...as I chronicle the journey of Shadows of Destiny from conception to publication and onto bookshelves across the nation! Learn behind the scene information about book festivals, conferences, interviews, guest blogs, and more...
Whew! I think I have finally recovered from the long 1-day trip to and from Houston! The Indie Book Fest was a blast. As my first book festival, it really helped prepare me for what is to come in Arkansas and Alabama the next two weekends. I met some wonderful people and fellow authors.
Among the things I learned, I was surprised that people were interested in the events leading up to the writing of Shadows of Destiny. Question - What made you write this book? Answer - I don't know. Well, obviously that is not the answer people want, so I spent a couple of hours developing an answer (with the diligent and humorous help of a fellow author!). By the end of the day, I had a new hook to draw people to my table and some thoughtful answers to some very basic questions. I suppose I never really thought anyone would be interested in the impetus behind the book since I am virtually unknown. But, the wonderful guests of the book fest proved me wrong while providing me with an excellent opportunity to practice my answers.
So, what made me write this book? Well, it was a combination of interesting events that just happened to culminate in a story about a young girl who has spent almost her entire life in the foster care system, never quite understanding her special gifts...talking to angels, seeing ghosts, traveling to faraway places without ever leaving her room. Prior to writing this story, I had created approximately 5 partial stories over a 12 year span. Between completing my doctoral degree, internship, raising a young family, and subsequent practice as a licensed psychologist, I never got around to completing any of those other stories. But, Shadows of Destiny was different. I felt a connection to this story...something pulled me in and encouraged me along the way.
In my professional practice, I have encountered many people over the years who have experienced some type of paranormal encounter or psychic ability. Some were children, others were adults who had lived years with the shame of their gift or simply tried to hide it...unsuccessfully. My job was to help them deal with the anxiety, depression, stress, isolation, loneliness, poor self-esteem, and countless other problems associated with these encounters. What I heard most often is this...people just think I'm crazy. I was drawn to their stories and their experiences and decided to research what they described. I know, I know...my background is scientific in nature. I shouldn't believe any of this hooey, rather, these people should just be referred for medication or admission into a psychiatric hospital. Something about those options just didn't seem right to me. So, I researched, and I wrote, then researched some more. I learned about Indigo children, US and Russian government involvement in psychic research, and techniques used in meditation, channeling, and remote viewing, for example. I watched television shows about hauntings and psychic kids. I assimilated what I learned from these external sources and my patients. I heard about encounters with ghosts, angels, and spirit guides.
Although I realize Shadows of Destiny is a work of fiction, I hoped in writing this book, the reader would better understand the complex set of psychological and social issues these individuals face, and ultimately realize they should not be treated like social pariahs. Perhaps there is a little bit of the paranormal in all of us...but, unlike Analise, we're just not open to the experience.