Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm up for "Best New Voice, Fiction" and there's not enough hours in the day

Well, cool. My book, THE VAMPIRE SHRINK, has been nominated for a Benjamin Franklin award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. If I were a cat right now, I'd be stretched out on my back with all four paws in the air, making that "merrrowwww" sound. (I'm housesitting and taking care of 4 cats. What an education!)

I just started a new job as a therapist at a mental health center (hey, at a certain point, everyone needs a little financial security) in addition to my work at the addictions center, seeing my private clients and trying to do the edits on book 2. My hair is suddenly much more gray than it was a couple of months ago.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I'll be participating in panels, signing books and generally behaving wildly at HorrorFest this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Denver. Stop by and say hello! Here's the link:

Monday, April 07, 2008

What's your most memorable personal paranormal experience?

I was at a gathering over the weekend with some other people who are interested in the metaphysical and paranormal. As we sat around, drinking margaritas and nibbling tortilla chips and salsa, the discussion turned to odd experiences (anything utilizing the word "odd" is bound to be a personal favorite!). I always appreciate the opportunity to be reminded that consensus reality is an illusion and the universe is much more amazing and strange than we usually allow.

Speaking of "odd," has anyone seen that bizarre show "Dexter?" It's a Showtime production being re-run on network TV, Sunday evenings. Very unusual. The hero is a serial killer.

Anyway, somewhere between margarita #2 and #3, I shared an unusual experience from my eccentric life. I was 20 years old, working as a singer in a rock and roll band in Detroit. The entire band had rented an old house in a questionable -- but historically fascinating -- part of the city. The house was clearly haunted. (I'm the one who made the decision to rent the house. The moment I walked inside with the owner, I knew it already had several inhabitants. Ghosts were an everyday occurrence in my childhood.) I was sharing a bed with the drummer -- who would soon be my first husband and the sperm donor -- er, father -- of my darling son. The drummer's father had died when my bedmate was a young child and I'd seen photos of his dad (very Antonio Banderas-ish). Meanwhile -- the house had a basement with a locked entrance. Bwwwwaaaaa. You know I had to find a way down there. I had the guys in the band remove the door by its hinges and we all crept down the dilapidated staircase. (Cue the scary music.) It was very creepy and dark down there. The entire basement was filled with discarded, ancient furniture, broken mirrors, boxes and crates (big crates -- like the dirt-filled ones Dracula used to transport himself across long distances! ARGH!). One lone, dim light bulb swung from a cord. We'd all just seated ourselves among the ruins, making a pitifully transparent attempt to show how brave and unafraid we were, preparing to ignite the tip of an illegal substance, when a voice ordered "GO AWAY!" The sound seemed to reverberate from several locations at once. My stomach clinched and I got a BAD FEELING. This wasn't Casper. We practically trampled each other to get up the stairs. From that moment, there were constant noises -- thumping, and what sounded like muffled voices -- coming from the basement. I didn't venture down again, but what did happen was that my awareness of "otherness" was blasted open. One night shortly after our basement adventure, I woke in the middle of the night to find the drummer's father standing at the foot of the bed. Something about my open-ness must have sent an invitation and he answered it. My talking to the spectral soon-to-be father-in-law woke the drummer, who sat up and rubbed his arms, saying he was freezing. I hadn't noticed the low temperature until he mentioned it. The ephemeral Antonio only spoke for a few minutes, giving me a rather standard message for his son, who had gone back to sleep by the time the conversation ended. (I should say that the drummer was very used to me talking to people he couldn't see. I don't think he ever believed me, but he humored me. Maybe that's why I married him?) Our time in the historical house didn't last very long. We got a gig in North Carolina and hit the road. The drummer's dad never did appear to me again (but my second husband's mother was a regular visitor, years later). But, something about that house expanded my awareness and I've never been able to close the door entirely since then. I have to agree with Stephen King about houses . . .

How about you?