Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chat with Author Paul DeBlassie III - The Unholy (Book Tour & Giveaway)

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 About The Author

561989_551509354905000_1349582352_n  Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the dark side of the human psyche. The mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic, provides the setting for the dark phantasmagoric narrative in his fiction. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.   

Author Links: 

 Website pauldeblassieiii.com 
 Blog pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com 
 Twitter https://twitter.com/pdeblassieiii 



Balancing life and writing; It’s a matter of listening to the energy coming from self, family, and friends so that nothing tips more one way than the other and the creative juices stay flowing rather than being depleted by excessive writing and are therefore constantly in a state of being replenished. I had a music teacher who once told me to practice or play up to the point that I feel bored, that the energy for it has been spent, and then to stop for the day. That’s what I do with writing. I stay with it, hit the page running each day, and go for as long and with as much intensity as I have for the scene that I’m writing. Then, I stop. And, if I don’t stop I’ll have nightmare that night that I’m being seduced and used by the muse and that such a thing could lead to utter ruination. There are horror stories about this. Writers in the stories feel the tug to write, the muse senses that someone is taking the bait and then the writer is hooked and reeled in. So, if I let myself be hooked and reeled in then I lose my balance. There is something to being hooked and reeled of course, but the true and balanced thing of it happens when it comes from a hook and a reeling that is my own and not one that causes me to be possessed by something other than my own common sense. After all, what matters is the living of life, and living a good one to the best of one’s ability, writing only a part of that.

Where do your ideas come from? Ideas come from the deep repository of the collective unconscious mind that inspires images and symbols during the fantasies of waking life and during dreams and nightmares. Mainly, it’s the nightmare stuff that bodes best for writing psychological thrillers and dark fantasy such as is in The Unholy. When I wake up in a cold sweat with the characters of the novels threatening me (I remember when Archbishop William Anarch, sinister prelate in The Unholy tormented me for nights on end, demanding that I not write the story) that’s when I know that real inspiration is flowing and that to listen to it and follow the images and symbols that emerge from my deep, unconscious mind during sleep and during the reverie of writing the story will end up in the development of spine tingling realities that jettison both me as the writer and the reader into phantasmagoric realms that have a way of shaking up conscious mindsets and get our heads blown out in a very, very unsettling but ultimately useful way. My writing, in other words, comes from an inner place of torment that needs to be let out so it can be set right. When mind stuff is set right inside me I can feel it by sensing a quality of being at peace, that I’ve written to the best of my ability and been true to the deep, archetypal energies swirling through my mind during the narrative. It really is a trip to listen to ideas, let them become images, and suddenly have them take over a page. It’s like the pages catch fire and everyone has come to life and things become disorderly, fraught with conflict, and danger looms.

10 things most people don't know about you: Those ten things will remain ten things that most people don’t know about me. But, the other ten things that I’m willing to share concern The Unholy itself, the fact that it was a story twenty years in the making. It’s held up over such a long period of time because every time I wanted to put it away my wife would encourage me. It was rejected well over one hundred times…so there’s one hundred things people didn’t know. If it wasn’t my wife, then my dreams would say not to give up on it, even though I had shelved it and moved on to other novels. People don’t know about the dreams about The Unholy that I had. They said to leave it in the kiln, to be fired some more, and then one day when I least expected it would be ready to be removed from the kiln. That’s when Jim White from Sunstone Press and I met up and he was on fire for the story. This is stuff people don’t know about me. Years, and despair, and patience, a plethora of dreams and nightmares, struggles, encouragement from my wife and family, and synchronistically meeting the right people went into publishing of The Unholy…dreams, nightmares, patience, despair, my wife, my family, encouragement, the phantasmagoric kiln, Jim White and Sunstone Press…all things some people know but many people do not. So, these ten things are hidden emotions and relational encounters and The Unholy and how it was woven into the fabric of my life for twenty years before publication in 2013.


Lessons I learned from my hero (heroine/villain). Claire Sanchez, 25 year old medicine woman, curandera, is a young woman who has lost her mother when she was five years old, witnessed her murder at the hands of a black robed man. She is a woman of tremendous courage and resolve. Fear tries to get her by the throat and squeeze the life out of her. There are so many times that she fought not to give up, to surrender to despair. I find her so human here, the draw to give up and make oneself disappear when confronted with evil. Evil, the real thing, can be so overwhelming, big and mysterious, and appear to be way out of our influence or control. She is one person, a very young and inexperienced person at that, up against a veritable force not only of society but of nature gone bad. To feel the odds stacked against you and yet know that you can’t be true to yourself, to your life, and to go on with life without getting answers and doing what you need to do to find those answers, no matter what, is sheer inspiration. Courage is courage only when it is face to face with one bad ass enemy…Archbishop William Anarch! If she dies then she knows that she has done what she has needed to do. Death is a real possibility for her. She knows this and yet has to risk it in order to be true to herself as a woman. To risk everything, life itself, in order to be true to self…that is courage and this is a lesson to be learned.


One of the most terrifying things about being a writer: If I’m going to write a true story that resonates with my audience I have to live it out. It has to have been a part of my life. Since I write thrillers and dark fantasy, that means that dark forces that have been at play in my life or are presently in the works can be quite overwhelming. This is not a hands off enterprise. Writing cuts to the core of my life and life experience, relationships, profession, dream, and nightmares. If I could only research stuff from a distance and then write in a compelling way about that, that would be one thing; but as it is I have to live this out. The story is a living breathing thing within my life before it hits the page, and then once its on the page, and then on from there. The Unholy is about terrifying religious encounters. This is something that I was raised with, fought my own battles about, treated people for clinically, and finally found that I was smack dab in the middle of writing a story that could not be stopped. It had to come out. Frightening, very frightening to live this close to one’s work. There were times that it effected my family, and I had to wonder whether I should withdraw; but we all talked and I had their support. I have it now. The arms of creativity stretch long and influence oneself and others who are in the emotional and psychic vortex of one’s existence. The energy, the psychological amalgam, of this is so intense and persuasive that nothing short of challenging and amazing can be said to even faintly describe it.

About The Book

Book Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Sunstone Press
Release Date: August 2013
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The-Unholy-Book-CoverBook Description:

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, "The Unholy" is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.    

Excerpt

Prologue

Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs
of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the
Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her
auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the
world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder
shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She
lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it;
still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from
behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and
watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.
The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air
wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would
freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be
nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became
quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty
earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so
fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because
she didn’t want to be noticed.

As she squeezed her arms around the trunk of the pine tree, the scent of
sap was soothing. Finally, the wind died down and sand stopped blowing into
her face. She slowly opened her eyes, hoping she would be in another place,
but she was not; in fact, the reality of her waking nightmare was more obvious
than ever.

Wide-eyed with fear at the nightmarish scene playing out before her,
she clung to the tree. In the distance, she saw her mother raising a staff with
both hands, her arm muscles bulging underneath her soaked blouse. Directed
straight ahead, her mother’s gaze was like that of an eagle, her power as mighty
as the winds and the lightning. The girl loved her mother and, through her
mind, sent her strength so that she would win this battle and the two of them
could safely go away from this scary place.

The girl turned to follow as her mother’s gaze shifted to an area farther
away and so dark that only shadows seemed to abide there. To and fro her
mother’s eyes darted before fixing on a black-cloaked figure who emerged from
behind a huge boulder surrounded by tall trees whose branches crisscrossed
the sky. He was much bigger than her mother, at least by a foot, and his cloak
flapped wildly as winds once again ripped through the mountains.
Swinging a long, hooked pole, the man bounded toward her mother like
a hungry beast toward its prey. His black cloak looked like the wings of a huge
bat as they reflected the eerie light of the full moon. As his pole caught the
moonlight and a golden glow bounced back onto the figure, the girl saw his
face with its cold blue eyes that pierced the nighttime chill. He seemed to grow
bigger with each step, and the girl’s heart pounded so loudly that she was sure
he would be able to hear it.

The stranger stopped a short distance from the girl. Crouched low
between rows of trees, trying to make herself disappear, she saw him clearly as
he threw his head back and let out a high-pitched cry like a rabid coyote. The
air crackled. Thunder struck. Lightning flashed. She was blinded and then
could see again.

Quick as a crazed coyote jumps and bites, the man struck her mother, his
black cape flapping wildly in the wind.
The girl leapt to her feet, her legs trembling, her knees buckling.
Straining to see through the branches, she was terrified.
The moon vanished behind dark clouds rolling overhead. Then came
a scream of terror that cut to the bone. Now the night was lit up again by
lightning flashing across the mountain range, and the girl could see the blackhooded
man hit her mother again and again.

Her mother crumpled to the ground and stopped moving.
The girl’s hand flew to her open mouth, stifling a scream.
The man stood over her mother, his long pole poised in the air, ready to
strike again.

A twig snapped in the forest, and the girl spun toward the sound, holding
her breath. Then she saw three gray forms slowly creeping toward her
through the darkness and recognized them as wolves. She was not afraid as
they encircled her, their warm fur brushing her skin. One after another, the
wolves lifted their snouts and looked into her eyes, each silently communicating
that she would be protected.
Her mother cried out again. The girl turned and saw her rising to her
feet, then striking the man’s chest with her staff.
As he batted his pole against her shoulders, her staff flew out of her
hands, landing yards away in a thicket of scrub oak.
Her mother screamed and blindly groped for it.

The girl jumped up, then stopped when the black-hooded figure looked
her way. Tears clouded her vision, and all she saw was darkness. Tears rolled
down her cheeks, dropping into the tiny stream of water running beneath the
tree she was clutching. She looked down and saw the dim reflection of her
frightened self.

As she peered through the trees to catch sight of her mother, a wailing
wind blew the man’s cloak into the air, making him again look like a monstrous
bat. Once more he swung his rod high and smashed it against the back
of her mother’s head. She saw and heard her mother’s body thump against the
hollowed trunk of the lightning-struck tree and slump to the ground. The evil
man bent over her mother’s limp body and howled.
Suddenly, the girl felt arms encircle her waist, and she was swept away,
deeper into the forest. She sobbed and at first let herself be taken because she
had no strength. But then she became angry and started pushing against the
arms carrying her, trying to escape and run back to her mother. She wanted to
make her mother well, and then this nightmare would stop and they could go
away.

Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s
closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us.
We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. Ya no
llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.

The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the light
of a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared
to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for
you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman
walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.

Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in
her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining
through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows
now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images
flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place
scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had
struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify.

Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and
she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl
felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would
spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the
mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from

the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.



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Reactions:

3 comments:

Burt Morgret said...

Great post:)

Wendi said...

Fantastic post BK!

Brooke said...

Thank you for sharing, I loved getting to read more about the author. Just thinking of people in general makes me think of good vs evil. I think everyone has both of those elements in them.