Title: GHOST LIGHT
Genre: YA Contemporary/Supernatural
Word Count: 76,000
Seventeen-year-old Natasha Bassett’s decision to take her dead brother’s place in a production of Hamlet raises ghosts, in more ways than one.
After a transplant concludes her battle with a genetic heart condition, Natasha has a ton of plans. Unfortunately, they are all for her twin brother, who died before his name made it to the top of the transplant list. The twins used all their limited energy preparing his application for the London-based theater program he dreamed of attending. Armed with his acceptance letter and her own determination to fulfill her brother’s last wish, Natasha binds her B-cups and books a plane ticket. Getting Nico’s name on the cast list somewhere shouldn’t be that hard. She still has his voice in her head, and it’s not like anyone will mind having the lively, talented Bassett twin back.
At least, that’s what she thinks until Nico’s voice goes from disembodied and encouraging to embittered and embodied. The spirit insists that it will haunt her until she lands the lead, a casting choice that will be made via a program-wide vote. To her fellow performers, Natasha is a thoughtful, witty actor who is more suited for Ophelia than Hamlet. To Natasha, being associated with the suicidal Danish chick means her castmates have accepted the way guilt and ghosts influence her behavior. She starts to think this is worth being followed by a vindictive facsimile of her brother—until he threatens the main contender for Hamlet. To save her friend, Natasha must find a way to live out the Bassett Twins’ final plan, even if it means being overshadowed by a brother no one else can see.
I am a member of SCBWI and an MA/MFA candidate in children's literature at Simmons College. My blog, "Sense and Disability" chronicles my misadventures as a young woman with a disability
The other passengers from my Boston to London flight were met with frantic sign waving, shrieking, and one cinematic flying leap. No one was immune to the insanity, not even—
“Oi! Bassett! Over here!”
Not even bespectacled men would normally seem like stuffy professor-types. I braced myself for my own embarrassing-yet-endearing display, spun my luggage cart around, and my godfather stopped jumping like a maniac. His arm had frozen above his head in an abortive wave. He looked like he’d seen a ghost.
In a way he had.
It didn’t take a face-to-face encounter with an ephemeral being to make someone feel like they were being haunted. The sensation could come from tripping over a pair of abandoned shoes in the foyer, catching a whiff of cologne on an old coat, or reading a name printed on an official letter. I hated the sensation so much, but I’d purposefully charted a course that would inflict it on other people.
The closer I got to my godfather, the paler he became, until his skin tone matched the crisp white paper of the acceptance letter in my bag. My luggage trolley fought to list to the left, preferring to join an Indian family standing nearby. I didn’t blame it.
“Hi, Willis,” I said. Maybe I should have waited to make my transformation. I’d ducked into the family restroom on the way to customs to eliminate any chickening out opportunities. I’d been too focused on my own anxieties. Typical of my post-Nico mindset.