Breaking News
You are here: Home / Genre / Horror / Richard Southall

Richard Southall

Book Interview: Haunted Route 66

Ghosts of America’s legendary highway

Richard Southall author of Haunted Route 66

Richard Southall author of Haunted Route 66

Interview with Richard Southall about: Haunted Route 66

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Welcome Richard Southall, author of the recently released book: Haunted Route 66. Thank you for joining us today Richard. For starters how are you?

Richard Southall:

I am doing fine. Thanks for asking

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Richard for readers new to your work I would like to mention your previous book for a moment. How to be a ghost hunter – Released in (2003) which is a how to guide. You seem to be quite knowledgeable about ghosts and so I would like to ask. What is your take? Are ghosts fact or fiction?

Richard Southall:

I believe that there is SOMETHING out there. I think that about 70% or so of what we think of as ghosts can be explained…However, that still leaves about 30% that is unexplained. That 30% would be what I would refer to as ghosts

Charles Author’s Promoter:

So in your first book you give us a guide to finding ghosts and actually proving if the ghost is real or not?

Richard Southall:

It’s how to properly do an investigation and how to gather reliable evidence of a haunting.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Haunted Route 66 from what I understand so far is a collection of ghost stories along Route 66. Do you follow the same guidance you give in your book: How to be a ghost hunter and look at gathering reliable evidence wherever possible?

Richard Southall:

Yes. What I did with Route 66 was to find stories from first hand accounts as well as stories that have been told and retold over the years.

Richard Southall:

Then I wrote a brief history of the locations that are haunted so that the readers can get a feel for the background of a location.
It’s helpful to know the history of a place to understand why it may be haunted.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Excellent so what a reader should expect is narrative ghost stories pre-faced with factual information and an introduction to the story and location?

Richard Southall:

Yes. I wrote a history of most of the haunted places in each of the eight states that Route 66 runs through.

Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California

Charles Author’s Promoter:

You said in some cases you got first hand stories. This must have involved a lot of travelling. Did you spot anything spectacular along the way?

Richard Southall:

Most of the contacts that I spoke with were via email or phone. I did get a chance to travel Route 66 in April 2013.
Doing research about a location is quite an experience, but to see the places I wrote about in person was absolutely awesome.
I was able to get a grasp of the actual size of Route 66 as well as to meet several people who had their own ghost stories to share

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Wow, so you now have more stories to share?

Richard Southall:

I do. When I did a book signing in each of the states, somebody always had a personal story to tell.
Even when I stopped to eat or to visit a site, I would get into a conversation with the business owner or other customer….they also had their own story to tell. Some were local legends, but most were accounts of something they experienced firsthand

Charles Author’s Promoter:

So will we be seeing a second Route 66 in the future?

Richard Southall:

You are the second person to ask me that question in a week. I was on a radio show and the host asked me the same question. I have several stories that were unpublished.
Who knows? If Haunted Route 66 does well, I would be willing to write a second installment.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

How many stories will we find in the book?

Richard Southall:

over 100

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Are there any that really stand out above the rest?

Richard Southall:

A few. One that stands out for me is the story of the Granbury Opera House in Granbury, Texas
According to the story, some believe that John Wilkes Booth did not die, but rather escaped authorities and traveled to Texas. He settled in Granbury and changed his name to John St. Helen

Charles Author’s Promoter:Interesting …

Richard Southall:

John St. Helen had a distinct limp (the same leg that Booth broke), quoted Shakespere in everyday conversation (as did Booth), and spent most of his free time at the Opera House.
He became ill one day and thought he was going to die. He told his doctor who he was, and the doctor excused himself. He returned a few minutes later with authorities, but St. Helen was gone, never to be seen again,.
At the opera house, people have reported recording EVPs of a man quoting shakespere. There have been occasional apparitions of a man that fits Booth’s description.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Wow, that is intriguing both from a historical perspective as well as a ghost story. Will we find other historical references throughout the book?

Richard Southall:

Yes. For example, when I share ghost stories about the Great Chicago Fire, I also give people a history of what likely caused the fire.
Again, my thought is that sharing the ghost story is only part of the bigger picture.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Also from what I understand this book can serve as a travel guide along Route 66?

Haunted Route 66 by author Richard Southall

Haunted Route 66 by author Richard Southall

Richard Southall:

Yes. That’s pretty much how I wrote it. It is divided into a separate chapter for each state. Each state’s ghost stories are divided by city.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

So eight states and over a hundred ghost stories along Route 66. Is there a balance or do some states have considerably more stories featured?

Richard Southall:

I tried to make it as balanced as possible. Route 66 didnt pass equally through each of the eight states. For example, Route 66 traveled through 301 miles of Illinois, but only through 13 miles of Kansas.

What I did in that case was to expand out a bit further for states that had fewer miles.
In the cases of states with fewer stories, I limited the distance from Route 66 to an hour’s drive or less.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Excellent so regardless which state we read through we will have a decent amount of stories to read. Would the book also act as a good guide for would be ghost hunters?

Richard Southall:

Yes. What I also did was to indicate which places may more likely be urban legends rather than an authentic haunting. In most cases, I was able to put specific address of locations so that people could go there in person.

Richard Southall:

That’s what I like about the book. It’s good for the traveler who wants to find something a bit off the beaten path. It’s also good for those people who are interested in the paranormal.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

I asked if there will be a second book about Route 66, what I did not ask is; do you have any other books in the works at the moment?

Richard Southall:

Yes. I’m working on another guidebook of paranormal locations that should be out in 2014. (The specific topic is under wraps right now, but as soon as I am able, I will let you know.) It will be written in a similar style as Haunted Route 66.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Ok, so I won’t dig to deep but will it be based in the United States also?

Aside: (We might have Richard Southall again in the near future to tell us about his next book. Do post in the comments if you would like us to invite him back!)

Richard Southall:

Once that book is completed, there is a novel that I started before doing Haunted Route 66. I will likely resume that project at some point in the future.

Richard Southall:

Yes. it is based in the United States.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Excellent, what can you tell us about the novel yoou were working on?

Richard Southall:

It’s a mystery with a very strong paranormal/supernatural element running through it

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Do we have a working title?

Richard Southall:

Not yet. However, I’ve already completed over 200 pages of it. Really, once I’m done with my current project, I would need to simply dust it off and do some editing.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Excellent so we have much to expect from you in the coming months and years.

Richard Southall:

yep. I like to keep busy.
:)

Charles Author’s Promoter:

I know you write quite a bit and I think your book will make quite an interesting read. Do you do any other work besides writing?

Richard Southall:

My main career is a substance abuse therapist. That also keeps me busy.
Plus a full-time dad with a very active and imaginative daughter

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Interesting, so you have a good understanding of people and what makes them click. I imagine this will translate well into novel writing.

Richard Southall:

I would hope so. At least in regards to fiction, I gather my inspiration from people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had

Charles Author’s Promoter:

I think your work also gives you a unique insight when gathering information from sources for Route 66 and other ghost related works.

Richard Southall:

My thought is that although technology is great, we are starting to lose touch with our past. It is important to know where we came from…our roots. That is one of the reasons that I wrote Haunted Route 66. I have learned a great deal while doing research for Haunted Route 66 and my current project.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

So the book not only gives us paranormal, but also detailed historic events and a way to remember the past. Would you say you bring the ghosts story to the forefront?

Richard Southall:

Yes. My thought is that even though the ghost stories are interesting, they become interesting if you know a bit about the people who became ghosts. Ghosts were people, too. LOL:)
they become more interesting if you know a bit about the people before they died. That sounds better

Charles Author’s Promoter:

It does indeed. I would like to thank you for joining us today and giving us some interesting insight into your book and other upcoming and past works. I believe we have covered quite a bit of information. I think our readers would also love to hear more from you in the future and we invite them to post questions in the comment section.

Is there anything you would like to tell readers considering reading HAUNTED ROUTE 66?

Richard Southall:

Its a fun read. I wrote the book in such a way as to be an easy to read guide filled with interestng facts about several locations along Route 66. It is a good companion to other guide books on Route 66.

Charles Author’s Promoter:

Sounds like a book for both the skeptic and the avid ghost hunter, history, geography and paranormal sightings presented by an objective author. Thank you very much for joining us today Richard Southall.

About Charles J Deguara

Author, entrepreneur, on-line marketing specialist, web publisher, author promoter, reader and well a number of things beyond and between. Visit my website to get to know me better.