I am inexplicably nervous and
I find myself shivering with an unseen cold
as I introduce you to the author of
‘Coast To Coast Paranormal Investigations’
I was born in the small city of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. Like many people before and after me, I moved away soon after graduating high school, to the ‘big city’ of Toronto, Ontario. I worked, met my husband, married, had a son and was widowed not long after that. Along with being a single mother and author of paranormal mysteries I am actually a paranormal investigator with a local team in Ontario. I have been involved in investigations from private residences to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. I do not watch a lot of paranormal shows on TV. I am too critical of them. There is only a couple which I actually enjoy watching without feeling the need to pick them apart piece by piece. I find many of these shows insulting to our field.
Coast to Coast Paranormal Investigations is the first in a series of paranormal action-packed mysteries. Leigh MacLeod is a young widow with a passion for ghost hunting. After years of struggling both financially and emotionally, fate finally smiles down on the feisty lead investigator. She sets out to realize her dream and begins to build her own state-of-the-art professional paranormal investigation team. Her team gains access to Greenhurst, an abandoned hospital for the criminally insane and a hotbed of violent paranormal activity. Excitement soon turns to tragedy, however, when an angry spirit lashes out, nearly killing Leigh. Though she survives, her life and her team are devastated. Worse, the evil spirit has attached itself to Leigh. As she struggles to rebuild her life, the entity works to undermine her sanity and eventually threatens her life. Suddenly the ghost hunter must become the client. The remnants of Leigh’s team join forces with another group of investigators in a daring plan to return to Greenhurst and face the evil entity head on. You follow her heart wrenching battle as she is locked literally in a fight to survive.
Who do you think most influences your writing?
I have a few influences. One of the key authors that I follow religiously is Beth Kery. She writes in different genres including supernatural and erotica. The first novel of Kery’s that I downloaded to my Kobo was Silken Rapture, part of the Princes of the Underground Series. I stayed up all night until I finished the entire story. I knew I was hooked.
There are also a number of great indie and self-published authors out there who have really taken advantage of the surge of interest in paranormal/ supernatural/erotica/bdsm stories and have released some amazing titles. The indie/self-published authors are really changing the face of publishing.
When did you first gain an interest in writing?
At a low point in my life I had to give up paranormal investigating. I did not have the time or the money to travel with our team. I was a single mom working full-time, mostly evenings and weekends and we were barely able to make ends meet. I remember watching a paranormal show on tv one evening and I was being my usual critical self about it when I realized, I can write about paranormal investigating. And I can write exciting, nail biting thrillers. I started by asking myself “what would be a paranormal investigators worse nightmare?” Book 1 was conceived.
Are any of your characters based on real people, no matter how loosely?
Anyone who knows me will know that the history of the main character, Leigh MacLeod, is loosely based on my own past experiences. From being widowed at a young age, to suffering from financial difficulties and depression, I knew I first needed to be able to bond with the lead character before I could expect readers to. The character of Aiden is loosely based on my favorite performer, Adam Lambert. I have described his music as sounding like he is running his fingers through your soul. His music was a large influence, not so much in the stories, but the emotion behind some of the stories. The characters that make up the team of Coast to Coast Paranormal Investigations are loosely based on characters I’ve seen on TV or movies that just stuck with me. ‘Chris’, Leigh’s ever faithful and awesome camera guy was influenced by one of the actors in Twister. The team that makes up Spirit Chasers was formed by taking bits and pieces of my favorite investigators from the many, many paranormal shows on TV. There is no one character that is based solely on one person.
How long did… take to write?
I can’t say how long it took to write Coast to Coast Paranormal Investigations, Book 1 because as soon as I finished the last paragraph of book 1, the story line of book 2 started coming to life. I then split my time between editing book 1 and bringing book 2 to life. With all three books I probably wrote 10 months straight. I would get home from work at 10pm and stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning. I had to. I simply could not sleep as long as the story line was still in my head. Books 2 and 3 just seemed to flow naturally once Book 1 was set.
Why did you choose to write in this particular genre?
I’m a paranormal investigator! I’ve seen some pretty bad stuff on TV and I knew I could come up with something much better.
What part of the writing process did you find most difficult?
Letting go of my first book, letting it go to print. I described to many of my friends as sending your first child off to school for the first. What if no one liked him, what if they picked on him. It was gut wrenching. I always felt like I should hold on and do a bit more editing. Then a friend and fellow author warned me that I might literally kill my own book by over editing. I closed my eyes and hit send on the final approval.
What genre is your book listed under? And If you could create the perfect genre for your book, what would you call it?
On Amazon it is listed under Fiction/Mystery & Suspense. They need to create a new listing for Paranormal & Supernatural. There are just too many good authors of paranormal and supernatural stories that are getting lost in the 100,000s of mystery titles.
Where would you like to find yourself in five years time?
In five years, I would like to be sitting in my living room, preferably someplace warm, holding a package that just came in the mail. It would contain the new box set of all 4 Coast to Coast Paranormal Investigations movies on dvd. I’d watch them again, just before heading out with my own team on another paranormal investigation of our own.
Are you working on another book? And, if so, what is it about?
I have three more books in the series on the go. I am working on the final edits of Book 2 which is still untitled. Book 2 picks up where Book 1 left off. Leigh MacLeod is trying to rebuild Coast to Coast, which was decimated by the events at Greenhurst. She’s also trying to rebuild her own life as she recovers from her devastating injuries. She falls in love again. The one thing she fears the most. Ghosts and spirits don’t bother the feisty lead investigator, but the thought of falling in love and potentially suffering another loss is terrifying. She soon discovers that before she can move ahead with rebuilding Coast to Coast and returning to paranormal investigating, there is one more thing she has to deal with. Something or someone else from the Greenhurst investigation is continuing to torment her; making her life hell. She realizes some things will simply just not go away. Book 2 is a bridge between 1 and 3.
In Book 3 the all new team of Coast to Coast paranormal investigators are back with a vengeance, bringing you more spine tingling investigations that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats right until the last page.
Book 4, which seems to be taking on a new life as it blends both the paranormal and the supernatural. We’ll see how it goes if I decide to continue on with that story line.
Do you have a website where readers can find out more about you and your writing?
The website for the novel is http://www.coasttocoastparanormal.com
People can follow me and my writing journey on my facebook page at:
Do you have any events or promotions planned for the near future?
I don’t have any dates set yet but I am working on some book signing events with local Coles & Chapters. Once I have things finalized I will post them on my facebook page. And as we all know the world of indie and self-published authors is not one that pays very well. I have started a fund raising program through Kickstarter.com to try to raise the money to cover some of the costs of publishing Book 2 and 3. Here is the link should anyone be interested in being a part of the team!