Do you believe in the psychic ability?
I did do some research into ghosts and mediums for Medium Well, but I’ve been reading ghost stories, both fiction and nonfiction, since I was a kid, so I discovered I already knew quite a bit. My main source of information for my Medium trilogy was The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Troy Taylor. It’s a fascinating collection of information about famous hauntings and psychics, as well as well-known hoaxes and shysters. I knew a lot of the information about ghosts in England and the US (e.g., the Amityville stories, the Fox sisters, Chillingham Castle, etc.), but I was fascinated by the types of ghosts that seemed to cross cultures and by the things people did to protect themselves that also seemed to be common from one culture to another (carrying pieces of iron, for example). The stories about professional mediums seemed pretty flimsy, and in many cases they were obviously fake (and were unmasked by people they tried to cheat). But the folk mediums, the old timers who passed on stories and advice—those were the ones who fascinated me. I decided my medium heroes and heroines would be that type: people who weren’t entirely sure what to do with their ability to talk to the dead but who weren’t about to exploit the grief and fear of the living.
Incidentally, being psychic is technically sort of different from being a medium (the blurb for Medium Well calls Danny psychic, but I didn’t write the blurb). Psychics claim to have extrasensory perception that allows them to access information that’s hidden from normal senses. Mediums, on the other hand, serve as communication channels for the dead. They may or may not have ESP, but their real talents lie in this communication ability—like the man said, they “see dead people.”
So do these abilities, psychic and otherwise, really exist? I can’t say for sure. I do know the guys at CSICOP have done a pretty thorough job of debunking a lot of professional mediums who charge people money to contact the dead, and I read a lot about how these shady mediums operate using “cold readings” and other techniques. But I’ve also had the almost universal experience of feeling uneasy in some places. The hubs and I used to stay in a motel on our way home from Iowa at Christmas time. It always sort of gave me the creeps, but I convinced myself that was just because it was a very big motel and it was mostly empty. Then while I was surfing around the Web once, I found references to the place being haunted. Not just one reference, mind you, but several—even a YouTube video. Now I’m not so sure about why I felt so uncomfortable there. Maybe it was just the isolation, but maybe it was…something else.
A skeptic would say our expectations color what we experience, and she’d probably be right. But I’m still not ready to rule hauntings out. Ghost lore is part of our character, and giving it up would leave us a lot poorer, in my opinion. Besides, who doesn’t love a good ghost story?
The Medium Trilogy takes place in one of the most historical and romantic neighborhoods in San Antonio–the King William District.
Three Ramos siblings, Danny, Rose, and Ray, all have King William connections. Danny sells historic homes at Vintage Realty. Rose lives in a King William mansion she inherited from her grandmother. And Ray is renovating another mansion so that he and his partner can flip it for a profit. But all three have a hidden talent–so well hidden, in fact that they it’s a secret even from them. They’re all descendants of the Riordan family: legendary mediums and sworn enemies of the ancient ghosts known as the Old Ones.
Medium Well, the first book in the Medium Trilogy, is Danny’s story, to be released by Berkley Intermix on February 19, 2013.
Love At Second Sight
Real estate agent Danny Ramos has always had a knack for selling homes, but when his boss saddles him with a neglected carriage house, Danny discovers that his abilities are more than simple intuition…
On his first visit to the house, Danny is confronted with visions of a violent murder. His assistant, Biddy Gunter, doesn’t seem affected, and Danny starts to think he’s going crazy—until he gets a visit from his mother, who suggests that Danny’s uncanny talent to sell old houses may stem from his family inheritance: psychic empathy.
When Biddy reveals to Danny her own strange dream about the carriage house ghosts, they team up to investigate and discover both the house’s dark history and their own unexpected attraction. But as the hauntings turn from unsettling to downright dangerous, Danny and Biddy need to figure out how to rid the house of its ghostly inhabitants, before their budding romance meets an untimely end…
Read an excerpt.
Before I came to Texas twenty years ago, my husband and I lived all around the U.S., including Kansas, Iowa, Washington, Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, with brief visits in California, Connecticut, and New Mexico. In fact, one of my favorite things to do (in pre-gas price hike days) is to travel around the country, preferably off the Interstate.
A couple of years ago my husband took a new job in the Colorado foothills, so I’ve now relocated to the northwest Denver suburbs. It’s a big switch, but my mom grew up on the Western Slope, and she gave me an abiding love of the mountains, so I’m not expecting too many problems (and no, I don’t mind the snow).
In Texas I taught English, desktop publishing, Web design, and editing, among other miscellaneous things, before finally retiring after putting in my twenty-five. At the same time, I worked as a freelance writer and editor, on projects ranging from computer manuals to underwater photography books.
My husband and I managed to raise two wonderful sons, along with a variety of cats and a couple of dogs. We still visit South Texas, and we still love to wander around the country when the spirit moves us, although these days we’re likely to fly in and rely on public transportation (let’s hear it for light rail trains!).
Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Giveaway open now through 2/17. Enter via the link below. Good Luck!
Follow the Tour!