One of the most common questions I receive is, “How did you get interested in the paranormal?” I’m going to get a bit more in depth with that question in a LifesGift.com article in April, but I’ll touch on that a bit here since it’s on my mind.
Quite honestly, I’ve always had an interest. Perhaps that’s too broad, but I’ve always been interested in spirituality, the afterlife, and the world around us that we can’t see. There were some incidents in my youth involving shadow people, an apparition, and dreams — all of which I’ll eventually write about. Those things coupled with a reading of the Bible and The Amityville Horror really piqued my curiosity.
However, life lead me down a different path in my early adulthood, one that included a family and a promising career in the IT industry. On the side I wrote, as I had my entire life, and I finally published a mystery novel in 2004. I’ve always loved mysteries and trying to solve the puzzle, and this was a traditional private detective novel with my own bit of flair. I wrote a few short stories as well, including a paranormal one that is currently a freebie on my website (“The Legend Beneath the Coal Bin“), and somewhere along the way between promoting Deadly Heirs and writing paranormal short stories fate found me.
Schiffer Publishing was expanding their line of paranormal books and they asked me if I’d be interested in covering the state of Maryland, where I lived at the time. Essentially, my future just fell into my lap. That’s the part of the question I have the hardest time answering, because I’m not sure how others perceive that truth. It’s the way my life has seemed to work all of these years, in unconventional paths that defied my original plans. When I was a kid in school I completely geared myself for college, yet I ended up going into the military straight out of high school. I didn’t want to get married until I was 25 and decided having children in my late twenties was the prudent thing to do. Instead, I got married a month after I turned 19 and had three children by the time I turned 24. What is it they say about the best laid plans? In any case, I wanted to be mystery fiction writer and here was an opportunity to write books about real ghost stories.
Making the decision to write Ghosts of Maryland was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I got to delve into a field in which I’ve always had an interest, I’ve been able to visit countless historic locations (and I love history), and best of all I’ve met a number of tremendous people along the way. When I was up at the Belvoir Winery in Libery, Missouri, a couple weeks ago for ParaCon 2001, one of the things Lee Ehrlich of Paranormal Divers and I kept talking about was how we really enjoyed going to the paranormal conferences to meet all kinds of fantastic people.
It’s been a real pleasure getting to know everyone, but it’s been a real privilege to work with those that are members of Society of the Haunted. I’ve been working with them investigating the paranormal for a year now, and I continue to be impressed with the knowledge and experience they all possess. With a number of upcoming cases and video projects, we hope everyone following us will enjoy and learn something from the experience.