I want to welcome Glenn Maynard. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Tell us about your latest release.
Desert Son is a paranormal romance novel which includes out-of-body, past-life-regression hypnosis and reincarnation. Carter Spence is involved in a car accident and has an out-of-body experience, finding himself overlooking his own accident, which took the life of his parents. He walks through heaven and meets a woman who claims to be his mother, then reunites with his body and tries to follow signs to figure out what the woman meant. This is when he meets Brenda, and they begin to figure things out as they head west. When they stay with old man Martin in an old white house in Boulder, Colorado, they find diaries and experience strange behavior from Martin which catapults them into answers they wish they never found.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
Jack Nicholson in The Shining. The line between reality and fiction is so fine and that’s what makes him such a believable character. He is totally insane, yet so believable as a character that you forget he’s just an actor playing the part.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
My favorite character is Brenda because she brings so much to the table and helps the main character, Carter Spence, search for his real identity. She is smart, witty, pretty, and sassy. She can take care of herself, don’t you worry about that, and she always seems to come up with the right answer at the right time to move the storyline along. They work well together, and both have a vested interest in the answers they seek.
3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
I began my writing career with a non-fiction book about my one-year journey through the 48 continental states in an RV, entitled “Strapped into an American Dream.” I then began writing paranormal, having developed a fascination with accounts of reincarnation in Asia. Even my leap from travel book to out-of-body travel book was paranormal. That’s where I am now. It could change, but not a lot, and there will always be dark overtones in my fiction. That’s the way life is sometimes. Everybody will face darkness, and not just at night. I’ll bring that darkness during the day and raise you five.
4.) What are you working on now?
I am editing book three of the Desert Son trilogy, having just released book two, Wayward Soul, on January 7, 2016. There is plenty of action in the third book as well, and I’m trying to get it out there as quickly as I can. I’ve convinced myself that I can publish one book per year. My published books timeline is 2009, 2014, and 2016, so 2017 is not an unrealistic goal, since I’m on my second draft. There’s still a lot of work to be done, though.
5.) What got you to start writing?
I remember being in first grade and my mother sitting me down and telling me that my teacher called about a story that I wrote, which she said was very good. That made enough of an impact on me to remember it 40-plus years later. When I was in college, my family members used to send me money (they didn’t know it was beer money) and I would send a Thank You note back in poetry form. They were funny poems, and soon more money would come my way from family members wanting a poetic thank you. It was a win-win deal, and I always seemed to win with my ability to write.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from Reading books and newspapers, watching movies, and use these story lines as bases to spin a whole new tale. My books are a combination of stories and people that I’ve come across in my life. There are so many directions to take a story, and storylines evolve during the writing process for me. I get anxious to see where the story line takes me and how my characters get out of the scrapes they are faced with.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
They would be surprised to know that as much patience it takes to being a writer, I am the most impatient person you will come across. Maybe it comes with age, but even stop lights have me throwing my head back. When I sit down to write or edit, all of this unused patience from my day is released during these creative moments.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
My special talent is creating book-length stories. I also play acoustic guitar and sing, but the world will be a better place if I stick to writing.
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
The one piece of advice that I received was just prior to the publication of my first book. Someone told me that “the only one who truly gives a sh*t about your book is you.” I found that to be the truth. It is 100% up to me to promote my book. If I don’t market it every day, then nobody will know about my book. For the most part, small publishers publish. Writers write, and they also market what they write.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would talk to John Lennon about his life and learn more about his path to fame. I would also talk to him about how he went about pumping out so many hit songs with that British band. What was his process?
11.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?
I would come back as a Cheetah so that I could outrun all the predators.
Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills his parents. He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not recognize approaches him and says, “Welcome, son.” Her message to him is that he needs to be aware of his true identity and should follow signs that will lead him there. She mentions mountains, but Carter is jolted back into his physical body before she can finish.
After burying his parents, Carter heads west and meets a free-spirit named Brenda, whom he is drawn to on many levels. She becomes his travelling companion and leads him to Boulder, Colorado, and to an old white house of an old man named Martin. Diaries, hypnosis, and past-life regression reveal a bizarre connection between these three. Carter discovers that the truth to his identity can only be found by pursuing the answer to whether he is the reincarnation of his biological father in what is shaping up to be a love affair rekindled beyond the grave.
Darkness swirled around Carter. He snuck a final glimpse at his body below. Instead of sympathy, he felt a dose of blissfulness injected into him. Even though a commotion muddied the scene, Carter focused on how wonderful he felt, how carefree, and he hadn’t remembered feeling this way in all of his time below.
He felt as though helium detracted him from his body, but contentment resisted his fight to stay. He concentrated intensely on staying put for the time being, at least until he could better make heads or tales of reality.
A vacuum-like suction whisked Carter away, and although darkness enveloped his scene, he did see the light at the end of the tunnel. Carter thought about that expression for a moment, thus connecting it to its origin. This happened in a flash. He felt like a big smile. The tunnel seemed like it should be frightening, but Carter was not frightened. He just wanted closer to the light, which brightened, and brightened some more, and then some. He wondered how such brightness did not even make him squint. Carter certainly felt at home with this light. He wanted to be part of it.
Although he could still catch glimpses of his lifeless body at the beginning of the tunnel, his desire to move forward at the speed of thought overpowered anything else. His buoyancy, as odd an occurrence to the average person, did not particularly knock him for a loop. He just went with the flow.
Carter found himself with a permanent smile plastered onto his face. The harmony was intense. The air was thin. Carter noticed he could breathe easier. His overall feeling could not improve. He lost his sense of smell, but that was irrelevant. Everything that was relevant he had, and this was the reason for his eternal bliss.
He took it all in. He soaked it all up, bathing in these gifts. He wished to go nowhere else. He did a 360-degree swirl, which felt magical. He did not know how he did it, nor did he know why he could do it, but he did know that he didn’t care about the logistics. In this results based world, the only thing that mattered was that he could do it, and he questioned it no further.
He took in the horizons, the lack of architecture, and the people going about their business. He saw a landscape which was way above the clouds and dropped off as it did with earth and sky. However, there were no buildings to blemish his view. Only trees and people dotted this Eden-like landscape. He did notice his stress level felt like zero. His body just drifted about, sometimes using his legs and sometimes not. He didn’t really need limbs anymore and felt like they had become obsolete. Carter realized that this is probably why humans go there when they retire.
As he floated toward the end of the tunnel, Carter saw gardens with vibrant greens, yellows and reds. Birds chirped away in colorful harmony, the most beautiful songs, soaring, arms outspread, and he craved to shadow them. Voices filled the heavens with music, but the sources remained out of sight.
A woman he didn’t recognize greeted him as he completed his journey. The communication that followed did not take place in the ordinary verbal, earthly way, although Carter thought he could hear words. The mysteriousness in which this communication transpired had no immediate effect on Carter. It seemed normal, and he did not question it. Rather, he just moved along as if this was a prescribed plan.
Telepathy is what Carter would described it as, and the two transposed each other’s thoughts. He felt some love in his lifetime, but the love he presently felt far exceeded any prior love he had experienced. I guess it was that the love here existed in the air; there was no fishing for it. He was loved during his lifetime, and he knew it, but he could not explain how different this love was. He felt different because of it, and that’s all he knew.
Love plastered itself all around, unconditionally, and contagious enough that Carter chuckled at the very thought of returning to life as he knew it. He felt as if he had reached Nirvana. He’d had this loving feeling once before, but the situation had escaped him. Particular feelings can be familiar, and in this case the feeling was indeed a repeat, but it was tucked deeply away as a vague memory.
Carter scrutinized his beautiful surroundings. Singing continued with the birds as well as the human-like voices in heavenly harmony. He wished he could see the singers just to see if they really played the harp up here. The sound was that special. He always wished he could play an instrument, but suffered from feelings of musical idiocy. But up here he felt would be his best chance to pull it off, and there’d be no critics. Precision attracted no such folks.
He saw no shadows, and the landscape spread forever. So this is what it’s like to die, he thought. The funny part about this thought was that he had been petrified of death in life. Now death became his preference. But maybe he was an optimist, he thought. He thought that this brought new meaning to the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”
He took in a panorama, noticing the brightness of the colors. It would be unjustifiable to even think about comparing them with what he was used to. The glossiness could not be surpassed by the earthly colors, and they enveloped his surroundings. He slowly rotated his head to observe them in the trees, the bushes, and the gardens, just to name a few. Everything sparkled. He wished he could have experienced this for his 25 years on earth. Instantly, Carter fell in love with this place.
Then he began to wonder if this was real life, and what he had experienced prior to this moment was just a dry run. Maybe life on earth is nothing more than an SAT score is to college. He felt that if he communicated that idea to those below, then they could be reunited sooner than later.
Carter suddenly began decoding the messages that the woman had been instilling into him. When she greeted him, she had put her arms out in front of her and said, “Welcome, desert son.”
The heavens seemed to pause for Carter. Not only did it perplex him in the way she said it, but with the message itself. He thought that maybe he misread it. Clearly, this was not Carter’s mother. His mother had not arrived yet, and even though he believed she probably would, this woman hardly resembled her.
This woman was much taller than his mother, and had long, dirty blonde hair. His mother wore her black hair short and curly. This lady looked frail for her young age, but Carter’s mother had at least 25 pounds to lose. And the rough skin on his mother could not have turned so soft. Not a chance, thought Carter. They don’t have one similar feature.
Then Carter lightened up when he thought of his mind even processing such silly thoughts. After all, “son” can be used generically. There doesn’t have to be a bloodline. Maybe she simply did not know his name. Maybe she was referring to the sun from a hot desert, he wondered. He let his mind release what it had just accumulated, and returned the greeting as he followed the woman at her side.
Carter wondered why death on earth was so tragic. This idyllic setting is where everyone ends up. Sure they celebrate people’s lives at funerals, but he thought they should celebrate it as a Going Away party. Many people believe in the afterlife and many believe that the end is the end. You never really know until you pass over. Carter now knew. He also knew that the people who possess the truth cannot relay it back to earth. Those who do relay the information back to earth Carter knew as “Quacks,” and that’s probably why the truth has yet to successfully navigate its way to earth.
The irony of it is linked to all the worry about people who pass on. Oh, how bad are death and taxes? Death, worse for the family then it is for the deceased, but isn’t that statement loaded? With tears flowing for the next several years by those left behind, it’d be nice if they knew that one day they would be reunited. If they only knew it was a temporary setback. If they only knew ahead of time that it’s only like a child going off to college. They’ll be back.
Carter found this to be comforting and soothing, and healing for those who have lost loved ones. The thought that you only say goodbye “for now” would bring great comfort to those left behind. They would be together again in the future. What a joyful thought that would turn funerals and wakes on its ears. The theme would be to say goodbye for now.
Carter was able to look down and get a bird’s eye view of the people in his life. All he had to do was think of someone and the channel would change to a picture of their life at that moment. It was live television. Carter was like a kid with a new toy. He was amazed that he had so much control over who he contacted, yet he had no control over sending messages. The only control of message sending came in the form of incoming prayers from people alive on earth to those who have passed on. Carter wondered why on earth there was no way to transmit messages from north to south.
Desert Son: http://amzn.to/1XqHOzC
Wayward Soul: http://amzn.to/1P9a96O