‘Ghost’ gets new life, in paperback

Sep 15, 2018
Paul Guernsey

Unity — Paul Guernsey’s latest book, “American Ghost,” which recently received the 2018 Maine Literary Award in Speculative Fiction, will be released in paperback in October.

An unemployed paranormal investigator; a down-on-his-luck novelist; and a frustrated ghost with literary ambitions of his own — these are the central characters in “American Ghost,” published by Talos Press.

“The book is at least as much about fiction writing as it is a ghost story,” said Guernsey, Visiting Instructor of Writing at Unity College. “It’s what we call metafictional, in that it’s a story about storytelling. But of course, it also has its scary parts.”

In the book, the ghost of a Thumb Rivera, college dropout turned small-time criminal, haunts rural Maine, searching for clues to the mystery of his own unsolved murder and looking for a way to write his autobiography from beyond the grave. Thumb finds he can only communicate with the world of the living via Ouija board to Ben, a young spiritual medium. In turn, Ben relays his conversations with Thumb to Fred, a failed novelist turned pig farmer, who then puts ink to paper to tell the story.

“The Maine landscape is pretty much responsible for what this book is in a lot of ways, so to be honored with the Maine Literary Award is just terrific,” said Guernsey.

In addition to two previously published novels, Guernsey has worked as an editor for a fly fishing magazine; a crime reporter for a newspaper in Bridgeport, Conn.; and a writer for the Associated Press in Venezuela. He also spent a year raising heritage breed pigs in Maine.

“American Ghost” is currently available in hardcover.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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