EDITOR’S NOTE: “Yachats author Mylene Dressler writes ghost story trilogy, signs movie option,” Cheryl Romano’s story about Yachats author Mylene Dressler was originally published on March 17, 2022, by YachatsNews.com, an ArtsWatch Community Partner. ArtsWatch is republishing the piece with permission.
When Mylène Dressler and her family moved to Yachats three years ago, an extra soul may have followed – the spirit of an Irish maid who is the main character in Dressler’s ghost story trilogy. , The last to see me.
Now that the novel has been chosen for a movie, many more people could “see” Emma Rose Finnis, who lived, worked and died more than 100 years ago in a northern California village.
The last of Dressler’s trilogy, our eyes at night, has just been published. As Dressler (referred to as “M” by her friends) embarks on her new book tour, a notable film personality is busy bringing the ghostly Emma Rose to life.
Livia De Paolis opted The last to see me and plans to write the screenplay once funding is secured. Also an actress and producer, De Paolis wrote and directed a film entitled The lost girlsinspired by JM Barrie’s classic Peter Pan and scheduled for release in June. She plays alongside Vanessa Redgrave and others.
“It was my dream to have a female director, someone who really understood Emma Rose Finnis,” Dressler said. “My book is his next project; I am in good hands with her. We think of ghosts as static, frozen characters, but Emma Rose is here to tell us that the past is never dead – and neither is she.
“Emma went ‘poof’ and just appeared”
Between the first and third volumes of the Emma Rose saga, Dressler produced another novel, I see you so close. In all, she has written seven books. She has won several literary awards, including a scholarship from the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians and a Fulbright Award.
The last to see me is published by Skyhorse Publishing, a New York house known for its bestsellers, such as Unfair by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney. A division of Skyhorse published the second and third novels in the Emma Rose series.
A retired associate professor of English and creative writing at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Dressler said the inspiration for his ghost series was as supernatural as its storylines.
“My husband and I were riding along the California coast near Mendocino. I turned to him and said, “It’s so beautiful here, even if you died, you wouldn’t want to leave. The moment I said that, Emma went ‘poof!’ and just published.
“I could see her pompadour hair, her high neck blouse, her cinched waist,” Dressler said. “I knew she had to be at least 100 years old. And I knew I had to listen to her and find out who she was. The Emma Rose series was born from that moment.
Born in Holland, Dressler moved with her parents to California as a child. Her first career was as a professional ballet dancer. “I always had the idea that when I was done dancing, I would write. Both of these art forms require storytelling and rhythm. »
As Emma Rose’s Fables began to take off, garnering rave reviews and a lot of media attention, Dressler found the series demanding more of her time. So she retired from Guilford College, and she and her husband, Dennis, began to explore new places to live.
“Yachats is a huge inspiration to me”
“We were looking for a place for a semi-retirement (Dennis is a retired academic) and someone urged us to visit Yachats. We weren’t there but an hour before we knew, ‘OK, we have to live here.’
The Dresslers and her parents moved into a house in Horizon Hill three years ago. “Now Yachats is a huge inspiration to me.”
“I’ve met a lot of creative people in town – fellow writers, editors and artists. Yachats seems to appeal to people who want to be in a small but open space. You feel grounded, but you also feel that expanse of ocean and of forest around you. It’s hugely stimulating creatively, to feel grounded and airy at the same time.
Dressler composes his works on a computer, writing “about four hours a day before running out of gas”. She doesn’t write the outline before sitting down to write. “I have no idea where it’s going when I write; I tell myself that if I am surprised, then the reader will be too.
It takes her several years to finish a book, and then she takes the time to write. When her book tour wraps up at the end of April, she will recharge her batteries by pursuing a different kind of adventure.
Since moving to Yachats, Dressler has taken up surfing. “I’m a beginner; I stay in the bay” where the Yachats River meets the Pacific Ocean. Exploring the beaches with his two border collies is another favorite pastime.
The Yachats resident is on tour to promote our eyes at night, the last in the Emma Rose series. She will visit libraries and bookstores in Houston and Denver, with stops in West Virginia, North Carolina, Utah and California.
While she doesn’t expect to “see” Emma Rose again, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more contact.
“Now she lives in the books and whispers in my ear,” Dressler said. “She made the transition.”