Ingrid Foster is the author of two short horror stories, a fantasy suspense novel, My Father’s Magic, the first in the Esme Bohlin suspense series, and working on the sequel called Revenge of the Dark Queen. She is a real world traveler and a great storyteller.
You have traveled a lot, including to places like Australia and The Netherlands (places I traveled as well) as well as thirty US states. What attracts you about traveling?
I grew up a reader, loving books about foreign places and strange names. When I enlisted in the Air Force and was given an opportunity to be stationed in Germany, I jumped at the chance. Exploring Germany and much of Western Europe allowed me to experience places I’d only read about. That’s what traveling gives you, opportunities to explore and sense new things.
Which country do I like best?
I don’t know yet, maybe I’ll know after I’ve gotten a chance to explore them all 🙂
You have written two short stories (A Home for Rose and Fresh Meat) and a novel; My Father’s Magic. In Fresh Meat, you feature a grandmother. Did you have a special bond with your grandmother?
I did. My grandmother is no longer with us. In truth, she was my best friend, especially when I was a child. My mother suffered from Post Partum Depression, so my grandmother retired early from her job so she could care for me. When I was a small child I used to spend hours playing with old makeup and perfume bottles, whatever I could find and create the most elaborate stories. My grandmother was always amazed and supportive; she never had a negative word, even when I beat her at Chinese Checkers.
Where did you get the idea for My Father’s Magic?
I wanted to write a memoir, but quickly tired of it. So I decided instead to write a story about a lonely young woman who finds a key to an old haunted house and discovers a family she didn’t know she had. Of course, being me, I needed to keep it entertaining, so I included magical creatures and scary things that go bump in the night.
I don’t plot my stories, so when I write, I never know what will happen next. My theory is that if I enjoy writing the story, my readers will enjoy reading it.
What is your favorite passage/dialogue in the book?
My favorite passage is when my main character, Esme, whose memory had intentionally been blocked by her sorcerer father when she was six, gets her memory back:
(Excerpt) Reaching out to open the stainless refrigerator, something caught my eye. At the far end of the kitchen, in a vacant hearth, sat a child’s table with two small chairs and a half-played game of checkers, the game appeared to be waiting for the children to return.
Something was familiar about the scene, something that wouldn’t let me pull my eyes away and as I stared, a sense of déjà vu hit me. “Stoney, we never did finish that game of checkers, did we?”
As if in response, there was a loud thud and then Stone was by my side. “No, your father called you home and you never came back.”
There were so many questions I wanted to ask at that moment, but my mouth could only form one, “And you never picked up the game?”
Stone smiled down at me. “My mother thought to a few times, but I told her no, that one day you’d be back and we would finish.”
…over coffee laced with whiskey, we finished the game we started eighteen years before, in the living room in front of the fire. I had never enjoyed a game more in my life. And then as we curled up on the sofa, in each other arms, and the flames danced across the thick logs, I was content for the first time in a very long time; probably since I was six and my only care in the world was beating my best friend, Stoney, at checkers.
(Excerpt, My Father’s Magic)
What part of the story did you find the hardest to write?
When Esme is sexually assaulted by someone close to her. It was hard for me to write because I have a history of being both sexually assaulted and raped. I had to put myself back in those memories, so I could capture the raw emotions. It was actually quite therapeutic, especially when Esme gets justice in the end.
What can readers expect when reading your work?
My stories are all suspenseful and captivating leaving my readers wanting more. Or, at least, that’s what they tell me. At 5 Stars for most of my reviews, I must be doing something right.
Are you working on another book? If yes, what’s it about and could you give us a little preview?
The second book in the Bohlin Series is coming out later this year. It’s titled Revenge of the Dark Queen and it picks up where My Father’s Magic left off.
In the following scene, my main character Esme is on her way up in an elevator to her father’s penthouse. With her is Liebling, the last known Katzenspinder, a very old magical species that has the cashmere-soft body of a cat and eight legs like a spider, the front two ending in paws. Liebling’s fur changes color according to his mood:
(Excerpt) Seconds later, the elevator stopped and I took a deep breath, “Okay, we’re here.” As the doors opened, not waiting for my signal, Liebling dropped his invisibility and jumped down from my shoulder.
“Wait,” I told him telepathically. I started scanning the apartment.
It felt all right. I didn’t sense anything, no people, no spirits…but still, something was definitely off. I pointed my wand at the far wall, opposite the elevator, where my father’s elaborate gold mirror once stood.
“Revelare Cesern,” I said with more power in my voice than I expected considering how nervous I was.
Red words, left splattered and dripping, appeared on the far wall. Liebling, his fur now white, began to shake. “Need Edgar.”
I looked down at him, trying to catch his meaning. “Bruce is in school.”
“No. Go. Need Edgar.”
In my mind’s eye, I knew he thought I was walking into a trap and, based on my experience with my father’s magic, I knew that even though the last occupier of the penthouse, Geoff, was dead, his magic could remain.
“Very well,” I said, pushing the elevator’s “G” button. I lifted Liebling onto my shoulder and he turned invisible before I thought to ask. As the elevator lowered, Liebling shuddered. “Bad magic. Bad magic.”
(Excerpt, Revenge of the Dark Queen)
What is your preferred surrounding when writing?
I have a home office that allows me to close myself off from the world. As for music, I only listen to instrumental while I’m writing, and it varies according to the scene and story. For the Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, I listened mostly to Nox Arcana, Escala and anything Celtic. For the Dark Desert Tales which is all dark fiction, I’ll listen to something darker.
Thank you so much, Ingrid, for sharing your life’s experiences and giving us those wonderful excerpts of your novels. Katzenspinder… I just have to read your books now! 🙂
Ingrid Foster’s books are all available on Amazon.