In my book “Be Still, My Love“, the main character, Tess Schafer, is a medium.  In other words, she speaks to “the dead”.  I wanted to write a story involving a medium for many reasons.  1) I am intrigued by the idea of talking to the “dead”, 2) I’ve had some success with it in various forms and wanted to use some of those experiences in a story, 3) I love ghost stories and so what better story to write than a story I love to read?

Tess doesn’t just talk with people who have “crossed over” (I dislike the term “died” when that isn’t really accurate), she also communes with her spirit guide, Sheila.  I really wanted to explore the whole issue of a medium going through grief and how she might handle it.  “Be Still, My Love” came to me pretty quickly.  I wrote the story in just a couple months (the editing took longer but we won’t discuss that!).  I am now nearly done with the sequel (as yet to be titled).  I had to write another book involving Tess because I was so intrigued with her.  Not to mention the other characters as well, like her love interest Kade Sinclair (I’m hoping to interview him soon!).

I’ve seen other blog posts of authors/bloggers interviewing book characters and at first I thought it was silly.  But then I got to thinking about it.  And now I’m thinking it’s a pretty neat idea!  My characters are like real people to me and the idea of interviewing them to see what more we can get from them…well, love the concept.  So, without further ado, I bring you an interview with Tess Schafer, medium, and heroine of “Be Still, My Love”.  My comments/questions in bold:

Do you think I did a fair job in your character development?

I think so.  I started out pretty normal, living the good life, enjoying a great marriage and then, of course, it all ended in that one awful moment.  To put it mildly, I was devastated.  I really didn’t think tragedy would hit me like that because of my spiritual connections.  It was a bitter pill to swallow.  I lost it for awhile and turned my back on God.  I was just so mad.  I was mad at Mike for dying and taking my dog with him, I was mad at God for taking him, and I was mad at my spirit guide Sheila for not warning me about what was going to happen.  I went into a dark place.  I believe you did a pretty good job pulling me out of that dark place and bringing me back into the light.  I was a completely different person by the time Be Still reached its conclusion.  I can’t imagine allowing myself to ever slip back into that sort of misery again.  But I’m also hoping nothing happens to test it.  Really, this story should give people hope that anyone who has gone through a loss like that will eventually find some happiness again.  After all, we aren’t truly abandoned are we?  God, the angels, even Mike, never really went anywhere.  They stayed with me the whole time.  I just couldn’t feel them.

Did anything happen in the story that you wished had gone differently?

Well yeah, you have to ask?  I wish I hadn’t lost my husband and dog.  Death sucks for those of us left behind. It really does.  And I’m saying that as a person who KNOWS that life doesn’t end when the body expires.  But then we wouldn’t have a story, would we, if Mike and Tootsie hadn’t died?  The worst thing in the world is dealing with death.  Not only did I lose my husband, but my dog.  It really ticked me off that you took my dog from me too.  Two years is a long time to live in misery.  It would have been nice if you’d sent me to that resort sooner.  I mean, really…TWO YEARS?  I think my biggest problem was the loneliness.  And I wish I hadn’t lost my ability to talk to the dead … er, to people who have crossed over.  I might have found some comfort in talking to my husband, Mike, and recovered a little sooner from the loss if I could have only talked to him one more time.  Of course, I did get to do that eventually and I’m grateful, I truly am, but I wish it could have happened sooner than two years.

Do you feel that your faith is stronger now than it was before your tragedy?

Oh yes, definitely!  That old saying that you don’t miss something until you don’t have it?  Well, there’s something to that.  It was terrible to live for two years without feeling my connection to God.  I really was mad at “him” and you know I hate referring to God as a him but it’s easier to reference something like that as a pronoun.  So anyway, once I realized that Mike really was okay and so was Tootsie, well, it was easier to forgive God for taking them.  I wanted some joy in my life again.  And I wanted my gift back.  People need people like us, you know?  Mediums have a purpose in this life.  We connect this world with the next and we help grieving people find some peace.  It’s an awesome gift.

What do you think about people who think mediums are in league with the devil or are engaging in evil practices?

You can’t stop people from believing what they do.  I feel sad for people like that but I’m done with defending myself and my beliefs.  To each his own, you know?  I had to deal with that prejudice with Modesta.  She never came around and I can’t figure why?  I mean, what did I do that was so evil?  Nothing!  But I’m not going to get on my soapbox about it.  I know in my heart that what I do is good and filled with nothing but loving intention.  I won’t let anyone sully that with their bias.  Even my husband Mike had a problem with it.  He didn’t think it was evil or anything but the whole stigma attached to it, that it’s all hoodoo voodoo hoopla, well I had to deal with that.  We are all at different stages in our lives when it comes to belief and knowledge and whatnot.  We just need to respect each other instead of tearing each other apart for having different beliefs and views on things.

Do you believe in heaven and hell?

Certainly I do!  But my concept of it is probably not the same as yours or anyone else’s.  I think we get in the afterlife what we think we deserve.  If you die thinking you were bad and have to go to hell, well, you’ll experience a sort of hell until the angels can help you come around and see that you don’t need to be there.  If you think you deserve to go to heaven, well then you’ll experience a sort of heaven.  But eventually, I think we all end up in the same place.  Some might take centuries to get there…you know, the ones who have a lot of negativity in their soul to work through.  I do believe in Karma and all that.  It’s all pretty complicated and I’m still working through my beliefs.  But I try to keep an open mind, you know?

So, what’s with Kade?  Do you think you can have more than one true love in your lifetime?

Wow, that’s personal!  I like Kade, of course I do.  Who wouldn’t like him?  He’s honorable, strong, kind, thoughtful.  He’s what every girl wants in a man.  I loved Mike and I’ll never stop loving him but I have found that the heart does heal and will allow another in … eventually.  Mind you, I only accept this happening when one relationship has definitely ended.  Cheating doesn’t cut it.  That isn’t acceptable.  Poor Kade had to deal with that and I can’t imagine going through that sort of betrayal.  It was bad enough dealing with Mike’s departure from my life by dying, I can’t imagine how I would have felt if he’d left me for someone else.  Both bring lots of grief, of course, but one seems more forgivable than the other.  I mean, if someone dies, you can’t be mad at them forever about it.  But, if someone cheats…well that’s a choice made that’s hard to accept.  You can come to forgive, of course, but you’ll never forget.  I’m glad Kade isn’t letting it come between us or anything.  I would probably have trust issues after something like that.  He seems to trust me and I … well, I love that about him.

What is it you like best about yourself?

My gift.  Hands down.  I love that I can make that connection to “the other side”.  It’s hard to be severed from someone you love.  It’s painful and it physically hurts.  A lot of the anguish comes from not having a chance to speak one more time or not knowing if they are okay.  We love them so much and when they are gone, we think of them as being alone.  We don’t want them to be alone.  I hated not knowing how Mike was after he died.  Was he okay with his passing?  Did he go against his will?  I’ve yet to come across someone in spirit who is not happy to be there.  Even the ones who die violently, they are more concerned with the loved ones left behind or having someone on the loose who might do more harm than they are upset about being dead.  I have found that people can come to accept the death of a loved one a little better if they can just have that reassurance that they really aren’t gone forever and they really are okay.  It’s all any of us want, for those we love to be happy.

Before we close out this interview, can you tell us anything about the sequel to Be Still, My Love?

Oh wow!  This new mystery has me totally enthralled.  I know you are as stymied as me on where we’re headed.  I have a pretty exciting life to be sure.  It gets a little scary sometimes because the unknown is scary but then when you bring the unknown to light…well, it isn’t scary anymore, it’s fascinating.  I’m really enjoying my stay in Bucksport.  It’s a really neat little town and there’s so much history there.  I understand you grew up there?  Lucky you!

Yeah, it was a nice place to grow up.  The witch’s curse was always a fascinating topic for me.  I also lived in a haunted house when I was a kid but in the next town over.  Maybe you should check it out, see if the spirits are still there?  The house is gone now but the tomb is still there.

I’m hoping you keep me in Maine for awhile.  I’m not ready to return to New York.  But I guess we’ll have to see what happens as we conclude the story.  The suspense is almost too much.  I’m like, solve this already!

I know what you mean!  I feel the same way.  Thanks for the chat, Tess.  Maybe we’ll do this again sometime!

Thank you for interviewing me.  It’s nice to have a voice other than in the story!  Hope some of your fine blog readers will check out our books!  And I hope you get the inspiration to write another one when this sequel is done.  I’m not ready to fade into obscurity.

And so that concludes the interview with Tess Schafer, Medium.  If you are interested in Tess’s story, check it out here: “Be Still, My Love”   The sequel coming soon!!

Blessings to all and Peace Out!

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