Friday, July 5, 2013

Seeing Ghosts by James Garcia Jr.: Interview and Excerpt


How did you start your writing career?
 I discovered horror novels while in junior high school and began writing my own stories throughout high school and junior college. However, career, family…and immaturity - to be perfectly frank with you – caused me to abandon any dreams of being a published writer. I’m forty-four now, but when I turned thirty-eight, I really began to feel the regret I was going to have later in life if I didn’t try one last time to get my writing going. I dusted off that first novel, saw it finished and found myself a small publisher willing to produce my crossover vampire novels. Sadly, that publisher closed a couple of years later, but I have continued forward. I am now fully independent and have just published my third novel.

Tell us about your current release.
 Seeing Ghosts is my first attempt at a paranormal romance. I have set aside my horror tendencies momentarily in order to embrace my inner romantic. The novel is the story of a man who continues to struggle with the loss of his wife and unborn child from a senseless car accident. He inherits an old ranch house, moves in and discovers that it is being haunted by both the living and the dead. Not only this, but he meets a woman who is the spitting image of his wife, causing him to be haunted on all sides.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
 When I take on a writing project I usually write for an hour in the morning before work, followed by another hour or so at the end of the day. I then take a chunk of time on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. Unfortunately I have an 11 hour day job which often includes Saturday work, so it’s pretty tough to find time on my trusty laptop. Typically I only take on one of those writing projects every year and a half or so. The rest of the time is networking and promotion.

What are your favorite TV shows?
 M*A*S*H was one of the great shows of all time, and I believe history bears that out. It made you laugh and cry, and not too many can claim that. I’m not even a Democrat, but I fell instantly in love with The West Wing. That show rocked hard! It had some of the best writing ever seen in television. I watched the debut episode the night it aired because of Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe. I could hardly stand to wait until the next morning to awaken my wife and tell her about it. I knew instantly that I had seen something very special. I loved Homicide: Life on the Streets and we continue to watch Fraser reruns in my house. The whole family adores that show.

What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read?

As a horror/paranormal writer, one would assume that my favorite novel would be in that genre; however, nothing could be further from the truth. A sister in law read Beach Music by Pat Conroy back in the mid-nineties and began twisting my arm to read it. I eventually relented and have never stopped reading it. I have read it completely countless times and read sections of it countless more. So many great characters! So many wonderful time-spanning storylines! And Conroy tied everything together at the end with a fabulous red bow. It really is the perfect book.

If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?
 I’d only be grumpy because you’d be interrupting me when the house was quiet and it was the perfect writing time. *laughs* I like mornings, so you’d find me chirpy. I’m known to throw on loud music right off the bat. As long as I have my coffee, I’m good. Come on over!

You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you'll buy?
 The first thing I’m buying is paper for my printer! With that beautiful new paper I will begin to write the thing I’ve been dreaming to write my entire adult life: my two weeks’ notice for my day job! After that, we’ll see, but there’s probably tickets to Italy or Scotland in there somewhere. *grins*

What do you find most rewarding about writing?
That’s very easy. As writers, we create something out of thin air and offer it to others to be swept away with. It’s such a marvelous thing to have someone profess a love and excitement for your creations. There’s not too much in life that gets better than that.


Thank you so much for having me on your site, Laurie. I really appreciate it.

Seeing Ghosts
James Garcia Jr.

Genre: Paranormal


Number of pages: 147

Word Count: 76,303

Cover Artist: Maria Zannini

Book Description:

Paul Herrera finds himself bequeathed a mysterious old house near the California central coast by a deceased aunt he never knew. The woman who shows it to him is the spitting image of his wife, taken from him three years before in a senseless car accident which also took his unborn son. 

While he deals with the ghosts of a past he cannot let go, there are new ghosts Paul must deal with - alone for the week in the expansive two-story house that he will soon discover holds many secrets. 

Eventually, he will see that he is surrounded by ghosts as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world - his sanity.

I frowned, stumped. It was unlike me to lose track of anything. I could count on one hand the things that I’d misplaced in life. I even turned on the light and checked beneath the bed, but it simply was nowhere to be found. Mentally, I retraced my steps, trying to recall the last time I’d had it.
Then it hit me.
“On, no.” I stifled a cry by covering my mouth. “Holy shit!”
The last time I had the Kindle was when I had been sitting on the porch and Patricia and Flora found me asleep.
Defeated, I walked down the stairs and headed for the vestibule. A very big part of me thought to leave it there until morning. Another part of me wanted to simply let Flora have it as some sort of peace offering. Scared as hell, I really wanted no part of opening that front door again until the sun was at its highest in the blue coastal sky. I could hear the whipping wind once again.
I found Paul at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for me.
“Did you lose it?” he asked. He must’ve seen the expression on my face.
“No,” I replied. I sat down on the second to last step. “But I just remembered I left it outside.”
“On, no,” he said, sitting down beside me. “What are we gonna do?”
I glanced over at the boy. He looked up at me with those questioning eyes of his and I felt a burst of courage surge through me.
“I guess I’m gonna have to go get it.”
“Are you sure?” he asked. He didn’t seem to want me going outside anymore than I wanted to.
“Yeah, but I’m not going that far. If it isn’t on the porch, I’m coming right back inside. Okay?”
The boy nodded, but said nothing.
“You stay here.”
In spite of what it would feel like, I reached over and patted the boy on the back. Sure enough, a spike of cold drove itself through me with each pat. I only did it twice, and then instantly regretted it. I stood, walked into the hall and then turned into the vestibule. Lingering at the door, I listened for long moments before even taking the doorknob into my hand. The wind sounded angry, but it came in spurts. It would appear and slowly build to a kind of roar, and then it would dissipate for a time before starting again.
Gingerly, I turned the knob and pulled. I braced my left knee against the door, in a manner of preparing for someone or something to attempt to rush me and gain access. I peeked through the tiniest of gaps in the door and glanced about. There wasn’t much moon, so I had to wait quite a while before my eyes adjusted to the dark. When they finally did, I opened the door a little more.
The overturned bench still lay where Flora had thrown both it and me much earlier the previous evening, but I could see no further. I stuck my head out into the night air and quickly checked behind me. As I opened the door just a bit more to accommodate this, something fell. I couldn’t stifle a surprised cry and a curse. I looked down.
My missing Kindle. It had been left for me, propped up against the door. Perhaps it was to be a peace offering after all.
I knelt down and retrieved the device. I slid the switch on and a moment later, it came to life. Cool to the touch after having sat outside, it appeared none the worse for wear. As I prepared to rise back to my feet, the wind started again. I looked up just in time to see it and realized—it was no wind at all, but a man. One no longer the man he’d once been. He glowed white and ran past the front of the porch. Beyond him in the yard were more just like him. I dropped the Kindle.
They were all shapes and sizes of ghosts. Men, women and children, even the occasional dog and cat. One of the dogs was barking and it sounded familiar. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to be looking for me this time. They all seemed to ignore me and one another. They just ran. Some waved their arms. A few stomped about like zombies. From the expressions on their faces, none were at rest. This was a horror among horrors.
I sat down there and watched the pain as it unfolded about me, frozen by it. Somehow it felt as if I’d just survived a plane crash that had killed everyone else and my brain was short-circuiting because it was simply too much to fathom.
“They’re so sad,” a voice said beside me on the left. I nodded, but couldn’t pull my eyes from the dead. “This is because of the bad lady,” Paul announced. He stood beside me in the doorway. Mercifully, he didn’t touch me. It might have been the last straw that, once removed, would make the whole construct that was me crumble towards nothingness.
“Yes,” I said, finding my voice.
“We must do something to stop her.”
I turned at this and looked upon the boy standing there before me, who stared past me at the scene in the yard. Interesting to behold—he was very young, but unafraid. Glancing down at me, he nodded as if resigned to some duty.
“We must,” he said. I felt very proud of him at that moment for some crazy reason. I recall shaking my head in astonishment.

About the Author:

James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. They, along with their teenage sons, still make their home in Kingsburg which is also the setting of James’ vampire series. Dance on Fire was published in 2010 and its sequel Flash Point was published Halloween 2012. His third book entitled, Seeing Ghosts, a stand-alone paranormal romance is set for a June 2013 release.

James is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California.




James Garcia Jr. said...

Thank you again for having me, Laurie. It was a lot of fun, and I appreciate your help in getting the word out about my novel. I'll check back later to see if we get any comments. Have a great weekend!


katsrus said...

Love the book cover. Sounds like an interesting story. Will have to add this one to my reading.
Sue B