Anika Savoy Discusses The Ghost In Her: Ungilded

What makes your book a must-read?

The Ghost in Her gives readers a much-needed escape. It is sad in parts, gritty in other parts, but also whimsical and fun. For historical romance readers looking for a well-researched and substantial story, the book is sure to please. For readers interested in all things paranormal, it will stretch their imaginative limits with a cast of eccentric ghosts, fairies, a villainous dragon posing as a head nurse in a lunatic asylum, and a crusty one-eyed witch. Many readers have told me that they could not put it down.

As an aside, a cabinet maker was working in our kitchen last week. I asked him, “What type of books does your wife enjoy?” He sheepishly replied, “She’s going through a ghost phase right now. It’s odd. She can’t get enough of ghost stories. I know this sounds weird, but she is also really into insane asylums at the turn of the century.” I laughed and said, “Have I got a book for her!”

If you could give your book to one world leader, who would it be and why? 

I would give it to President Zelensky’s wife, Olena. She bravely remains in Ukraine with her children and spends most of her time with them in a bomb shelter. President Zelensky has described his wife and children as “Moscow’s Target No. 2.” I would like Olena to slip into the magical and mystical world of Maggie O’Connor, circa 1888, and have some fun. She deserves an escape. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  

Cutting out many chapters, including an entire subplot that consumed about 80 pages of the original manuscript. I was happy with the writing. It was good. However, the subplot and deleted chapters distracted from the main plot (Maggie’s spiritual journey and her romance with Gershom.) You can find some of the deleted chapters on my website,, in the Explore section titled, “Chapters that did not make the cut.” 

What is the most exciting story you tell in your book? 

I think the opening chapter is extremely exciting. Maggie is faced with a life-or-death situation, and she must make a split-second decision on how to react. She encounters a tall, dark, and handsome man, Gershom Moscowitz, on that fateful night. He hides her away in a cozy alcove of a local tavern and sparks fly! 

One word that best describes you. 


Any ritual like a specific scented candle, preferred writing place, or drink that you kept through writing? 

I wrote most of The Ghost in Her in a private “study room” at the local public library. I had to get away from my co-dependent mini-Aussie shepherd who won’t allow me to concentrate at home. When I step into that little room tucked away on the second floor of the library, I know it’s time to get to work. Woe to the person in the next room if they start to loudly talk on their phone!

If there is a movie adaptation of your book, who do you think would be perfect for the lead roles? 

American-born Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (Mary, Queen of Scots) for the part of Maggie O’Connor. I loved her in Brooklyn. She has gorgeous blue eyes and dark brows, with long silky blonde hair. She has a Celtic feel to her.

Jewish actor Ansel Elgort (Fault in Our Stars) for the part of Gershom Moskowitz.With a height of 6’3, Ansel perfectly fits the role.

Billy Crystal for the part of Leo Moskowitz. He would bring great energy and humor to the role!

Donald Sutherland for the part of Monsieur LaFontaine.

What can this teach to a motivated and mission-driven population of writers?

Write what you love. Find time periods in history that interest you. Find subject matters that fill you with curiosity and excitement. For example, I’m very curious about the underbelly of the Gilded Age, paranormal happenings, near-death experiences, and the existence of ‘spirit guides’ and ghosts. If you are immersed in the story, your readers will be too.

What advice can you give to those who want to write about historical romance?

Three tips: research, research, research! Many of your readers are very well read and they know if you are being lazy with the historical details. Also, copious research will inspire you. For example, I found a picture book about The Great Blizzard of 1888 in NYC at the library and included many details from that research in my blizzard scenes. I wasn’t planning to have Maggie trapped in a blizzard, but after coming across that book, I thought, “Yes! Let’s have Maggie get trapped in her basement apartment during the Great Blizzard of 1888.”  

Are you ready for our rapid-fire questions? Let’s go. 
1. Love or Power – LOVE
2. Coffee or Tea – COFFEE
3. Beach or Mountain – BEACH
4. Candles or Incense – CANDLES
5. Street smarts or book smarts – BOTH, I truly can’t decide.
6. Do you watch shows one episode at a time or binge whole seasons – ONE EPISODE
7. Do you prefer driving or flying – DRIVING 
8. Summer or winter – SUMMER
9. Salty or sweet – SALTY
10. Cats or dogs – DOGS

Check out more historical fiction, with Mark J. Rose.