A novel by Fine Arts alumna Ashley K. Alexander—inspired during art conservation studies and a Halloween ghost tour in Europe—is being published this August.
The Grave Watchers, a horror/paranormal fantasy novel under the nom de plume Missouri Dalton, is available as an e-book from Torquere Press.
Alexander (CCAD 2009) wrote the novel while she completed post-baccalaureate studies at SACI in Florence, Italy. Much of her work was with a Picenian tomb and she was trying to come to terms with how she felt about justifying disturbing a grave to further the understanding of history and culture. Concurrently, she went to London for fall break and took a Halloween ghost tour where a story about a grave robbing really struck her.
"I rolled it around in my head for a week or so, and a family member invited me to join in the National Novel Writing Month," Alexander said. "I figured it would be a nice challenge and wrote the first draft during that mad month. The second draft took considerably longer. I took a year to do rewrites and got lucky with the publisher."
Alexander said she has always been fascinated by the paranormal, folklore, and history and that her novel is an amalgam of those interests. The e-book is her first novel and if sales go well she hopes to pick up a print contract as well. She currently is working on a sequel to The Grave Watchers, among other writing projects.
Alexander decided to use a nom de plume at the start of her career because she's "still a little shy about the idea of publicity."