Today I am delighted to welcome author Caroline Mitchell to my blog. Caroline has very kindly agreed to answering a few of my questions. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Five years ago Caroline and her family encountered real life paranormal activity in their home. Paranormal Intruder is her best selling true story. Caroline’s first fiction book Don’t Turn Around was published last month.
Welcome Caroline, Your First Book ‘Paranormal Intruder’ is a non fiction book of your own experience with paranormal activity. Why did you feel it was important to write a book of your own experiences?
Hi Sarah thanks for having me. That’s a great question. Coming out in the open wasn’t easy, particularly given my vocation as a police officer. But my husband pleaded with me to write our true story. He reasoned that it would be wrong to have such an amazing life experience and not tell it. Having to relive some of the scarier moments wasn’t easy, and there were times I had to put the manuscript away. However it proved to be the best thing for us, not only was it therapeutic to get our feelings down on paper, I discovered a whole community of believers I never knew existed before.
Have you had any previous writing experience and how hard/easy did you find it to write your first book?
I had no previous writing experience before Paranormal Intruder and just played it by ear. I read lots of books on the subject and hired some really great editors, Shelly Tegan and Holly Kammier to help me work out the nuts and bolts of putting a story together. I didn’t expect many people to buy the book, let alone make it a best seller.
By the end of Paranormal Intruder the activities appeared to have calmed down quite considerably. As a reader it did leave me wondering if you and your family remained in the same house and how things have been since your book?
Yes, we are in the same house, although I would like to move one day. From day one we were determined not to let this thing beat us, so when we do move it will be on our terms. Having said that, it seems to be more fixated on my husband than the actual location, and we’ve been advised it may come with us. Things quietened down remarkably after the exorcism, but every now and then something happens to let us know he’s still there. Only the other day I said to my husband Neil I thought perhaps he had left us for good, and just yesterday Neil received a nasty scratch to his neck while he was watching TV. It was as if he was saying he was still with us. I believe that carrying on as normal and not giving it too much attention helps a lot. Many people have asked us how we cope after so long, but the truth is, after five years of intermittent activity, you begin to get used to it.
What were your thoughts about paranormal activity prior to it happening to yourself and your family?
I’ve always been open minded, but I would never have believed this if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. I was brought up a Catholic, the same as my husband, but not overly religious. Since the occurrences I have completely changed my outlook on life. I’m much more drawn to Buddhism as it’s a gentle, non judgemental way of life. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t taken aback by how judgemental I found the Catholic priests, although give them their due, they did help us in the end.
You have recently published a fiction book called ‘Don’t Turn Around’. First of all congratulations on the book, I really enjoyed it. How did you come up with the ideas behind the characters and the story?
Thanks! I wanted to write something enjoyable, and decided to infuse my own experience of the police and the paranormal and write about a detective constable thrust into the world of the unknown. I wanted to get across the feeling of being very alone when it came to the paranormal world, and not knowing who to confide in. Jennifer Knight portrayed these feelings very well. Of course any good protagonist must be tested, and Frank Foster’s character came to me one restless night when I could not get to sleep. I mulled him over for a while before making notes in the notepad beside my bed. Thankfully my husband is very understanding when it comes to me waking him up with my nocturnal scribbles!
I hope I’m correct in assuming that Don’t Turn Around is just the first of many books that follows D.C Jennifer Knight?
Oh yes, Bookouture signed me for three books in the DC Jennifer Knight series. I’ve already written book two and it’s currently with my lovely editor Keshini Naidoo. I’ve just started book three and I’m very excited about that too. I’ll let the readers decide just how many more Jennifer Knight books I should write after that. I’m also keen to write a straight crime novel featuring a Detective Sergeant called Ruby Preston. All I need now is the time to write them all!
Is there any of your own traits in the Jennifer Knight character or any part of her character you wish you had in yourself?
Unfortunately I’m not a clean freak at all, and I think she’d have a field day in my house! I’m quite happy in my own skin but I do find her fascinating to write about. There’s lots of chapters that she seemed to write herself, as they veered off in different directions than originally planned.
Finally, when can we look forward to seeing the next in the D.C Jennifer Knight series?
It’s currently with my editor so watch this space. Book two is even creepier than the first book, and features a character called The Raven, a tarot card reader who forecasts people’s lives … and their deaths.
Thanks so much for having me, I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions, very interesting! Xx Caroline
To see my review of Paranormal Intruder click here.
To see my review of Don’t Turn Around click here.
To find out more about the author and also get more information about her book’s please follow this link http://caroline-writes.com/