A ghostwriter for herself: How author Vanessa Hogle chased away her own demons to find a voice

NORMAN, Okla. -- Vanessa Hogle is her own ghostwriter.

"I always wanted to be a writer," she says.

Author Vanessa Hogle's genre is non-fiction, adventure travel, and paranormal research.

"To span those genres is pretty cool," she continues.

Her stories are often spooky.

"I have been spooked a few times," she smiles.

But Vanessa says the scariest thing she ever had to do was sit down and write in the first place.

Hogle admits, "I'm a high school dropout. I went back to school at the age of 21, at night, to get my diploma."

"Is it safe to say you were just beaten up by life a little bit?" asks a visitor.

"I really was, and by choices that I had made," she replies.

Hogle and her son Grayson live in a small apartment in Norman.

She still works two jobs, but she's in a much better place now than she's ever been because she was brave enough to start writing and painting.

"If you want to have this mindset, you have to stay creative," cautions Vanessa. "You have to stay moving. You have to stay doing things."

Vanessa has three books to her credit now, mainly adventures from paranormal research that's led her around the world.

"Three top ten bestsellers on Amazon in the last four years," she boasts.

She showed some of her artwork in a Chicago art gallery not long ago.

One painting, in particular, shows the anguish she went through in finding her way.

"When we open our mouths, we don't know if we're going to scream or sing," says Hogle, describing the portrait of a woman opening her mouth wide to reveal a universe within.

The candle flickers with phantom winds as this very small family sits down for a rare evening of watching TV.

But the ghosts and demons that used to haunt her are gone, banished to paper, bound in books and paint.

"Find something that brings you comfort and run with it," she advises.

The work might be scary, but doing the work feels a lot better once it's done.

Vanessa Hogle's books are available through Haunted Road Media.

Her latest book is due out this summer.

Is This a Great State or What? is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union.

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