity itself.