Q: First, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
I’m writing book four of a character-driven, paranormal suspense series. Psychics (assigned to the U.S. Navy) hunt WWII Nazi spies on the East Coast. The hero is the skeptical Navy commander in charge of setting up the project and the heroine is the clairvoyant WAVE assigned to oversee the business office. Each psychic has a unique skill to bring to the mix (clairvoyant, medium, crystal ball reader, laying-on-of-hands healer, and seer of ghosts).
In the first book, EXPECT TROUBLE, they use their psychic skills to uncover two spies. As the book develops, they get to know one another enough to accept that each will watch the other’s ‘psychic backs.
The second book, EXPECT DECEPTION, brings in black arts magic and Pennsylvania Dutch hex spells. The psychics must reach beyond their individual skills and unite as a group to fight and overcome a baffling barrage of occult magic. The reader learns that the heroine is a direct descendant to a Black Dutch ancestor from Bavaria, Germany, who has a powerful book of counter spells to drive back the evil directed at the U.S. Navy psychics by Hitler’s occult group.
In book three, EXPECT BETRAYAL, the hero and heroine travel to wore-torn London to retrieve the book of counter spells which was smuggled out of Bavaria as Hitler was increasing his control on the country. What they don’t know is that their supposed friend who accompanies them to England is working for Germany. He has orders to kill the hero and kidnap the clairvoyant heroine if they get too close to Hitler’s secrets or find the book of spells.
A romance between the heroine and the hero develops slowly over the course of the three novels.
In book four, the crystal ball reader takes the lead against a deadly female villain. It’s in early stages and as yet untitled.
Q: What other lessons do your characters learn in the course of their stories?
In the Operation Delphi paranormal suspense series, the hero must learn that he is a man who makes his own decisions and is not an extension of his politically powerful father. My heroine must learn that being clairvoyant is a precious gift that can be used to help others and is not a reason for shame.
Q: Why did you decide to set up a team of psychics with various talents instead of focusing on one?
I decided when framing this series to have the clairvoyant leader as the heroine of the first three books of the series and to use the other psychics on the team as the heroine/hero of later books. The fourth book will feature the crystal ball reader.
Q: Why did you choose WWII?
I was six years old when America entered the war, but I remember the feel of the times. I experienced food rationing, Victory Gardens, and black-out sirens. These memories help me create authentic and vivid descriptions of time and place.
Q: Why did you choose Philadelphia as a setting?
My first job in 1956 was in Philadelphia. Many buildings I remember from then are still there. I was able to incorporate “real life” structures with the structures created from my imagination to create a story world that would work for a series.
Q: Give us an interesting fun fact about your book or series.
I decided to use Pennsylvania hex signs painted on Pennsylvania Dutch barns in the 1800’s and early 1900s in my Work in Progress (WIP) paranormal suspense manuscript. I grew up in Pennsylvania knowing that these colorful hex symbols were painted so witches would think they were windows, hit their heads against the barn wall, knock themselves out, and thus save the animals and stored crops in the barn from witchcraft.
In the 21 st century, the research books I studied went to great length to deny witchcraft and to assure us researchers that hex signs were only colorful, artistic symbols, now considered tourist attractions.
I know better.