Monday, 2 April 2012

Dianne Hartsock's Encounters with the Paranormal

Today, I am delighted to welcome Dianne to my blog. She is the author of 'Alex' and 'Nathaniel' - two riveting books centred around characters with psychic abilities.
Here she tells us of her real-life spooky encounters:

 We have a ghost haunting the gift store where I work. Faucets will turn on when no one’s near them. Things will fall off shelves. A co-worker says a pair of scissors flew off a table and landed in the middle of the room in front of her eyes. I know she seemed shaken up when she came running over to tell me about it. Actually, I would consider this to be the work of a poltergeist, but since we don’t have an angst-ridden teenager working with us, it’s unlikely. But it does give me the shivers to imagine a specter creeping around the store trying to convey some sort of message. 

            About a year after I was first married, I was fast asleep one night, lost in dreams, when my husband suddenly shook my shoulder, waking me. I blinked in the darkness. What was going on? He climbed from the bed and quickly went into the other room. He returned a few minutes later and told me he had woken up and saw me standing beside the bed, not saying anything, just standing there. He called my name and the figure disappeared! That’s when he shook me. Imagine his surprise and confusion when he found me in bed. The apartment was empty when he searched it.
            When my daughter was four years old, I woke up one night to see her standing by the bed. Only she was a grown woman and began screaming at me, shrill and hateful words, full of anger. I couldn’t understand what she was saying, and then the woman simply vanished. To this day I don’t like sleeping facing the door just in case the woman returns.
            Can both instances be simple dreams? Perhaps, but my older sister tells the story of one night waking up when we were just kids to see a woman walking from bed to bed, looking down at the children sleeping. Then the woman vanished.
            I’m left wondering why this woman is in my life. To me, the paranormal adds a spice of the unknown and thrill of danger to the mundane. I’m fascinated by psychic phenomenon. The thought of telekinesis and mind reading, the power of the mind over matter, fills my world with wonder. What if it is true? What if there are people whose visions are real and dreams foretell the future? It’s this feeling of amazing possibility I try to capture in my writing. 

            My paranormal thriller novel, ALEX, is the story of an unwilling psychic. I wanted to create a character who, by his very nature, could suspend disbelief for the duration of a novel.
            With ALEX, I wondered what extreme circumstances could lead to his psychic ‘gift’. I decided it would have to start with his childhood. Alone and isolated, living with the anguish of an abusive parent, perhaps a person’s mind would expand, seeking escape from the sadness and loneliness of life. I believed his isolation would also make Alex hypersensitive to the people around him. He’d be empathetic to the point where he could sense and sometimes see the emotions of others. Their thoughts would leap to him in a wave of a sympathetic connection.
 After ALEX, I wanted to write something lighter, but keep the same psychic tone. And I wanted to make it a fantasy, a genre I’ve only dabbled in but thought it would fit what I wanted to do.  NATHANIEL is another story of a young man with psychic abilities. I wanted to put him in a fantasy book where his ‘gift’ would seem like magic to the people around him. They would fear him. Call him a witch and ultimately want to destroy him.
But of course, my stories always have to have a happy ending! So I gave Nathaniel a lover to stand by his side against his enemies, Taden is enchanted with the young magic user and falls in love with the vulnerable, beautiful man. In the end, Taden becomes Nathaniel’s hope.

ALEX

Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. He sees the brutal images of the tortured victims. Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend.


NATHANIEL


From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he finds himself caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him thrilled and confused. The Sutherlins are planning to invade the beautiful Tahon Valley, but as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn to the young man. Not only does he feel the urge to protect him, but he feels an ache he hasn’t felt in many long years.

Nathaniel claims to be a traveler from a distant continent, saying he comes in peace. True or not, the youth has powers beyond anything Taden has seen—control over men and animals and the very weather. Taden falls hard for the strange traveler, protecting him not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and accuse him of being a witch…


Thank you so much for having me as your guest, Cat! 

Feel free to contact me any time:
Dianne Hartsock


23 comments:

  1. You must be sensitive to those kinds of things. I don't envy you!!

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    1. It's not too often that I'll get 'spooked'. More often I scare myself by imagining things. :)

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  2. I love the idea of something 'other' that you describe, Dianne. Fascinating.

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    1. You know that saying, 'there's nothing there in the dark that's not there in the light'? I don't find that comforting. :)

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  3. I'm glad to know your stories have a happy ending. Your real-life stories are very spooky!

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    1. I stayed the night at the Oregon Caves Chateau a few years back and could have sworn a presence came in the room and stood over the bed. I didn't look and if finally went away. My husband only laughed when I told him.

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  4. Although I love the idea of ghosts, I think I'd have been tempted to move house, Dianne. Great inspiration for the writing though...

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    1. The problem with moving, Suzie, is that I'm afraid the spirits simply follow me. ;)

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  5. Thanks so much, Cat, for having me as your guest today. This is fun!

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  6. Ooh scary business! Super interview and great, if disturbing anecdotes.

    I'm so glad that I'm psychically numb. The place I work must be crawling with the ghosts of annoyed Welshmen, poor suls, and I'm here on my own a lot of the time. It might get a bit uncomfortable if I was aware of them.

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    1. My trouble is that I scare myself when I work alone whether there's ghosts there or not!

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  7. While i haven't seen a ghost, i was 500 miles away when my father died of a heart attack--lying on the floor in a yoga studio clutching my chest because of the pains. A friend walked in a few minutes later to tell me my mother had called. : )

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    1. Must have been terrifying, and yet, maybe a comfort to know you were so close to him. My father died slowly at the hospital. I remember feeling sad all day and not knowing why, until I got a call to fly home and say goodbye.

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  8. Many thanks for being my guest today, Dianne and thank you everyone for your comments. Spooky stuff, Tara

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  9. Dianne, maybe your ghost could meet Catherine's! I was once in a cottage in Ireland and was certain it was haunted, I'd never felt so spooked in my life. I've read Nathaniel and he's a very special young man.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked my Nathaniel! Sorry about the cottage. Sounds like it would be a beautiful place.

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  10. Wow. My grandmother saw her brother as he died in WWII. Fascinating post.

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    1. That must have been so sad! At least she got to say goodbye.

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  11. Great post, Dianne and Catherine. I enjoy imagining what's going on around me that my eyes haven't learned to see.

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    1. Sometimes I'm afraid to look, just in case I do see! Thanks for stopping by, Keith.

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  12. I often wish I could see the world through my cat's eyes. I am sure she sees things I can't - but to her it's normal.

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    1. Then you'd definately know what's there in the dark! Not really sure I want to. ;)

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  13. It's OK Dianne, I'd just hide behind her! She's much braver than I am

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