To Thine Own Self Be True

Trying to look like Annie Lennox at McGill, 1985.

Hi, it’s Anika Savoy! Welcome to my blog. Now I know what some of you are thinking: Anika Savoy looks a lot like true crime author Anne K. Howard. Okay, I’ll confess. We are one in the same. I had a good run with my true crime book, HIS GARDEN: CONVERSATIONS WITH A SERIAL KILLER, when it came out in July 2018. What followed were television shows and too many presentations and podcasts to count. But when I got to work on my second true crime manuscript, I found that I had lost all interest in researching and writing about grisly murders and the human suffering that ensued. Writing true crime was sucking the life out of me.

Depression inevitably followed. I had recently retired from practicing law for the sole purpose of writing true crime. Now what the hell was I supposed to do? Making matters worse, the pandemic hit.

Hanging around. Nothing to do but frown.
Rainy days and lockdowns always get me down.

I put the half-written true crime manuscript to the side and asked myself, ‘Anne, what do you really want to write?”

Flashback to 1985. I was in my first year at McGill University, studying English Literature. I decided to enter a creative writing contest. While other entrants were writing New Yorker style short stories, I wrote a fairy tale. Yes, a fairy tale. It won, and you can still locate MOUNT LUMINAC’S LIGHT on the shelf at the McClennan-Redpath Library in Montreal, typos and all.

Fast forward to 2020. Like most Americans, I desperately needed an escape. Ideas started to come to me about a fairy tale universe set in the Bowery, NYC, circa 1888. I gave myself permission to have fun with the story, to let my imagination run free with otherworldly characters and an outrageous plot. And yes, I also gave myself permission to write a feel-good romance. Not nearly as cool as writing true crime, but so much more enjoyable.

I just put the finishing touches on my paranormal historical romance, THE GHOST IN HER, written under the penname of Anika Savoy. I’ll be submitting it to agents and one publisher (Carina Press, a division of Harlequin) next week. This blog will keep you updated on the ups and downs of finding an agent and a publisher. I will also share some of the fascinating research that I did when writing the book. I’ll post about The New York City Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island, where impoverished and often very sane women were housed; NYC’s colorful and squalid Bowery district; and fashion and recipes from the Victorian era. We’ll have fun together, I promise. I’ll also include some excerpts from THE GHOST IN HER, which is book one in a series that takes place in turn-of-the-century lower Manhattan.

Rest assured; the thrill is not gone for me when it comes to writing paranormal historical romance. More to come!

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