‘A ghost story with heart’

MARSHALL -After visiting a local resort and business center a few years ago, Kendall Bailey of Marshall was spurred to write his first novel.

Bailey recently published his novel, “The Bad,” which is available in both print and ebook formats.

The book is about 15-year-old Brennan, a foster child who goes to live with a couple that runs a hotel in New Hampshire. He thinks that the hotel is haunted, and it’s the site of a disappearance and a murder. Brennan decides sets out to see what evil is “plaguing his new home,” according the book description.

“It’s a little scary, a little funny and a little sentimental,” Bailey said. “I think of it as a ghost story with heart.”

Bailey said the novel began about three or four years ago when he, his wife and his in-laws went to visit the Buffalo Ridge Resort and Business Center.

“Something about the hotel and its history made me want to write a ghost story,” Bailey said. “I’ve always liked writing and had taken a few stabs at it in the past. The idea sat on a back burner in my mind for a long time, simmering, until one day I decided to take a crack at it.”

Bailey said that getting started wasn’t as difficult as he thought it would be once he knew how to approach it. He tried to write 10,000 words per week and stayed pretty much on target.

He finished his first draft in just more than a month.

“Without going back to clean it up, I sent it to four or five people for feedback,” he said. “Thankfully only one of them read it all the way through. I say thankfully because the first draft was awful. When I began my revisions, I found out how bad it was and wished it’d never left my computer.”

As he finished revising chapters in his second draft, Bailey posted them through his Facebook page for anyone to read and let him know what they thought.

“A few very kind folks, who are listed in my acknowledgements, took the time to proofread and feed me edits that needed to be made,” he said. “By the time the second draft was finished, I was so amped up on the positive feedback I’d received, I tackled the third draft immediately, and this is the version I published.”

Bailey is originally from Vermont, which is where he’s heard about haunted places. He moved to Marshall in 2008 because his wife was attending Southwest Minnesota State University.

“I think I’m interested in ghost stories because I heard them all the time while growing up,” Bailey said. “You can’t throw a stone in New England without it hitting a house someone claims is haunted.”

When he sits down and reads books, Bailey said he reads popular fiction, like Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard and Chuck Palahniuk as well as books by Alexandre Dumas, anything by Daniel Quinn and says “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway is a favorite.

Bailey said he’s working on a second novel, which is due out in November. He said it follows three main characters.

“(They are) a man in Las Vegas who has a popular show as a psychic, a 13ish-year-old boy who is actually psychic and a casino executive,” he said. “When the casino executive’s daughter is murdered, these three and others are thrown into a tangled mess of betrayal, violence and revenge.”

Copies of “The Bad” are available at www.lulu.com/spotlight/kendallbailey or by emailing him at kendallbaileywriter@gmail.com. He’s also on Twitter at @KBaileyWriter and has a Facebook page for his writings. He’s also planning on applying for the winter session of the newly-formed Read Local program at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center.

“So hopefully my book will be available there beginning sometime in October,” he said.