The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and Courtney Mroch

I was hard pressed not to talk all things cat rescue when sitting down to have a “Spooky Six” chat with Haunt Jaunts founder Courtney Mroch, but I brewed up a pot of catnip tea for us . . . and our respective cats, of course!

Since 2009 Courtney Mroch has put her passion as a globe-trotting restless spirit to use as the host and guide at Haunt Jaunts. She may come by her obsession with true crime, horror, and the paranormal honestly, too. It could be in her bloodline. Tracing her family roots has so far yielded the exciting revelation that she’s related to occult royalty. Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo practitioner of New Orleans, is one of her ancestors. That also might explain her infatuation with skeletons.

Besides creating blog posts, podcast, and video content for Haunt Jaunts, Courtney also indulges her love for horror as a contributor at 1428 Elm.

In addition to having been a senior blogger at and a contributor at Netflix Life, her work has also appeared in Horror Curated, TAPS Paramagazine, Haunted Magazine, and the Feminine Macabre anthology vol. 1, as well as in six Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her first romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Morvan Moon, was published in 2004. Her second, The Ghost of Laurie Floyd, was published in 2015. Any year now she plans to release her first suspense thriller…as soon as she can decide on the title.

When she’s not creating content or traveling, it’s a safe bet you’ll find her in one of four places: a pickleball court, a park path somewhere, on Percy Priest Lake attending to her first mate duties aboard the Restless Spirit (the sailboat that was her husband’s pandemic purchase), or on the couch watching either the latest true crime doc or horror movie or show.

She’s lived in Nashville, Tennessee with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband Wayne since 2005. But they grew up in Denver, Colorado, and lived in Arizona and Florida before Life landed them in Tennessee. They’re also fierce animal lovers but are currently down to a one-cat household. Mr. G, a tuxedo (hence the formal title of his name) found their way to them as a feral stray. He’s since been domesticated but doesn’t like Wayne, who swears Mr. G is plotting his demise. He often warns people if anything happens to him, don’t blame his wife…the cat did it!

Courtney Mroch Author Site

Beneath the Morvan Moon (Writer’s Exchange)

Willow Croft: “Hey, look at that derelict Victorian mansion . . . let’s go explore it!” What’s the most unusual setting you’ve read about in a horror/thriller book, or included in your own creative works?

Courtney Mroch: I recently read the first book in The Asylum Confessions series by Jack Steen after a friend recommended it. An asylum isn’t exactly an unusual setting for a horror novel. But the way he incorporates it is different. It’s not abandoned or haunted. It’s just where he works and where he elicits confessions of those sentenced to its walls before they die. That struck me as different and unusual.

Willow Croft: “It was a dark and stormy night . . .” What are your go-to comfort foods, drinks, or other ways to wind down after a long day (or night) of writing?

Courtney Mroch: You know, I can’t believe this because food is never far from my mind, but I have no go-to comfort foods after winding down from a long day of writing. A long walk if the weather’s nice, or snuggling up on the couch to watch a favorite show or movie is my reward.

Willow Croft: “Did you hear that noise?” Everyone, even us horror/suspense writers, have our night terrors. What is it that frightens you the most?

Courtney Mroch: Hands down, my answer to this kind of question used to be needles. No contest. It was beyond just a fear. Needles induced pure terror that prompted some pretty visceral and immediate bodily reactions.

However, cancer helped me conquer all that. Now I’d say nothing scares me more than people. They just seem to get more unpredictable and volatile year after year. {Insert shiver here}

Willow Croft: “I’m sure it was nothing. But I’ll just go outside and check, anyway. Alone. With no weapons.” Have you ever gotten writers’ block? If so, how do you combat it? Do you have certain rituals or practices that help get you into the writing (or creating) mindset?

Courtney Mroch: If I get writer’s block, it’s my gut telling me something’s wrong with the story. Sometimes I can figure it out by going back and re-reading earlier sections. Sometimes it’s more elusive. If I take a break and do an errand or a chore, or just get out of the house and go for a walk…basically, if I give myself time and my mind a break, the cause often reveals itself. Sometimes it’s a plot detail or I strayed from portraying a character authentically, etc. Or maybe I don’t like the title and need to come up with a different one. It’s always something. It’s never that I’m fresh out of ideas and lacking anything to write about. In that regard, I have the exact opposite of writer’s block!

Willow Croft: “Don’t go into the basement!” Are you an impulsive pantser or a plotter with outlines galore? What other writing/industry advice would you share with your fellow writers and creators?

Courtney Mroch: Impulsive all the way. I may have a general idea of the story, but it and my characters speak to me. I am just their secretary. I let them dictate the details and transcribe whatever it is they want to relate to me. Then I go back and do my best to edit it into some semblance of readability.

Willow Croft: “Ring ring!” It’s the middle of the night and the phone mysteriously rings. Which notable writer, or person from history, would be on the other end of the line?

Courtney Mroch: Oh man, what a tough question. There are a lot of people I’d love to talk with, but the very first person who came to mind was Erma Bombeck. I’d like to think we’d have a witty rapport and discover we’re kindred spirits. However, I have a feeling I’d either be so star-struck and tongue-tied that I’d say nothing and she’d hang up, or I would just gush about my favorite essays and never let her get a word in edgewise…and, frustrated, she’d hang up.

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