By Paul DeBlassie III
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.
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.
It is my pleasure to welcome Paul DeBlassie, III, Ph.D., author of The Unholy, to Room With Books.
Please tell us about your novel, The Unholy, and what inspired you to write it?
I just finished treating a man who has suffered with chronic suicidal impulses due to having been scathed by the dark side of religion. People who have suffered as the result of religion and lived to tell the story motivated the writing of The Unholy!
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I hit the page running as see what develops, edit after edit then serving to polish things to a luster and bring out the plot and emphasize character traits that drive the narrative.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
All the time and the characters always win such as in The Unholy when I hesitated on allowing Archbishop Anarch to do all that he wanted to do and he ended up doing in such a dastardly fashion.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
The Unholy was rejected over one hundred times, dreams prodding me to continue to submit and not give up. All of which result in finding Sunstone Press who believed in the story and got behind it for publication.
If you could write with any other author who would it be?
I’d write with Raymond Carver since he has a succinct way of not only crafting prose but moving into the heart of people and relationships so as to expose the underside of what seems sunny and bright.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer, felt it in me, the pulse and pull to set words to paper so as to express hidden horrors and let the demons be exorcised into a piece of dramatic fiction such as in The Unholy.
What prompted you to finally begin writing?
I started writing out of my Ph.D. program, publishing three books in psychology and spirituality before moving into paranormal thriller, the first of which is The Unholy. A deep and abiding instinct propelled me to write each day and let the fires of inspiration burn bright.
What music inspires your writing?
Usually, I write to the blues, John Lee Hooker, since for me he gets on into things about love, and heart break, and searching and longing so that the narrative of dark fiction I’m writing finds a certain fluidity and sharpness.
What is your favorite breakfast? Huevos Rancheros that my wife, Kate, makes with New Mexico green chile is my all time favorite breakfast.
What is your favorite color? Blue is my definite favorite color as it is the shade and tone of all things healing and reminds me of the New Mexico sky (Aztlan in The Unholy)
What is your favorite movie? My favorite movie right at this second is the one I just saw a few days ago—Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight!
What is your dream car? I am driving my dream car, the BMW I have right now that takes me where I want to and need to go in daily life and shows up in dreams as my sense of self projected into the world.
Thank you for joining us to chat about The Unholy and more importantly, for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour.
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 fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
Amazon Author Page ~~ Website ~~ Blog
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