I am honored to present this guest post by the amazing Lee Allen Howard!
Are the paranormal abilities of psychics and mediums gifts possessed by only a chosen few? I discuss this topic at Building the Bridge. But it’s a question I also consider in my latest supernatural crime novel, DEATH PERCEPTION.
The notion that certain people are born with these supernormal abilities persists in books, movies, and television shows. The popular TV series Medium, starring Patricia Arquette, portrayed protagonist Allison DuBois as someone whose gifts invade her life and overtake her. Dreams haunt her, and dead people show up when she least expects it, forcing her to deal with their demands.
The spiritual abilities of some people may be so powerful that they overrun waking consciousness. Such individuals are described as “natural mediums.” Natural mediums are rare in real life. The majority of individuals who work as psychics and mediums had only an inkling of a gift in the beginning, but studied and trained to develop it, like I did. Kennet Singleton, the young protagonist in DEATH PERCEPTION, is a bit of both.
Like some psychics, Kennet has suffered a troublesome childhood marred by paternal abuse, making him hypersensitive to changes in mood energy. He’s also encountered an old Pentecostal prophetess, who lays her hands on him, prophesies his future, and imparts a gift to him.
His psychic abilities crop up at age 19 when he toasts marshmallows over the ashes of someone he’s just cremated. Later, after a near-death experience, his mediumistic abilities flower, enabling him to see and hear the dead—and solve murders.
Kennet has come by his abilities both naturally through his past and supernaturally through the ministry of the prophetess. After an accidental consciousness-expanding event, his prescient hunches develop dramatically into something useful in avenging victimized spirits.
My personal study of Spiritualism and mediumship furnished the knowledge I needed to write about such abilities with authority. Having experienced psychic phenomena myself, I was able to add realism to Kennet’s otherwordly perceptions. (For more about this, see “Visitation from the Summerland” at Building the Bridge.)
DEATH PERCEPTION is the story of Kennet Singleton, crematory operator at a local funeral home. The crimes of the past pave the way for him to discover and accept the unique gifts he must use to help others—good inspiration for any kind of story. Especially if it includes ghosts!
DEATH PERCEPTION is available in trade paperback, Kindle (.mobi) and Nook (.epub) at http://leeallenhoward.com/death-perception/.
Lee Allen Howard writes horror, dark fantasy, and supernatural crime. He’s been a professional writer and editor of both fiction and nonfiction since 1985. His publications include The Sixth Seed, Desperate Spirits, Night Monsters, “Mama Said,” “Stray,” and DEATH PERCEPTION, available in various formats at http://leeallenhoward.com.
You can keep in touch with Lee on his Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lee-Allen-Howard-author/117844011639457. Follow him on Twitter @LeeAllenHoward.