Cate: Please welcome PG Forte to my special Halloween celebration. PG, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
PG: Hi, Cate. Thanks so much for having me here. Hmm. What can say about myself. I grew up in New Jersey, lived in NYC for about eight years and then moved to California—which is home. It’s also where my kids were born. I spent about a year and a half in Florida, a few years ago, but that was only physically. Mentally, I never left California. Can you tell I’m really glad to be back? I always wrote, but I got serious about ten years ago. My first book was published in 2003 and I have 17 books out right now, with another releasing next May. I write mostly paranormal romance (with a few erotic contemporaries thrown in for good measure) everything from angels to vampires to ghosts to faery shape-shifters to fairly ordinary people having not so ordinary experiences!
Cate: Wow, 17 - congrats! So what do you love most about Halloween?
PG: I love everything about this time of year—the weather, the colors, the crispness in the air. It didn’t surprise me at all to learn this was the original New Year’s Eve, because that’s how it’s always felt to me anyway. But what I really love most is Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. The idea of celebrating the past, remembering those who’ve passed on—and then moving forward yourself, really resonates with me.
Cate: Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
PG: Taking my kids trick or treating when they were young--the cool, clear nights, the decorations, the kids looking so cute. It was a magical time for me… luckily, they liked it too! LOL!
Cate: I miss those days *sigh* Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
PG: Oh, I’ve had quite a few “unusual” experiences but I can always come up with explanations for everything! But, since we’re discussing the Day of the Dead anyway…my grandmother appeared to me in a dream the night she had her fatal stroke. In the dream, she very insistently pointed out a rainbow to me and told me that when I saw the rainbow, I’d know everything was going to be all right. The next morning I got the call about her and when I arrived at the hospital the very first thing that caught my eye was a huge neon rainbow. Coincidence? Maybe. Nothing more than my writer’s imagination putting two and two together and coming up with five? Perhaps. But it helped me get through the next few weeks, so who’s to say?
Cate: I love that! What frightens you the most?
PG: Pain. I have a fairly high pain threshold, but that just means I have less experience dealing with discomfort. LOL! Also the thought of something happening to one of my kids terrifies me. I know I worry more about them than they worry about themselves (they don’t worry nearly enough, IMO) but I guess that’s how parenting works.
Cate: Yes, sometimes a writer's imagination is a curse!
Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
PG: Sure. I’ve taken a couple of tours—the Queen Mary being one. I even lived for a while in a haunted house—that was an experience! It’s surprising how easy it is to get used to the sight of shadows sliding across the walls when nothing in the room is moving.
Cate: Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
PG: Well, Halloween’s all about the candy, isn’t it?
Cate: I agree, it’s why I never bought a bread machine! It would be my downfall.
Tell us about your release, and where readers can find it online.
PG: Visions Before Midnight is the seventh book in my Oberon series. I’d originally envisioned the series as a “trilogy of trilogies” so this book is the start of the last three and sets up what comes after. However, the very first scene of the book was written much, much earlier. I’d originally planned it as the prologue of the first book, but it works much better here as it starts the book off with unfinished business from the past and really pulls the whole series together. On the surface, this is the story of Chay and Erin; two characters who’d been introduced in minor roles in earlier books who are finally getting a love story here. But, to me, the book is about so much more. It’s about family and mortality; it’s about repeating patterns and making mistakes; and, most importantly, it’s about love and connectedness and making every moment count.
You can read about the whole series here.
Visions before Midnight can be purchased at Amazon, B&N, Fictionwise—most online bookstores. But I think the best price is here.
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
PG: Absolutely! Here’s the blurb: When the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, something wicked haunts the hills around Oberon...
Chay Johnson is a traditional man. Educator, flute maker, apprentice shaman, Chay has a lot of traditions to uphold, especially when it comes to choosing a life mate. Erin Allridge is a modern woman, with modern ideas about relationships and a painful personal history she has no intention of repeating. When terror and tragedy strike the small town of Oberon, the pair are forced to put aside their differences and re-think their individual visions for the future...before it’s too late.
In this world of form and spirit it can be hard to find balance and harmony. But, sometimes, particularly when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, love can find a way to bridge any gap.
And here’s a pair of moody little excerpts—just right for this time of year:
The Moon of the Dead
Through all the hills and forests that surrounded Oberon spirits roamed the night. The long dead, the newly dead, those who merely craved death, either for themselves, or for others; the energy in the area seemed to draw them all.
It was the ‘tween of the year. The time when veils grow thin and worlds collide. It was a night made for dark deeds, for desperate measures and dire undertakings. There were rituals to enact, on nights like these, and sacrifices to be made.
It was a good night to pray. A good night to cast spells. And, in a small corner of the local cemetery, it was a good night to party until dawn.
The graves, and all the paths that led to them, had been strewn tonight with marigold petals; to help the spirits of the departed find their way back. Booths, set up along the narrow roads, sold food and toys and flowers. A Mariachi band was playing. People danced and sang. Families made picnics on the grass. Children ran among the markers, laughing and shouting, chasing after each other. And everywhere you looked, it was plain to see that, even in the face of death, life would always go on.
For all those who celebrated the Day of the Dead as a joyous occasion––a family reunion, of sorts––tonight was a social event. A chance to visit with those of their kin who’d moved on, as well as those who were still in body.
* * *
The ‘tween is an endless mystery. A world of secrets and sorcery. A place without time or space. Ordinary rules do not apply here. Anything might happen and, all too often…it does. The gods of the ‘tween pity no one. They favor no one, either. And, anyone foolish enough to think they do, is doomed to disenchantment.
Throughout the long night, vigils were kept. Candles set in pumpkins, in paper lanterns, in little glass jars, all burned slowly down, winking out like the stars, like the night itself, as dawn filled the sky.
The party in the graveyard burned slowly down, as well. Singing gave way to storytelling. Laughter became the soft murmur of voices talking. Children fell into their parents’ arms and were rocked to sleep.
Finally, the sun began to rise. The spell the night had cast upon the world was broken. Another day was ready to begin. And, ordinary life…resumed.
Cate: Lovely. What inspired you to write about the theme?
PG: Really, the whole Oberon series explores the themes of family and friendship, love and redemption. I’m not really certain what inspired me to write about that…I guess it’s mostly because I never tire of reading those kinds of stories.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
PG: I’m running a small contest between now and he end of the month, in honor of Halloween and to celebrate the print release of my vampire story, In the Dark. Details can be found on my blog.
Cate: Thanks for being my guest PG!