Monday, February 07, 2011

Guest - Laurie London


Good morning, everyone! Today's guest is Laurie London who'll be discussing paranormal research and Ghost Conferences...ghost conferences? Read on to find out more (and to find out about her giveaway)

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Thanks for having me on today!

As I’m going through my receipts for tax purposes, I’m reminded of one big advantage about being an author. It gives me the excuse to do and try things in the name of research that I may never have done otherwise and call it a business expense.

Because I write paranormal romance, when I heard about a local Ghost Conference, I couldn’t NOT go. I rallied a few other writer friends and dragged my teenage son with me.

Held in the historic town of Port Gamble, Washington, which claims to be one of the most haunted towns in the state, the conference had a variety of speakers and workshops given by paranormal experts. Until then, I had no idea we had professional paranormal investigators around here. Think TAPS from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters.

One lecture was given by Scott Powers from OPPS (Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society) where he discussed the audio and video equipment used in investigations. For the most accurate EVP recordings (electronic voice phenomena), he recommends the Zoom H2 and H4 devices.

To capture photographic evidence, a full-spectrum camera is best, not a digital one because they pick up too many orbs from dust. Orbs are unexpected circular images which may show up in photographs. While some feel it’s the first step in spirit manifestation, many experts in the field believe it’s just dust and not good evidence of spirit energy.

Next, we attended a lecture given by Neil McNeil who studies and teaches parapsychology at a local college. Parapsychology is the study of paranormal phenomena through the lens of science, as opposed to religion, etc.

He listed three types of psi phenomenon:

1. Hauntings—an imprint of an event on an environment that gets replayed over and over, like a movie.

2. Poltergeists—very rare and spontaneous. All activity is usually centered around one person, not a place.

3. Apparitions (the scientific term for ghosts and spirits)—solid, not transparent entities. You often don’t know it’s an apparition until it disappears. They can have a personality and be intelligent, making it possible to talk to them and get a response.

We were so impressed by Mr. McNeil’s presentation that we invited him to speak to Greater Seattle RWA in April. I can’t wait!

Up next were the actual investigations. Of course, we had to wait till it was pitch black outside. Since Port Gamble is located on the Olympic Peninsula and far from the city lights of Seattle, darkness there is much darker than I’m used to.

Armed with our ghost-hunting flashlights, we walked through an old cemetery, taking pictures with our digital cameras (we didn’t know about the whole orb thing then). Next, we participated in an actual EVP session in the old church. To my knowledge, no one picked up any paranormal recordings, but one woman felt someone tapping on her shoulder when no one was behind her. She was so freaked out that she and her husband left.

At midnight, we conducted our last investigation at the most “active” house in town, the Walker-Ames mansion. It was creepy, it was spooky, and my son swears he felt someone push him when we went into the attic.

Down in the basement (imagine a rickety staircase, low ceilings, dirt floor, exposed pipes), my friend also had a paranormal experience. In a photograph she took of herself that she examined later, a strange cord showed up in front of her face when no cord existed. None of the paranormal investigators were able to debunk it and felt it could be evidence of spirit activity. Apparently, the basement is particularly “active” and the spirits there seem to be attracted to single women with blond hair.

I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility that strange and eerie things can be happening right under our noses without us being aware of their existence. Who knows if any this proves the existence of paranormal activity, but it sure was fun investigating the possibility.

The Sweetblood world is based on this concept—vampires living peacefully (for the most part) but secretly among humans.

What about you? Do you believe in paranormal phenomena or do you think it’s just the product of people’s over-active imaginations? When you read paranormal romance, do you like when the world is secret or do you prefer it being out in the open?

I’m giving away a signed copy of BONDED BY BLOOD to one lucky commenter. Contest ends Friday, 2/11. Thanks for joining me today!

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BONDED BY BLOOD, Sweetblood series #1
By Laurie London
HQN Books January 18
ISBN: 978-0373775446

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.

Some cravings are too powerful to resist...

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

 About the author:
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.  

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.
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For more information on my books, including excerpts, photos and discussion questions, please visit my website www.LaurieLondonBooks.com

Or you can find me on Facebook www.facebook.com/LaurieLondonAuthor


10 comments:

Toni Zuma said...

Hi, Laurie. Sounds like a great conference. I've always been fascinated by the possibility of ghosts, and I adore ghost stories. Thanks for sharing your info, and best of luck with Bonded By Blood.

Toni Zuma
Hot Summer Fling
http://tonizumawebs.com

SiNn said...

Hi Laurie Ive heard awesome things about your book cant wait to read it ive always believed in ghosts and the supernatural since i was a young kid now i gobble up all the books real fictional comics movies all of it

awesoem post today!

mortalsinn@yahoo.com

Victoria said...

Hi Laurie -
I am a firm believer. I have seen and contributed to many things that are out of the ordinary. Such as, I can send mental messages to mind husband even when he's across the globe.
I like the hidden world. It just makes it more real to me when I'm reading because I know the majority of people would really freak if they knew anything like this really existed.

Thanks for the great post.

vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

booklover0226 said...

BONDED BY BLOOD is right up my alley; I know I'm going to enjoy it and the series.

Thanks
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Laurie London said...

Thanks, Toni! Yes, it was a great conference.

SiNn, I'm so glad you've been hearing good things about Bonded. And, yes, ghosts have always fascinated me too. I've got a YA ghost story started on my computer.

Victoria, I've had similar experiences with my mom.

Tracey, thanks for stopping by!

~Laurie

Kelly M said...

Hi Laurie...
See still stalking you!!! hehehe... I just love all the press you are getting.. So can't wait to read your book.. Not sure where the heck it is..The Mail must have ate it.. :'(

But hoping to meet up with you in April!!!

Don't enter me into the contest I already a copy...
Kelly M
crazybookfairy@gmail.com

Laurie London said...

Kelly M, LOL! I love that you're my stalker. ;-) We'll definitely have to meet up at RT. Hope you find Bonded soon. Dom is getting lonely without you holding him in your hands...

Pamk said...

sounds like a great read. Would love to try an new to be author.

Pauline B Jones said...

I'd have to say, I'm still conflicted on the idea of ghosts, etc. I've felt creeped out in haunted places, but not sure that was because I knew or because it was real. But I can 'believe' it in book. :-)

the conference sounds very interesting. I heard a paranormal investigator speak at local writer's group and thought it was interesting. Though I will admit I was more interested in the technology. LOL!

donnas said...

Sounds like a great experience. Would love to have a chance to attend a conference like that. I do believe in the paranormal. And my and my family has had some unexplained occurrences. When it comes to paranormal romances I like both, it really depends on which fits better with the story.

bacchus76 at myself dot com