Thursday, June 5, 2008

Which Witch is Which, or Why the Paranormal?

A question that frequently comes up during my conversations with readers is-"Am I a witch?" And regardless of what my ten year old granddaughter might tell the playground bullies (you know, "better watch it, or my granny will hex you!), I'm not. So how did a small town Midwesterner ever get started writing about things that go bump in the night??

Easy, I've always been curious about other-worldly phenomena. I think the first book I ever read on the subject was by Ruth Montgomery, to be followed by a biography of Edgar Cayce, The Sleeping Prophet. In fact, I was so enthralled by the paranormal in high school that one of my girlfriends had this brilliant idea to conduct a séance at an abandoned farmhouse with me starring as the medium. It's hard to say what kind of energy we would've tapped into at that spooky, ramshackle house, and thankfully I backed out before we tried it. (Oh, by the way--did I mention that I'm a chicken? No? Well, yes, folks, I am! I can scare myself silly without any help from outside forces. I just like writing and reading about ghosts, beasties, and goblins and really don't feel the need to experience it first hand! The last place you'll ever find me is alone…in the dark…in a cemetery…doing a little ghost hunting on my own!)

So what accounts for this curiosity? One reason could be that I've always been drawn to the quote from Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Or another reason could be that I heard too many fairytales as a child! Or maybe at times the line between fact and fiction might get a little blurry for me. I don't know, but whatever the reason-I like the idea that everything can't be measured and wrapped up in a nice, neat little box, that there's still mystery in the world, that there's magick! When I come across something that defies explanation, (as long as it isn't scary), I feel a wide-eyed wonder and find myself thinking, "Could it be true?" It's amazing, and just like a kid-I want to be amazed!!! To me, the world would be a colder place without that feeling.

Writing about the paranormal allows me to explore that sense of wonderment whenever I sit at the keyboard. By doing research, I have the opportunity to read about and to meet people who've had all kinds of astounding experiences. It reaffirms my belief, blurry or not, that there's more to life than just what we can touch. I enjoy that! And I want to share! I hope everyone who reads one of our books walks away with that same sense of amazement…with that same question "Could it be…?"


azteclady said...

It is a cool question--and one we really should ask ourselves more. Doesn't it seem that the more science discovers and maps and studies, the more unanswered questions are presented?

I love the idea of all sorts of things hidden right before our eyes, simply because we refuse to see them...


Angie Fox said...

Very true. The more we learn, it seems like the more we don't know. That's one of the reasons I love reading paranormals, to see and experience different authors' versions of "what if?".

Amberkatze said...

The question I have to ask is when is the next book out? ;)

Shirley Damsgaard said...

Ahh Amber,

Thanks so much for asking!! (she gives a big smile!) THE WITCH'S GRAVE goes on sale December 23rd. Just received the final cover a week ago, and it's posted on my website now. I'm very pleased with it, and hope the readers not only like it, but the story between the covers!! ;)

Take care,

Amberkatze said...

I am glad to hear that! It isn't up on Amazon yet but as soon as it is I will be adding it to my pre-order list!

I can't wait!