I love the paranormal…it’s a fascinating part of our world and the life we live.  This strange love of mine leads me to the most engrossing books, the best movies, quite a few interesting experiences and some really great people!  One of those people is Beth Dolgner!  She not only writes paranormal fiction, she is also a paranormal investigator!  She goes on real ghost hunts and even conducts ghost tours!  I read Beth’s first book “Ghost of a Threat” and found her on Twitter (click here to follow!) to let her know how much I enjoyed it.  I also went looking for her on Facebook.  Yeah, I sort of stalk authors whose works I really like…but I do it with the best of intentions!  I love that the world of Social Media can connect me to the authors of all those wonderful books I do so enjoy reading!  Besides, they always have the option of not accepting my Facebook friend request if they feel so inclined or to not follow back on Twitter.  Most authors, however, LOVE connecting with their readers! (I totally enjoy the interaction).  Beth also has a great website where you can keep up with her and the services she offers!

So anyway!  I contacted Beth on Facebook and asked her if she’d be willing to guest on my blog.  She not only agreed, she offered to write a post!  So, without further ado…I present to you for your reading pleasure:

Truth is Stranger than Fiction, Paranormally Speaking

A few weeks ago, I made my debut as a guide with the Roswell Ghost Tour (that’s Roswell, Georgia, not UFO territory). When we got to one of the stops, I turned my back to the circa-1840s building I was talking about and addressed my group. As I spoke, I felt someone walk up behind me.

But there was no one there.

A friend of mine was on the tour, and she is a sensitive. As soon as we left for the next stop on the tour, I asked her who had been standing behind me. Without hesitation, my friend answered, “The little girl who haunts that building. She liked your energy, and she was curious about the two little boys on the tour.”

I’m a writer by trade, but I’m also a ghost tour guide, a paranormal investigator, and a volunteer at a historic cemetery. The experiences I’ve had add greatly to my Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series: I can inject some realism into my heroine’s paranormal investigating.

The series, which began with Ghost of a Threat, follows Betty “Boo” Boorman, a ghost hunter in Savannah, Georgia. Even my choice of city was influenced by real life: my mom lives there, and I’ve heard plenty of first-hand experiences from people who live alongside Savannah’s spirits. Betty’s team, The Savannah Spirit Seekers, find themselves dealing with everything from the spirits of children to revenants, which bear a strong resemblance to zombies.

Along the way, Betty meets a handsome demon named Maxwell, and she falls hard for him. That, understandably, comes with a whole new set of adventures and challenges for Betty.

While I don’t have any experience dating a demon, I have been able to draw on firsthand experience when it comes to writing about paranormal investigations. I’ve even included some brief scenes where there is no evidence of paranormal activity. If you’ve ever been on an investigation, you know it can involve sitting around for hours, only to have nothing happen.

Thankfully, my very first investigation was far from boring. I was researching stories for my first book, a non-fiction collection of Georgia ghost stories called Georgia Spirits and Specters. Ghost Riders Investigation Team invited me to come on an investigation of an abandoned mill, and my night was full of experiences. I was touched on the arm, I saw bright lights in my peripheral vision, and we got knocking sounds in answer to our questions.

I’ve also drawn on some humorous moments for my writing. I admit to mistaking an inanimate object for something otherworldly, and I’ve certainly made myself jumpy on occasion. I could relate to Betty’s rival investigator Carter when he mistook a dog for some menacing specter in Ghost of a Threat.

Sometimes, even paranormal events can be funny. In 2011, I got to investigate the St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida. We were in the basement of the light keeper’s house, and I was sitting on the floor while a few others led us in an EVP session. I leaned back and bumped up against my husband’s legs. When I glanced back, I realized that my husband was about six feet away! I did a double take, and everyone cracked up. I still have no idea who or what I leaned back against.

I am preparing for the July debut of Ghost of a Hope, the fourth and final book in the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series. In that book, I have a slightly different tie to real events: there is a heavy metal band involved in a haunting at a club. They’re a real band, and they gladly gave their permission to appear in my book…even though they wind up on the wrong side of an angry ghost.

Things are wrapping up for Betty, Maxwell, and The Seekers, but I’m sure some of my personal experiences will wind up in future stories. The next time something unseen brushes my hand, I’ll just smile and consider it “research.”

Beth Dolgner is the author of the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series. Ghost of a Threat is the first book in the series and is available in print and digital formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. Beth is also the author of Manifest, a young adult steampunk novel. Keep up with Beth at http://www.BethDolgner.com.