Saturday, April 5, 2014

I'm Baaaccckkk!

So it turns out that people don't like reading the same blog post for four months solid! Go figure!

I wish I could say I had one big dandy excuse for my four-month absence, but actually it was a bunch of little excuses instead: finishing up the latest novel, Dead Voices; thumb surgery that precluded all writing including keyboarding; 1.5 other procedures; life. I know, I know, writers get around all this sort of thing and produce anyhow, but I had a choice between the novel and the blog and I sacrificed the blog to get the novel finished. And I hope you like it!

But back to my normal topics of conversation. Scary stuff.

Last month, I signed Jim and myself up for a two-part class with Ursula Bielski, author of Chicago Haunts and co-author of Graveyards of Chicago. Like me, Ms. Bielski grew up in a haunted house on the north side of Chicago. Like me, she is passionately devoted to all things paranormal and enjoys getting together with other like-minded individuals. Unlike me, she runs tours and also does paranormal investigation. Her presentations were interesting those two nights, especially with the added attraction of an overhead light that would blink, go off, or flare-up on its own while she lectured. Undoubtedly this was a faulty light bulb but it made things more fun!

But Ms. Bielski's class was just one of the many events I've got going the first part of this year, to feed my obsession and hopefully to inspire future books, as well. In a couple of weeks, I'm dragging Jim to see Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves of Ghost Hunters at the (haunted) Rialto Theater in Joliet. I watch the show, I've read their books, and I can't wait! Hopefully they are as entertaining in person as they are on TV. And Jim and I are sitting up in the balcony: maybe we'll get a visit from someone on the other side?

Also, I've been invited to share a book-selling table with colleague Sylvia Shults, author of Fractured Spirits, at the Quad Cities Psychic and Paranormal Expo in Moline on May 3. Fractured Spirits is the story of the Peoria State Hospital, a facility for the mentally ill, that closed its doors in 1973. Sylvia, who is a paranormal investigator as well as a writer, has researched, visited, investigated, and generally become an expert in both the physical and the supernatural history of the extremely haunted grounds of the old hospital. She's a great speaker and a terrific writer. Come and see us if you're around! We love to chat. We love to swap ghost stories. And as always, I offer a basic 10-minute or so palm analysis (okay, okay, palm-reading) to anyone who buys one of my books! Maybe one of Sylvia's books, too, depending on time.

Some time after that, during the summer, Jim and I have been invited to visit Williamsburg, Virginia. Can't wait to get there! The history, the site, the ghosts! And yes, they do ghost tours, and yes, you bet Jim and I are going on one or two.

So hopefully, with all this going on, there will be more regular posts to this site. I know people are stopping by to check it out and I am rightfully embarrassed that I haven't been good about putting up new material. So please take this as my apology and hopefully, I can get this blog back on its very haunted path!

Oh, and one more thing: read Dead Voices!

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