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Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

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I write what interests me.  Ghost interest me.  Why I have a fascination for dead people, I don’t know…but I do.  My first encounters with the paranormal scared the crap out of me.  I lived in fear.  Nightmares plagued my dreams.  The best way to conquer fear is knowledge.  It’s often the unknown that scares us.  But I have to say, knowing something is “there” and not being able to see it…that’s pretty freaky too!  I needed to understand hauntings and so I set out to learn what I could about this mysterious phenomena.  There are as many people who don’t believe in ghosts as there are people who do.  I say this…once you’ve encountered one, you believe.  No, you don’t just BELIEVE… you KNOW.

For seven years I lived in a haunted house.  I was pretty scared of the spirits who shared my home although they never hurt us or did anything harmful.  They took things, they played with the lights and other electrical equipment, they opened doors, they moved things, shook our bed, teased our dog, but they didn’t hurt us.  Given that, I’m not sure why I was so terrified of them.  Times have changed.  Now I go looking for them.  Yeah, I’ve done a complete “about face” on the whole thing.

I joined a Spiritualist church a few years ago.  For those that don’t know how Spiritualist services work, the first part is always a healing session, the second part of the service is the inspirational message of the day and the third part is messages from “the other side” as channeled by the visiting medium.  On my first visit to this church, my uncle came through via the medium conducting the messages that week (this very gifted medium also happened to be the church’s pastor and he’s since channeled several other family members from beyond!).  My uncle was described to me so specifically that the medium was either the best psychic ever or he was communicating with my uncle.  It was my uncle.  I KNOW it. The following week, my grandmother came through.  Same scenario.  The visiting medium was too specific about things concerning my grandmother to be “lucky”.  Nana was there.  I KNOW it.

I started experimenting with spirit communication many years ago.  First with a Ouija board, then automatic writing and finally on to channeling.  At first I did wonder if these communications were all coming from my imagination but then things came through that I couldn’t have possibly known.  That got my attention.  Suddenly I’m thinking this was the real deal and not just an interesting exercise.  It’s amazing what can come through from “beyond” when you put your ego aside and let go of your inhibitions.  Yeah, I know, its all hard to believe but that doesn’t mean it’s unbelievable.

I am also very interested in reincarnation and hope to have another book out based on this concept in the late summer.  I became even more interested in this subject when my 2-year old son started talking about when he was a man and asking where his wife was because he missed her!  I posted about this previously.  See: Reincarnation or Freaky Coincidence

I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to put words together so it is only natural that I write stories that interest me.  Otherwise, I’m not going to write them.  Ghost stories interest me.  Not gory horror but honest to goodness ghosts needing help in some way or another.  Most ghost do, you know…need help.  It makes for great story telling!

I wrote Be Still, My Love because I started doing the “what if” game.  What if a medium suffered a horrible tragedy?  Would she be like “Oh darn, my loved one is in heaven now, guess I’ll have to communicate spiritually” or would she grieve?  Would she get mad and if she did would that anger interfere with her ability to talk to the dead?  How would she deal with it all?  Would she ever love again? Voila, a story is born.  Since I live in Maine, I decided to place the story where I knew best.  Besides, the rocky coast of Maine offers great backdrop to a spooky story!  I read an article a few years ago about a medium who liked to travel to inns and do readings and I thought, what if I had a medium go on vacation to a haunted resort?  The story just grew from there.  I didn’t plan it out, I just started writing and a story evolved.  The title came from a moment in the book where the medium tells her dead husband to “be still” and fret over her no more.  He, in turn, tells her the same thing. I truly wanted the hurt and anger my characters suffered to “be still” and bother them no longer.  In the end, I think I achieved that.  For the most part.

As I was nearing the end of Be Still, I found that my character had more to give.  I didn’t want her story to end.  I was curious to see what she’d do next and so a sequel began to form.  I grew up in Bucksport, Maine and we have a local legend there that our town’s founder Jonathan Buck was cursed by a witch and the proof of it showed up on his gravestone, see A Supernatural Mystery if you are curious about this interesting legend!  I thought to myself “I should have my character go to Bucksport and figure out that curse!”  And she did!  You can find that story in “Hidden Voices” which will be available next month.  I can’t wait to find out what she comes up with next but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that ghost she met at the tomb!  Bucksport, it seems, is teeming with ghosts.  It’s a great place for a medium!

They say that life imitates art imitating life.  What a circle huh?  If you are going to be an author, you should write books that you love to read.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’m writing books I love to read.  After all, I’m the first reader of my own story.  If I don’t like it, it’s not going to get done and nor should it!  Luckily, I love Be Still, My Love and I love the sequel just as much, if not more.  Probably because I’m becoming pretty fond of my character and her gift.  I hope she stays with me for awhile and tells me more great stories!

So that’s my story.  And I’m sticking to it!  Blessings and Peace Out!

The "cursed" Jonathan Buck Monument

A new mystery is sparked by an old one!  Let me explain.  In December, I published my first book “Be Still, My Love“.  It’s about a medium, grieving over personal loss, who goes on vacation at a haunted resort on the coast of Maine.  Now, before I go into how the mysterious sequel was sparked, I have to lament a bit about my difficulty in properly identifying the book’s niche.  In which genre does it belong?  The story has supernatural elements (ghosts) which are also considered to be paranormal and there’s a romance involved though it’s not a romance book.  There’s also a mystery element to the story because medium Tess Schafer (the book’s heroine) must discover the truth behind the resort’s haunting.  Because of Tess’s special ability, there are occult elements involved because of Tess’s communications with “the dead”: she conducts a seance, she channel’s spirits, “sees” into the past.  Also, a lot of paranormal activity takes place throughout the book.  So, where does this put the book when it comes to genre placement?  These days, Paranormal books are considered something that involves werewolves and vampires (for the most part).  Supernatural books are similar but also include demons and such and are considered “horror”.  The Horror genre used to include eerie or spooky stories that weren’t necessarily horrifying.  Nowadays, thanks to the over-the-top dramas of Hollywood, horror is, well – horrifying.  I don’t consider my story to be horrifying, although it does have some spooky moments.   Given that, I’d call it a spooky mystery but there’s not really a genre for spooky mysteries.  So, there it is.  A dilemma. What do you think?  I really would like to get an answer on that one!

I am now working on a sequel to Be Still.  The story takes place in Bucksport, Maine.  It’s a real town.  It also happens to be my hometown.  There’s a supernatural mystery attached to Bucksport’s founding father Jonathan Buck.  You see…he has the stigma of a tombstone cursed by a vindictive witch! (it’s not really his tombstone but his monument but everyone refers to it as a tombstone so I’m just going to stay with the status quo).  It was Colonel Buck’s sloop that was chartered to carry settlers to newly awarded parcels of land.  One of those parcels (what is now called Bucksport) was awarded to Colonel Buck.  Now, in my research, Colonel Jonathan Buck was often referred to as “a Revolutionary War hero”.  I’ve yet to discover exactly what sort of heroic acts he committed but no matter.  The fact of it is, Jonathan Buck was responsible for the town of Bucksport getting settled and becoming a town.  A few years after he died, his grandchildren commissioned a stone monument in his honor and had it placed a few feet from where he is buried.  Soon after that, the outline of what looked like a booted leg appeared on the stone’s surface just below his name.  Legend has it that the stone was replaced three times and each time the outline appeared.  Family members were also rumored to have tried scrubbing it off but to no avail.  The image remained stubbornly in place.  Stories sprung up…as stories will…and Bucksport’s Witch’s legend was born.  The basic story is that Buck had a local woman condemned to death for practicing witchcraft and on the day of her death she cursed him and his family (even the town was condemned in some of the accounts).  Many stories sprung up, some suggesting that Buck was having an affair with this woman and when she threatened to expose their relationship (he was a married man with many children!), he had her proclaimed a witch and condemned to death.  Macabre storytellers made up even more bizarre stories to explain the “witch’s foot”.   I won’t mention them here for they don’t have much merit to their claims.   Besides, they are easy enough to Google!

Who knows why the image is on the monument.  It could be purely coincidental.  Scientific explanation is that it’s simply a flaw in the stone.  Whatever.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  There’s a reason for everything.  I’ve pondered over the mystery of that famous “tombstone” for most of my life.  I wonder.  I wonder.  Because my book “Be Still” took place on coastal Maine in an area not far from Bucksport’s location and because such a mystery would interest a person like Tess, I decided to include the bizarre tale in my own story.  An idea germinated from that.  What if I have Tess go to Bucksport and check out that tombstone?  I wonder what she’ll dig up? (no pun intended)  The world works in mysterious ways.  Maybe I’ll figure out what those markings (there’s also the distinct shape of a heart on the monument’s stone surface) really mean.  Maybe I’ll channel something through during the writing of the book!

I don’t plan out my stories.  I get an idea and then I start typing.  The story develops from there.  I honestly don’t have a clue what’s going to happen until I type it.  Already an interesting development has occurred!  I’m quite eager to get this story out.  And then I’ll be eager to share it!!  So, it seems I shall begin 2012 with some sort of supernatural mystery.  I love this process…the things that spring up during writing.  I even had Tess make discoveries in a similar fashion in “Be Still”.  She was inspired to write a story and by doing so, she learned a lot about Sea Willow’s secrets.  Maybe I’ll do the same thing and discover something about Bucksport’s cursed tombstone as I write about Tess’s adventure there.

Will keep you all updated on things as they develop!  Until then, many blessings to all and Peace Out!

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