Hello! This is Ki Brightly. I would like to thank Long and Short Reviews for having me on their site today to talk about The Paranaturalist.
It’s actually rather difficult to talk about a book you’ve just written, believe it or not. You spend so much time absorbed in it that it becomes more like a part of your psyche, like a long journey you’ve just undertaken, so that it’s insanely difficult to pinpoint one topic in particular to land on and discuss.
One thing I swore to myself I wouldn’t do when I wrote The Paranaturalist was hurt my characters badly enough that they needed to visit the hospital. I know that sounds ridiculous, but in my first published novel, Threefold Love, Curtis ended up in the hospital. He, sort of, deserved it, I guess, considering all he was doing…but, that’s a discussion for another day. Then Rolly ended up needing a doctor in The Shape of Honey, so I was bound and determined no one in The Paranaturalist would see the inside of a hospital room. I don’t like writing about them, actually. They make me nervous because they smell funny, all antiseptic, and the only time you’re ever in one—unless you’re a medical professional—is when something unpleasant has happened to either you or someone you love.
But, low and behold, it happened again.
Joe ended up in the damned hospital because he had to go and try to do things all by himself. I’m not sure taking his crew with him would have really saved him from the spot he ended up in, namely half drowned in the Allegheny river by…well, Joe would call them demons… but that’s neither here nor there.
I guess we’ll never know now.
I think the reason I had such an aversion to writing what I now figure was an inevitable hospital scene is because during the time I was creating this book I was in and out of the hospital with my Sugar Plum. He eventually needed a hip replacement (at 33!) due to slipping and falling on a child’s toy, of all things. But, it was a long, arduous, horrible path to travel. There were road trips to doctors located hours out of the lakeside city we live in, and he was in a lot of pain for the last year before his surgery. It’s really hard to watch someone you love go through that. I was actually editing The Paranaturalist for the last time, laying it to rest so to speak, when he finally had his surgery, which turned out very well! He’s back nearly 100%, but I had to spend several days in the hospital with him.
I guess I didn’t have to…but I wouldn’t have been able to stand myself otherwise because he likes hospitals about as much as I do.
Needless to say I was antsy. Hospitals just give me those heebie jeebies. In that time, pacing the hallways, haunting the tiny chapel, I think I made my peace with them though. The staff was helpful, lovely and friendly. When I was convinced Sugar Plum was dying (He had indigestion—yes, I thought his indigestion was a heart attack because why not?) they were all business and made sure he wasn’t.
Of course, the hospital staff in The Paranaturalist are all very professional too…for the most part.
One focus of The Paranaturalist, in an odd way, is the fragility of humans, of life, so it makes sense, beyond the obvious fact that they were on my brain, that a hospital would end up in the book. At no time are people more vulnerable to mortality than when they are healing.
And of course, you can’t put your characters through the wringer, break them, and then not fix them up again. That would be cruel.
Joe leaves the hospital and goes on to more harrowing adventures, along with Owen, who dragged him out of the river thrashing and flailing. I hope you all have a good time reading this paranormal roller coaster. After Joe leaves the hospital, has his physical body checked out—given that medical stamp of approval for more shenanigans—it’s up to Owen to help Joe sort out the rest of himself, his heart, his thoughts, his …spirit.
As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.
When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and Owen realizes he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is reacclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.
Now, as an adult, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Ki enjoys the sandy beaches, frigid winters, and a wonderful fancy water addiction. Seriously, fancy waters…who knew there were so many different kinds? It’s just water…and yet…
Ki shares this life with a Muse, a Sugar Plum, and two wonderful children.