Sunday, October 10, 2010
Disgusted Cats on Psychic Radio
As many of you already know, I have been hard at work on a series of historical novels for the last three years. I have recently edited the first book, Never Brought to Mind, down to 110,000 words, a big six week project.
I was posting something on Twitter the other day and saw that they were giving free psychic readings on Psychic Radio A1R. Well, I have been wondering about these stories of mine for a while, as the most odd and coincidental things keep coming up about these two tales.
First of all, the whole concept of book one began with a dream, a dream I couldn't forget. It was disturbing, about a younger me in a romantic situation with a man dressed like my father used to be. The whole thing set me to wondering what would be the consequences if a man fell in love with someone who turned out to be his biological daughter. The notion haunted me for three years, until I started writing the story.
I decided the main character should be a doctor. He would lose his wife in childbirth, after he, himself, delivered his infant daughter. Guilt-ridden and distraught, he cannot function, much less care for a new baby. He places the child for adoption, on the condition that his best friend never mention the child again.
I had just written the chapter above when I happened to have a casual conversation with a woman in a store line to the cash register. She had just written a book and it was about how her mother hemmorhaged in childbirth and she, herself, had been rather a miracle to survive. That was the first of the oddness.
I had written about a brothel called The Montgomery House. I then set out to write about a train wreck. My characters would be returning from Atlantic City, New Jersey to rural Pennsylvania. I Googled to learn about some real crashes. The very first wreck that came up was about a passenger train, returning with cars crammed full of holiday travelers from the Jersey shore, that split a milk train. This was strange enough, but among the fatalities was a hotelier who owned a place called The Montgomery House.
OK, can you see how I might think this was getting strange? Anyway, things like this continued to happen throughout the writing of the first book. This summer I was snapping photos for my paintings of cemeteries and took a shot. When I looked back at the stone, I saw that the man had my mom's maiden name, Zell. My people came from the next county. The man lived about the same time as my character.
I uploaded my photograph to the computer and saw that he had an MD next to his name. Alright, this is giving me the heebee jeebies! I googled him and learned that he went to the University of Pennsylvania in the 1880s, like my character. Further research revealed that there was a family of Zells buried there, from which four brothers were all doctors. One was named Edwin or Edward M. Zell with a wife Lydia. Gulp! My main character is Edward Michael and his wife was Lydia.
My second story has a character named Emmory. E. M. Zell had a brother named Emmor E. Much of my story takes place in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Doctor E. M. Zell lived near Fairmount, Lancaster County.
Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm channeling dead people or writing about a past life!
So, here I am on Psychic radio asking about my novels: Wanna listen to the show? You can go to the page and click on the heading "ARCHIVE", I am on Psychic Gumbo, October 7th. I am the first one on after the special guest. LOL, I have to go listen, because I was so nervous and couldn't remember everything she said!