Halloween to writer Pamela K. Kinney is not merely a day celebrated on Oct. 31; rather it’s kind of a lifestyle. Her job requires that she be in the eerie mood for 12 months of the year – even at Christmas time.
A published writer since the age of 17, Kinney, 57, a Chester resident for 26 years, has been publishing Dark Fiction for much of her adult life, either in poems and short stories published in magazines and with publishing houses, and in books – of fiction and non-fiction.
“Writing is fun. It’s a rush to write fiction because you’re making up stories that people can enjoy every time they read them … and even with the non-fiction books, I can say I actually learn something there, too, with all the research I have to do to complete the book,” she said.
Her nonfiction books are tales of ghost sightings in Virginia; a couple are “Haunted Richmond, Virginia”, and “Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales,” which are published by Shiffer Books and can be found in Barnes and Noble and Books A Million booksellers. Her newest book is “Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown and other haunted locations.”
None of her books are self-published. She has submitted all of her work to publishing houses that have printed her manuscripts in book-form.
Kinney has also published several paranormal romance fiction books under the pen name Sapphire Phelan. “Being Familiar with a Witch” is one novel she’s published under that name.
“The paranormal stuff, it intrigues me,” she said. Kinney also belongs to a paranormal investigating group in Chesterfield which has traveled to places like Henricus Historical Park, which is known for ghost sightings, and she actually has experienced with others quite a bit of activity in other parts of the Chesterfield County.
But on the other hand, writing is, for her, an “escape,” she said. She enjoys living out the adventures of others through the characters she creates.
“You like to be scared and, as a psychologist will probably tell you, being scared is probably very good for you. If you go to a movie and you get scared, it’s adrenaline, and actually that’s good for you, just like laughing is good for you … it’s a version of being alive that you’re able to be scared and feel it.”
Her husband, Bill Truesdale, who works for Chesterfield County’s utilities department, has gone – on occasion – with Kinney to investigate haunting in parts of Virginia. As he doesn’t quite share the same interest in the paranormal, he still finds it all captivating.
“It’s a lot of fun for her, and I’ve learned quite a bit too,” he said. “I really support her and her writing. If she wants to do it, I’m all for it if it makes her happy – and I keep joking with her that I’m waiting for her to write that best seller so I can retire.”
A life-long lover of fiction, reading and writing, Kinney is certainly an advocate of literature’s role as entertainment in a world of ever-growing technology and science.
“I encourage reading; it’s a good thing to do because I think books are our best way, and actually our cheapest way, to enjoy life.”