Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Character Interview: Rachel Blackstone (Reluctant Medium by GG Collins)

Today I'm excited to introduce Rachel Blackstone from GG Collins' "Reluctant Medium"

Interview with Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium
Questions by author G G Collins

1.      Returning the dead? Really, what were you thinking?  “I admit that my judgment was leaning towards insane on that occasion. My father died in a car accident a few months earlier, but I didn’t think it was all that inadvertent. The Santa Fe PD couldn’t find proof either way. Then I thought about the Hopi ceremony to return the dead. A kindly shaman, Joseph, told me about the ritual when I interviewed him while covering the Hopi nation for my publication. Things went bad, even though I followed the steps carefully to perform the ceremony. Maybe it was because I have only a small amount of Native American in my family. You know, kind of a built-in fail-safe for people who have no business performing it. At any rate, my father didn’t come back, but someone did, and he was evil.”

2.      Why did you become a reporter? “My father was an award-winning journalist for the Albuquerque Journal. He died working on a story. I guess it was in the family blood, although my brother, the mayor of Santa Fe, must have had a transfusion. I enjoy telling people’s stories. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a profile, an arts preview or hard news, they all involve people—and everyone has a story. Each are challenging in different ways. Some interviews are anxious and you have to help them relax, trust you. It’s the boring ones that eat your lunch, but I have a way to cope with that. I make a show of taking notes; keep my head down so they don’t see the jaded look on my face.”

3.      You and your friend, Chloe, seem like opposites. How does your friendship work? Rachel laughs. “Well you got me! She likes boots with high heels and I always wear shoes I can run in. Never know when you might need to make a quick exit. Chloe drinks the most gawd-awful herbal teas and vegetarian meals. I love green-chile-cheese-burritos. This is New Mexico, green chile is king! But back to our friendship. Chloe does real estate; I mean does it well, a multi-million-dollar agent. She co-owns the hottest agency in town. Me, I make terrible money, but even she admits my job is more fun. Chloe’s always ready for a journalistic stakeout. And no matter what you’ve heard, we don’t smoke all that much pot. So are we yin and yang? I think we’re more about tolerance and knowing when not to go there. Somehow we manage to work in quite a lot of fun.”

4.      What’s this about you having a spirit animal? “When I lost my mind and tried to return my father there was a sea change. I was chasing that spirit. Next thing I know, other apparitions appear. They included a wolf. At first, I though it was a living wolf and well, I support the New Mexico Lobos, but this was something different. It’s white and sometimes it glows. And while I was afraid at first, it always seems to appear when I needed a heads-up. No, I haven’t named it yet, but I will in Lemurian Medium.

5.      Why are you a reluctant medium? “Oh good heavens, that’s been blown all out of proportion. Have you been talking to Chloe? She buys into all things New Age. You see a couple ghosts, and people start calling you a medium. There were some odors I picked up on. That depraved spirit had all kinds of disgusting smells. But I’m a journalist, and we are a fact-based crowd. Just because things happen we don’t understand, doesn’t mean there isn’t an explanation. Unfortunately, I haven’t found it yet, so I’m proceeding with caution and a healthy dose of skepticism.”

6.      What’s the secret to mixing humor with horror? “You’ve heard of black comedy? That’s not quite me, but in real life we all have events that trigger fear, despair and shock. Sometimes in a horrific moment, even if it’s wildly inappropriate, a little humor can sneak in and lighten up a bad situation. But mostly, I’m unconventional and so things that are sacrosanct to others, are fair game to me. Regrettably, I’ve found myself in a few hairy circumstances for which there was no other reaction than all out terror.”

7.      What has your author cooked up for your next adventure? “This is truly weird. First, a friend, Stella Dallas—yes, her mother liked Barbara Stanwyck—disappears into a painting at a posh Santa Fe gallery opening. Next thing I know, I’ve got to go rescue her from the astral plane. No, I’m not kidding. G G stays up nights coming up with the strangest ideas possible. But she only has to write them, I have to do all this mind-boggling stuff. But no, she doesn’t listen to me. Back to Lemurian Medium, I won’t be getting any rest until I can find Stella, if I can find her. There are no maps of the astral plane, it’s all hunt and peck. It’s not just unmarked trails, there are evil entities staging psychic attacks. I don’t know how to tell who’s wearing the white hats. For sure, it’s serious. One mistake and I could be forever lost in the cosmos.

“Did you say there were doughnuts?”

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