Back in 2005, I wrote an autobiographical account of my experiences with a school of esoteric sciences published by Thoth. It didn’t sell that well but it got good reviews and was put on the school reading list by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. I thought that was that to be honest. Then, in 2013ish, a few people said I should write a ghost story book and perhaps expand on some of my own experiences that I had outlined in the Thoth title. The idea seemed a good one (I had published several business books, poetry collections and a novella in that period).
So, in 2014, I self-published My Haunted Life. It was a collection of the strange things that had happened to me. Part ghost story, poltergeist activity and just weird stories like the time a voice shouted at me to stop my car (as I recounted on the Anthony Peake Consciousness Hour recently). The strange thing was that the book sold…… To date, it has sold 1620 copies. Not too bad. It is rated an average of 4.1 on Amazon and one Amazon customer posted this review…
“My Haunted Life is a compendium of strange (but true) stories of the paranormal by G. Michael Vasey that evokes an era where as teenagers we would sit huddled together in a neighbour’s darkened lounge late into the night (usually after a Hammer Horror movie), and listen entranced while one of the group would eagerly frighten the others with tales of the paranormal experiences of a friend or relative.As someone around the same age as the author, who grew up in similar circumstances in the north of England, then there were always aspects of the book that would resonate with me. Each paranormal experience is told in an engaging and relaxed style, as if the author were casually chatting at a dinner party, thereby creating genuine interest and fascination in his stories, rather than simply trying to scare the kids around the camp fire. He is not afraid to ridicule himself at times, such as when the source of an unexplained noise and movement turns out to be a cow rubbing against a rope, nor is he afraid to express his fears at being ‘a sensitive’.The book doesn’t drip with suspense – the narration is more thought provoking than scary and for readers looking for a quick ‘he’s behind you’ fright with a happy ending, then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you have an interest in the paranormal and an open mind, then I would recommend My Haunted Life. It’s a book that makes the reader ask questions – and that can only be a good thing.“
Since it did quite well, I hatched a plan to write a follow up using a few more of my own experiences and those of people I knew – friends and family. I called it My Haunted Life Too. I recall that a couple of days after its release, we drove to an Austrian ski resort for some skiing and on the way, I began to feel unwell. This developed into a very bad stomach flu so I spent the 3 days in bed while my ex and our daughter skied! The only thing that cheered me up was to find that the book was officially #1 in supernatural on Amazon.co.uk while I was there!
With 18 ratings on Amazon.com, it has an average of 3.5 by virtue of a few highly negative reviews. Nonetheless it sold very well and remained in the best seller lists for a while. It has sold 1550 copies to date. Mel, writing a review on Amazon said “Just as good as the first My Haunted Life. Can’t get enough of it.” The two books seemed to put me on the map as well and in no time I was getting invites to guest on podcasts of various sorts which only helped keep the momentum up. I also learned the value of a good cover image….
I like to do things in threes, so I immediately started asking friends and relatives for more stories and these duly appeared as My Haunted Life 3 but this one didn’t do quite so well – possibly because I was telling other people’s stories. However, it has sold around 800 copies to date and it did briefly enter the best seller lists as well. Its 9 ratings average 3.8 and reviewer PS Winn said “I enjoyed this collection and felt the author did a great job of making the reader stop and think about just how close the other world is to this one. The tales are believable, mostly I think because they are eerie without being horrific and the author isn’t trying to scare you to death. Rather the reader is left with a few goose bumps and may think twice about any close encounters they may have written off as mere coincidence. I think this book will appeal to a lot of readers and I urge you to grab a copy.”
There was one final extension in the series in the Summer of 2015 when heeding criticism of the books being short, I combined them all, added a little more material and put out My Haunted Life – The Extreme Edition. This one hasn’t done so well but it is a compilation of previously published material so its added sales of around 350 copies but mainly paperbacks. The last story in the book is my favorite story of all and it ONLY appears in this book. The collection was rated an average of 4.6 out of 5 – higher than any of the individual books.
Will5967 writes “G. Michael Vasey is not only a prolific writer, but a genuinely good story teller. His knack for writing ghost stories in particular is evident in this “Extreme Edition” of his ‘My Haunted Life’ series, which is actually a compilation of the first three, previously released volumes. New material has been added, of course, so this edition is definitely a good place to start if you haven’t yet read the author’s previous work. The first third of the book is probably the most interesting, but then again, there are actually somewhat (though of course arguably) better stories recounted in the latter two-thirds of the book. And although this certainly isn’t the scariest collection of ghostly encounters I’ve ever read, what really makes this particular compendium stand out from similar efforts by less competent writers is just how truly personable, engaging, and thoughtful the author genuinely comes off as being. Of course there are the usual typos, word omissions and the like, here and there, but absolutely nothing too distracting overall. And really, even if this isn’t actually the most terrifying collection of paranormal tales you’ll ever encounter, it’s certainly a lot of fun to read just the same. What’s more, Mr. Vasey’s fascinating ideas about the paranormal, and his musings about the very nature of Life and existence itself, are terribly interesting and thought provoking, to say the least.“
The next step turned out to be starting the My Haunted Life Too website where I collect YOUR stories and encounters with the paranormal. This website is quite popular and has provided many book ideas since….. I also started during this first series not to just write the stories but try to understand what was occurring and in doing so, I started to build a set of ideas and theories about the paranormal that I think has set me a bit apart from other story tellers.