Haint Blue Creative® was born from a vision.
One day after work in 2014 I went for a walk at the park, Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a quaint little island connected to the mainland by a causeway. While walking the causeway, the wind in my hair and the seagulls cackling over the water, I was considering what I might write next. I had just finished my first novel and was ready to get started on something else, but I didn't have a clue what.
As if in a vision, a woman appeared in my mind. She was older, with dark skin and long silver braids. She was sitting on a porch hunched over a table, and on the table were a selection of tarot cards: the Knight of Wands, The High Priestess, the Five of Swords, and the Queen of Cups. I remember stopping mid-stride and saying aloud. "Tarot cards?!" I'd never touched a tarot deck before! Why in the world would I have a thought like that?!
The woman in my vision was Pinkie Perideaux, "Ms. Pinkie," one of my main characters in my duology The Scars We Choose. After that day, I somehow knew I was supposed to learn who she was and what those cards meant. And so, I did just that. I bought my first Smith-Waite deck and started researching. Then I used the cards to finish writing my book series, which took several years from that moment by the water to the publishing of Book Two. I even included the cards I "saw" in the story.
After publishing, I learned that several of my readers were also writers who worked with the tarot, but they had never thought about using the cards to enhance their writing. Inspired to help my fellow storytellers, I began Haint Blue Creative®, a space for readers to explore, learn, and create. I offer books that haunt the heart and storyteller resources to help elevate writing and publishing.
According to the history of the Gullah and Geechee communities of coastal Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, the range of blue-green colors used to paint the window shutters, door frames, and undersides of porch ceilings was believed to fend off “haints,” or unsettled spirits bent on trickery and wrongdoing.
As the colors are similar to water or the sky, the Gullah Geechee people believed haints would pass right over them, thus protecting their homes and families.
These pretty blue colors can also be found on homes and businesses across the Southeast communities of New Orleans and Key West.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of literary, Southern Gothic, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative®, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, and she has worked as an instructional designer for nearly twenty years.
When she’s not writing, Mandy enjoys the movies, theater, music, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, and binging The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to enhance creativity and foster wellness. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four sons, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.