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I’m almost a third of the way through the draft of my next novel, a romance between Sam, a police detective who starts seeing ghosts soon after she had a near-death experience, and Mae, a murdered woman who needs Sam to solve the mystery of her death. I don’t have a title picked yet, but I am LOVING THIS STORY. Sam is such a fun character to write–she was shot and is recovering, but she’s a terrible patient who refuses to take it easy or find nice, relaxing ways to spend her time until she heals. Mae is a ghost with a wit quick enough to match Sam’s smart mouth (detectives MUST have a smart mouth, don’t you know) but who can’t remember what happened to her or why she hasn’t moved on.

I just finished a scene that takes place in one of my favorite locations: Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.

It’s an indescribably beautiful place–over 170 acres of rolling parkland, with ponds and gardens and titanic trees placed among the graves. There are walking trails everywhere, birdwatching galore, and the most stunning sculpture I’ve seen anywhere (even at the MFA). It’s so peaceful, so atmospheric, and it’s steeped in history. There are so many important historical figures buried there; the last time Ruby and I visited, we went particularly to find Amy Lowell’s grave. Amy Lowell is one of my favorite poets, and she was a lesbian who wrote incredibly beautiful, sensual poetry to her love.

Writing a romantic ghost story with scenes set at Mount Auburn is such a delight. It’s got the perfect atmosphere. I definitely want to plan another visit before the novel is published, so I can take some pictures specifically to use for pre-release art.

If you live anywhere near Boston, I can’t urge you enough to visit. It’s such an unforgettable place.

(Isn’t Ruby adorable? One of my favorite things about Mount Auburn is the tiny cobblestone paths that wind all through it, taking you to surprising places and out-of-the-way family grave plots.)