If I didn’t write fiction, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Well, yes, that’s an exaggeration, but writing is a daily function for me and has been for a long time. If I’m not working on a novel, then I’m writing short stories, or exploring new characters that come whispering into my head. I spend lots of time researching and having fun with that as well. Most of the time I write without pay, so I must be dedicated.
In nonfiction writing, I have received some fine rewards. I wrote feature stories for various newspapers in New York and Connecticut for about five years. Interviewing and writing about local professionals, artists, speakers, and business owners gave me a rich foundation.
I work as a freelance copy editor as my day job. I have several years editing health, business communications, magazine and news articles, newsletters, and advertising materials. In medical/pharmaceutical copy, I have over twelve years of experience.
Here’s a thought about writing that stays with me. From Willa Cather … “Every fine story must leave in the mind of the sensitive reader an intangible residuum of pleasure, a cadence, a quality of voice that is exclusively the writer’s own, individual, unique.”
With the launch of my second novel, The Dazzling Darkness, a supernatural mystery set in Concord, Massachusetts, which is laced with 19-century transcendentalism, some people are curious to know how Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) features in this present-day novel. “Is he a ghost?” they ask.
Mr. Emerson is not a ghost, at least not in the traditional sense. One of the first elements that sparked my writing The Dazzling Darkness was a line Emerson wrote in his address Naturein 1849.
“Even the corpse has its own beauty.”
Kind of shocking, right? It certainly stopped me on the page as I read it. Oddly, the prose carries a certain passion, as if Emerson somehow connected to death. He points out that there is “no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.”
Of course, Emerson was being emblematic here as he did in so much of his writing. Or was he?
When I looked deeper into his personal life, I discovered that Emerson, driven by his intense grief over his wife’s death, entered the family graveyard and opened Ellen’s coffin to view her body. It was only a year after her death. Twenty-five years later, he opened the coffin of his boy, Waldo, who died at 5 years old. Could any of us do this even once, let alone twice? His journals say nothing more on the subject, only that he did this act. For a man who was a prolific writer, thinker, and poet to write nothing more of what must have been heart-wrenching certainly speaks volumes.
When Emerson was a boy, he kept to himself, reading voraciously in a cellar room on Hancock Street with a window viewing gravestones. I began to wonder, did Emerson connect to death in a way none of us have? Or, perhaps he connected to beauty.
In my novel The Dazzling Darkness, Elias Hatch, the cemetery owner of Old Willow Cemetery, keeps to himself, reading voraciously in his cottage overlooking the gravestones in Concord, Massachusetts. Like Emerson, Hatch is a modern-day, transcendentalist. He believes we can all transcend mind and body. Like Emerson, Hatch believes that man is disunited with himself in a thick darkness and that the “gleams of better light,” can and do prevail in all of life and nature.
Emerson and the 19th-century transcendentalists had a passion for wakefulness, deep thought, and inspiration. Do you sometimes feel like you want to wake up and see a true vision?
Emerson wrote in Method of Nature “The crystal sphere of thought is as concentrical as the geological structure of the globe. As our soils and rocks lie in strata, concentric strata, so do all men’s thinkings run laterally, never vertically.”
A crystal sphere of thought … thinkings run laterally. What is that exactly? In Old Willow Cemetery, Elias Hatch understands this mystery. He witnesses this crystal sphere connecting to the darkness of the dead. Impossible? Not if you know the secret that lies buried in Old Willow in Concord. Can you guess what this mysterious power is? Elias Hatch will not tell you. Only the dazzling faces of Old Willow will reveal it.
My Debut novel ‘Night Sea Journey’ (published 9th October 2012) is a supernatural thriller
There’s no such thing as a dream within a dream. Poe was wrong. Dreams are deep shadows between reality and illusion. In the haunted Abasteron House, artist Kip Livingston dreams of a mysterious winged being, all bone and muscle and greedy teeth plunged out. Until one night when her dreams break through the illusion and the nightmares become reality.
Kip Livingston is a stunning young artist living alone in Abasteron House on Horn Island, painting her dreams every day. But inside this antique house by the sea, another power rules her nights. What does this fierce winged creature want? Is it haunting her from the secrets of her past … or for her destiny?
Raymond Kera, a priest exiled to Horn Island, falls for the seductive Kip Livingston but risks his own sanity when her nightmares invade his dreams. Raymond knows these dark angels who dominate and the demons of his past—the road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests. With his vows violated, Ray must choose between God and the human love he so desperately desires.
Garcia the Prophet, Raymond’s mentor, has firsthand experience with the alternate consciousness of dream power. Garcia is a rebellious visionary, possessed by a mystical power and the all-consuming desires of deceit, power, and murder. This conflict propels him to abandon all he loves and seek heaven or hell.
On Horn Island, inside Abasteron House … a tale of the supernatural where the night journey ends beneath the ghost-grey sea.
‘The Dazzling Darkness’, a supernatural mystery, was launched in April 2013
A secret lies buried beneath the haunting statuary in Old Willow Cemetery. In Concord, Massachusetts, the surrounding woods are alive with the spirits of transcendentalists Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott. Elias Hatch, the cemetery keeper, is the last of modern-day transcendentalists. Does he know the secret power buried in Old Willow Cemetery? Would he ever reveal it?
Next door to this cemetery is a lovely gabled house. When the Brooke family moves in, the secret of Old Willow strikes. On a cold afternoon in March, five-year-old Henry Brooke does not arrive home from the school bus stop. Antonia Brooke is frantic her child is missing, or—the unspeakable—stolen. Adam Brooke spends a harrowing night searching the Concord woods, fear gripping him as hours pass with no leads.
Finally, a police dog tracks Henry’s scent inside Old Willow Cemetery. Detective Mike Balducci suspects that Elias Hatch knows the truth about what happened to Henry. Balducci knows Hatch’s metaphysical beliefs. What Balducci discovers buried in the cemetery is beyond the grave, beyond apparitions or shadowy drifts rushing through the pine trees.
There are the dazzled faces in the darkened air … and their secret.
The Dazzling Darkness is a supernatural mystery that parallels science with spirituality by exploring consciousness, death, and the afterlife.Professional freelance copy editor and former freelance journalist in New York and Connecticut.
Visit Paula’s website and get more details of both books by clicking HERE.