Hello, L.M. David interviewing Peggylou Beazley, author of The Presence and Good Will. Another of her books, Justice for All, will be released soon through CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon. For this interview, we will concentrate on her first published work, The Presence, which is a suspense thriller.
Welcome, Peggylou, to my little closet of a workspace. I’m glad to see that you managed to avoid our resident vampire. I don’t know how you did it but after the interview is over, maybe you would like to share your secret with me so I, too, can avoid the pushy so and so.
Okay, let’s start.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. I was raised in the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch lands. My mother was a divorcee, and I eventually inherited a step-father. My real [genetic] father was a “lifer” in the Air Force and was a tail gunner over Plymouth, England during WWII. I had three brothers, but have only one as of now. I consider him to be my first son, since I was eighteen when he was born, and Mother died very young. I am a retired registered nurse with a BS, have three sons and three grandsons. Reading and writing are my passions.
Q. Your book, The Presence, is a suspense novel. Do you like that genre and why?
A. During my pre-teen years, I was raised in an environment of/with family members who believed in the paranormal, evidenced by their personal testimony and phenomena. It is this background of/with mystical believers that gave birth to The Presence, a paranormal/suspense novel. My uncle also worked for the FBI. Because of him, I developed an interest in suspense and crime resulting from many of his intriguing stories.
Q. In The Presence, you created two young gangsters, Duke and Dutch. To me, they seem like Laurel and Hardy. How did you create these two?
A. In my novel, Duke is a copy of someone from my youth, a neighborhood friend named Joey. He was actually mentally challenged and a huge fellow, but harmless. There is another fellow in the neighborhood that used Joey to perform a few naughty things and he’d make fun of Joey. This other fellow was small in stature and slick. So I more-or-less used these two as role models for my characters.
Q. Beth Barton is a nurse marked for death. How would you describe her?
A. Beth Barton is a naive young nurse who loved and appreciated her uncle, Dr. Robert Michaels, who is both a psychologist and parapsychologist. At aged ten, her mother, who was a receptionist for the doctor, died. Beth had been told her father had been killed when she was a baby and her only living relative at the time, her grandmother, was in a nursing home. Rob and his wife took her in and raised her as their own. Their loving care produced an innocent and trusting young woman.
Q. Rob Michaels seems, to me at least, as someone who is deep into supernatural phenomenon. Am I correct?
A. Yes. Robert aka “Rob” is sensitive to paranormal experiences/phenomena and he also has a degree in parapsychology. He also worked on several cases with a fellow practitioner, Dr. Lewis Freeland, a professor of psychology and the study of human behavior. More than once they utilized the technique of séances, a fact that is mentioned in the book.
Q. Daniel Michaels seems like a complicated man. How would you describe his role in The Presence?
A. Uncle Rob is a loving, protective, substitute parent for Beth. He was a widower for many years. He and his wife were not able to have children and they also took in and raised their nephew, Dan, whose parents were killed in a car crash when he was an infant. Rob discovered early in life he was sensitive to paranormal experiences, what you call clairvoyant. He followed his spiritual path and enhanced his senses. He also gained a lot of knowledge through experience along the way. Technically you could call him a psychic pertaining to mental forces, telepathy and extra sensory perception; a medium, contacting and being able to communicate with spirits of the dead; and clairvoyant, having the ability to see things beyond normal senses.
Being able to hide and control his gifts at times was stressful, but they became useful in The Presence.
Q. How long did it take you to write The Presence?
A. I would say the process of writing The Presence took a total of a year until it was finalized.
Q. Do the characters Beth Barton or Daniel Michaels appear in other books you have written?
A. This is the one and only book Doctor Michaels and Beth are in.
Q. Which character in The Presence was your favorite and why?
A. I think Uncle Rob is my favorite character. I probably created him out of my desire to have a father figure like him.
Q. What inspired you to write The Presence?
A. I was the nurse supervisor in my health clinic taking doctor’s orders off a chart when a gentleman walked up to me and said, “My goodness, what are you doing here?”
I looked up at the man and said, “Working. What are you doing here?” because I thought he was being cute. But then I noticed that he frowned and said, “Didn’t you like us down in Philly? Did you leave the Lankenau Medical Center?” I realized then that he had mistaken me for somebody else and told him so. He simply shook his head and said, “Then you have yourself a twin because you sure are the picture of her, and she is a nurse, also.” He stared at me for a short while and walked away shaking his head. It was this incident that first gave me the idea to write my story.
Q. I know that you are being interviewed by another blogger about your latest book called Good Will. Is that a suspense novel? And can you give a brief synopsis?
A. Goodwill is a suspense novel about the abduction of a wealthy executive, Annie Strong, and the hunt for her kidnappers. Detective Dave Bard is preparing for retirement until a plea to find Annie, who had been kidnapped.
“During his pursuit for the perpetrator, Dave unearths evidence that points to a sex crazed killer. However, Dave and his partner, Al Hurst, soon learn he is a decoy. The master-mind behind the kidnapping is Annie’s son-in-law, Ralph Boggs. He wants to fulfill a vendetta against Annie’s husband and orchestrates a plan with Roger Fletcher, Annie’s step-brother-in-law, to kill her after receiving the ransom money. At the same time, Roger attempts to satisfy a grudge he has against Dave and his family. A visit from Dave’s daughter, her six year old twin sons and their guard dog provide humor. The dog saves Dave’s life, finds Annie’s lost grandson and sniffs out the hidden ransom money.”
Q. How did you become interested writing?
A. Before my mother remarried, we lived with my grand-mama, aunts, and an uncle. During my high school years, I wrote for a newspaper and followed that up by having a lot of my non-fiction stories printed in the local newspapers. In my nursing management position, I was responsible for writing several hospital policies, procedures and teaching lessons for the staff.
Q. You are a self-published author. Why did you decide it was the best choice for you?
A. I have self-published because I wanted the pleasure of seeing one of my books in print. I’m elderly and going through the query process and waiting for acknowledgement from a well-known publisher just didn’t seem practical to me.
Q. Do you have any advice for writers just starting out?
A. Yes. I think it’s important to belong to a group of writers for the experience of seeing how others express themselves and how useful critiques can be. I would also remind a beginner to invest in a little book by Strunk and White, called The Elements of Style. And always keep a dictionary and Thesaurus handy, and read, read, read. Read anything you can get your hands on and after enjoying a story [if it is a novel], read it again only this time analyze the style and voice. If you ever get discouraged, don’t give up. Maybe take a short break or start all over again but don’t quit. Read the history of many of our famous writers and see how long it took them to get published and what they went through. And if you receive critiques for a certain thing you have written, but you like it, keep it. Most crits are simply personal opinions and not necessarily right. Save most of your works even if you think they are not worthy because you might be able to go back and use parts of it at another time in a different work in progress.
Peggylou Beazley was raised in the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch lands. Her mother was a divorcee and, eventually, Peggylou inherited a step-father. Her paternal father was a “lifer” in the Air Force and was a tail gunner over Plymouth, England during WWII. She had three brothers, but only one of her siblings is still with her. She considers him to be like a son, since she was eighteen when he was born since her mother died very young. Peggylou is a retired registered nurse with a BS, have three sons and three grandsons. Reading and writing are is her greatest passion.