Seeing Ghosts with James Garcia, Jr.

Seeing-ghosts_smToday’s guest is James Garcia, Jr. or “Jimmy” as he signs the comments he leaves on this blog. In a previous post, I told you how much I enjoyed reading his vampire novel Dance on Fire. But his latest book is not a horror novel, it’s a romance. Okay, yeah. Obviously the title is Seeing Ghosts, so it’s a paranormal romance. Great cover, right? Here’s the description and then I’ll let Mr. Garcia take the floor:

Paul Herrera finds himself bequeathed a mysterious old house near the California central coast by a deceased aunt he never knew. The woman who shows it to him is the spitting image of his wife, taken from him three years before in a senseless car accident which also took his unborn son. While he deals with the ghosts of a past he cannot let go, there are new ghosts Paul must deal with – alone for the week in the expansive two-storey house that he will soon discover holds many secrets. Eventually, he will see that he is surrounded by ghosts as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world – his sanity.

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James Garcia, Jr.

So, you ask, how in the world could a guy who started reading and writing horror fiction end up writing a romance? Well, it is a paranormal romance, so it really isn’t that big of a leap…

Truth be told, although I grew up reading The Amityville Horror and early works by Clive Barker and Mr. King, and watching films like The ThingPoltergeist and the original Friday the 13th films, my tastes have evolved with age. Now in my 40’s I find myself more comfortable with horror suspense than horror gore. If it’s splatter or torture porn, I’m really not interested. As one may excuse language and nudity when it’s necessary for the plot, I feel the same about violence. There’s certain rough aspects to The ExorcistThe Silence of the Lambs or more recently Let Me In, but the stories are so good that they work on every level.

Though I grew up with horror fiction and heavy metal music, my teenage years and a real lack of dating brought me to face issues of the heart. Even though my wife and I have been together now for twenty five years, I still remember those teenage years where every sad song seemed to be about me. Perhaps one might suggest that there is still a small part of me that wonders if love can be forever, and whether I might yet find myself alone once more? Only God knows. We have a wonderful life together, yet there’s still a part of me in touch with those feelings of love and loss.

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My favorite novel is not scary in the least: Beach Music by Pat Conroy. It is a work of genius. It is not paranormal, and I never wanted to read it; however, a sister in law of mine coerced me into picking it up. All these years later I have yet to put it down, reading it or at least parts of it periodically over that time. It is great drama and has a bit of everything in it. I will go to my grave a happy man if I’m considered half as good a writer as Mr. Conroy. Couple this with the fact that I’m most comfortable with a romantic comedy on my television, and you will now begin to understand how it came about that I ended up writing Seeing Ghosts.

I always hoped to write a haunted house story before my writing days were finished, but I did not want to rush it. I had seen too many films or books begin with so much promise, but fall flat in the end. This is not to say that I have written the greatest haunted house story in the history of mankind. But I do think I have come up with something that is very special – it certainly is to me.

And I hope it is for you as well. You’ll have to let me know.

As I say over at my blog, we’ll talk soon.

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The official release date for Seeing Ghosts is June 5.  

Persecuted by my characters!

Christa_PolkinhornMy guest today is author Christa Polkinhorn. I “met” Christa online a couple of years ago. Since then she’s answered about a million of my questions, served as a beta reader, and been an all-around A+ supporter of my work. I’d say it’s about time I let her speak to you here. Please welcome Christa as she describes a “visit” from her characters.

~~~~~

After finishing Love of a Stonemason, the second book in my Family Portrait series, I wanted to take a break from “my family on paper” and work on something entirely different. I opened a new Word document and began to type. I was at the second paragraph of the first chapter, when I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. I turned around and gasped.

After years of writing, my heart still stutters when I see him. Tall, broad-shouldered, muscular, with unruly dark hair and those vivid verdigris-green eyes, Andreas is the kind of man I could still fall for—after all, I created him. He isn’t perfect by any means. He has a temper and can be quite crude at times, but he did mature somewhat over the years. Besides, what would I do with perfection? What’s more important, he is a passionate man with a kind heart.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m writing or at least I was trying to until you appeared out of nowhere. What are you doing here anyway? I thought I sent you and your family on vacation.”

He gave me the familiar “what-the-heck-are-you-talking-about” look—his eyes narrowed and a deep furrow formed between his eyebrows. “We’ve been on vacation long enough; we’re bored; we want some action again.” There was an irritated undertone to his deep, throaty voice.

“Look.” I raised my hand and motioned him to sit down on the chair across the living room, but he remained standing. “Look, I’ll think of something for you again, but right now, I’m busy with a different book. You just have to wait your turn.”

AUF-190“A different book? What different book? You’ve been saying this for weeks and from what I see, you’re still at the second paragraph.”

He was right, darn it, but how did he know? “Okay,” I admitted. “I’m having a hard time but you hounding me doesn’t make it any easier.”

“I know what the problem is,” Andreas brushed through his unruly hair. “You write the wrong stuff. You should write about us.”

“I think I still decide what I want to or should write about,” I said. “By the way, when was the last time you had a haircut?”

He beamed. “You like unruly hair; that’s why you gave it to me.”

“Stop grinning,” I said.

“You shouldn’t use ‘grin’ in your writing so much; it’s bad style.”

“You know, Andreas, you’re really getting on my nerves right now. Would you please—”

“Oh, here you are; I was wondering what happened to you.” Karla stepped into the room, giving Andreas a sweet smile. She was dressed in a yellow-and-green slinky summer dress which flattered her tanned skin. I have to admit; I do create attractive-looking characters.

“Talking to our author.” Andreas hugged her and winked at me. “Trying to get her off her lazy butt and write the sequel.”

“With such language you’ll never convince me to go on,” I said, trying to give him a punishing look. But I never manage to get really angry at him, no matter how irritating he is sometimes.

LOS_190 “Heya,” a younger voice said and two more characters appeared—the children, Tonio and Laura, sixteen and eighteen by now. Tonio smiled at me.

“How was your vacation?” I asked with a sigh.

“Okay, but it got boring, nothing to do,” Tonio said. “And I desperately need some new clothes.

It was only now that I noticed his flashy shirt. “Seems like you have some nice outfits.”

“That’s my last clean one,” he said, a slight reproach in his voice.

With another sigh, I turned toward Laura and marveled once again how much she resembled her father, the same green eyes and dark, wavy hair, and strong physique. She, too, was attractive, but she keeps complaining that I didn’t give her the slender figure her mother had.

“Okay, since we’re all here now. How about some discussion about our future life,” Andreas said. “I think we’re all ready for more. I mean you created us and you can’t just abandon us like this. We have a right to our lives.”

“A right?” I raised an eyebrow. The nerve. “I think you forget who is in charge here. I will write another sequel but first, I want to work on something else, as I mentioned before.”

“Ahem,” Andreas stood tall. “What about . . . .” And he gave me a whole list of adventures he was going to engage in.

I raised my hand and stopped him short. “I decide what you guys are going to do.”

“Okay.” Andreas shrugged. “Just trying to be helpful. I mean, we’d love you to write our stories. You’ve been quite a pain in the butt and given us some hard times, but all in all our lives have been okay. However, if you don’t want to continue, we can always go and find another author.”

“Oh, yeah? And who do you think is going to put up with you?” I snickered.

“You’d be surprised. To tell you the truth I’ve received some offers.”

Emilia_190I’m convinced he was merely bluffing—or was he? “All right, I’ll write another book. I’ll start in a while.”

“Can I have a decent boyfriend, finally?” Laura asked.

“We’ll see about that,” I muttered. “I haven’t figured it all out yet.”

“And please, give me a few more exhibitions and make me paint some great pictures.” Karla put a hand on my shoulder or was this merely the breeze coming from the open window.

“Okay. We’ll see.”

Andreas brushed through his hair again. “Yes, and, I’d really like another trip to—“

“Enough,” I shout. “Leave the details up to me.”

“New clothes, please.” Tonio raised his arms in a defensive gesture. “Just saying, so you don’t forget.”

“All right, guys, thanks for dropping by. However, if you want me to finish the sequel within a reasonable timeframe, you got to back off and leave me to it. Understood?”

“Yeah, all right,” Andreas said and the others nodded.

“Okay, that’s settled. Now could you please disappear and let me get back to work.

Karla and the children faded away a little, but Andreas stood his ground. He waited until I closed the Word document I was working on and opened a new one.

I typed “Emilia (Family Portrait, Part 3).”

He nodded, smiled, and disappeared.

~~~~~

Now that you’re intrigued by Christa’s characters, click on the covers of her Family Portrait trilogy to learn where you can purchase the trilogy. And right now, you’re in luck because the first book in the series, An Uncommon Family, is on sale for only 99-cents!

You can find Christa on her blogFacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Goodreads. You can’t miss her. She’s the one with the cheery smile and a sparkle in her eye!

AUF-190   LOS_190   Emilia_190

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