Friday, June 24, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR GOLDIE BROWNING

Readers, please help me welcome my friend, Goldie Browning.
Author Goldie Browning
Caroline: Readers love to get to know authors. Please tell us about growing up. Share anything that lets readers get to know the real you.

Goldie: I’m the youngest of a family of four and I grew up on a working farm in rural Parker County, near Springtown, Texas. We had cows and chickens and we raised our own vegetables. Very different from the way we all live today. We didn’t have a telephone at all until I was about nine years old and when we did get it, we had a 10-family party line. For all you youngsters out there who don’t know what that is, it means that we shared the same line with nine other neighbors. So we didn’t tell any secrets over the phone, and we didn’t talk long. When I started dating my husband Alan, I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. His family also had a 10-family party line, so if you put it together, that was 18 neighbors we were competing with. We did most of our talking at school or on dates. We’ve been happily (and I mean it) married for 38 years, one daughter who is 35. No grandkids. A grand-cat and a grand-dog. We also have two mini schnauzers, two cats, two bearded dragons, and a turtle. I’ll feed anything that opens its mouth.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?


Goldie: This is a tough question because I love so many types of books. I love the classics like the Bronte’s, Hawthorne, Jane Austen, and Poe. But my all time favorite author is Norah Lofts, who is famous for her historical romances and tales that hint at ghostly happenings. I own everything she wrote. I also love to read Rebecca Paisley and Laurie Moore, with their witty romantic comedies. Steven King for his spine-tingling horror; Dan Brown for his fascinating adventures; Victoria Holt for her gothic romances. Too many to list. I read a lot of non-fiction and biographies, too. But if I had to choose my favorite genre, it would be historical, with a little romance and a little mystery sprinkled in.

Caroline: How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?


Goldie: It varies so much, depending on whether or not I have time. Sometimes I’ll read a couple of books a week. The one I’m trying to find time to read now is called THE COUNTESS, by Rebecca Johns. It’s about Elizabeth Bathory, the famous blood countess who was one of the inspirations for Dracula, along with Vlad the Impaler. Research for a future book. The last book I finished was MAHKO'S PRICE by John O’Dowd. It’s great. Look it up.



Caroline: When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?


Goldie: When I’m not writing I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, and playing with my critters. Reading and critter spoiling are my hobbies. I’m also crazy about reality TV shows. Just loved “Billy the Exterminator”.



Caroline: Describe yourself in three or four words.


Goldie: Type-A personality procrastinator



Caroline: Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?


Goldie: I love to go to places that are supposed to be haunted. This really gets my imagination going.


Caroline: I knew that about you. How long have you been writing?


Goldie: I wrote a few short stories in high school and dreamed about becoming a journalist, but the closest I got was as editor for my college magazine and reporter for the Springtown Epigraph. In the late 1980’s I wrote two sweet romances. One, I sent to Harlequin, and it was rejected with a very encouraging personal letter. The second one I almost got published, but the company went bankrupt before I got the contract, but I didn’t know that until 20 years later. Instead of notifying me of the state of affairs, the editor-in-chief sent me a rejection letter from hell, which made me stop writing for years. After retiring from my day job, however, I started again and NIGHT JOURNEY is what I produced. The book I’m working on now is a romantic comedy called JAIL-ORDER BRIDE. I started it a few years ago and then I got sick, so I’m trying to pick it back up. While writing it, I entered it for critique at the UK critique site www.Youwriteon.com and won first place for the month of February in 2008. I won a critique by an editor in England, then I got sick. I’ll finish it now.



Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?


Goldie: I’ve moved my laptop to the kitchen table because the office is too loud, with all the roaring and shooting from Dear Husband playing World of Warcraft. I’m thinking about moving out to the patio room with the bearded dragons and the turtle. I prefer quiet and solitude, but that’s not a reality in my house. I’m now using a laptop, since my desktop crashed.


Caroline: Yes, that’s why Hero and I have separate offices. Well, that and the fact he says I left my papers all over his stuff. Sadly, that's true. He doesn’t play games, but he watches TV on his PC monitor. Are you a plotter or a panzer?


Goldie: Both. NIGHT JOURNEY was plotted, mostly because the basic plot came to me in a dream. My current WIP is kind of in between. It’s all in my head, not written down.



Caroline: I’m asking this even though I know the answer. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?


Actual ad for the setting for part of
NIGHT JOURNEY. Dr. Baker's
treatment killed countless people. It
consisted mostly of water. Dr. Baker
later died of cancer....Karma or
coincidence?
 Goldie: Absolutely! NIGHT JOURNEY is set at a real-life haunted hotel and the villain was a real-life bad guy. The plot came to me on the second night of a stay at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. That night I saw a “blue fluorescent floating mist” that hovered in our room late at night—my husband says I dreamed it. The next night I went on the ghost tour, learned about Dr. Baker, and that night I dreamed the basic plot. I was hooked on the place and spent months doing research. I even found Dr. Baker’s trial court records at the national archives in Fort Worth, Texas that were supposedly lost, according to the Clerk’s Office in Little Rock.



Caroline: I remember how much research you did, but do you do all your research before you begin a new project, or some as you go along?


Goldie: For NIGHT JOURNEY, I did the research first. But, of course, you always do some as you go.



Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?


Goldie: I’m embarrassed. Ever since NIGHT JOURNEY came out I’ve spent all my spare time trying to promote. But I do intend to set a schedule. Starting tomorrow. I will write daily, at least two hours. I swear.


Caroline: Hmm, I do remember you said you’re a procrastinator. LOL Do you write full time or do you have a day job. If you have a day job, what is it?


Goldie: I am gloriously retired from a career as a courtroom deputy clerk for a federal judge. So, writing is now my day job.



Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?


Goldie: I hope that my writing will bring my readers the wonder I felt the first time I went to the Crescent Hotel. The place absolutely reeks with history and I’m hoping that my descriptions will give them the same enjoyment and curiosity that I felt there. A friend of mine told me that my book was “very visual.” I think that is a great compliment.



Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?


Goldie: Get involved with critique groups and take all the advice you can get from those more experienced than you. Listen to what they tell you, but follow your own gut feeling. Just because somebody tells you something should be one way, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Accept what makes sense and ignore what doesn’t. Develop your own style. It’ll come.



Caroline: Tell us about your release.


Available Now! That's the
Crescent Hotel on the cover

Goldie: NIGHT JOURNEY is published by GenerationNext Publications. It was released as an e-book on April 30, 2011 and as a trade paperback on May 24, 2011. It is a ghostly tale of past lives that intertwine with the present.

Blurb: A ROMANTIC WEEKEND GONE WRONG


A stay at America’s most haunted hotel, a spooky ghost tour with a visit to a former morgue, and a family wedding—all the ingredients for a fun-filled weekend. Emma and Zan Fuller have never been to the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas—at least not in this lifetime. But the ghosts that haunt the former cancer hospital remember Emma, and they won’t rest until she’s joined them once again. When a bizarre accident almost claims her life, her soul is catapulted backward in time to 1938. Things get even worse while she lies comatose, however, because she is now a target for an organ transplant scheme.


STAR CROSSED LOVERS


It’s Depression Era 1938 when Ivy Turner meets Harry Fuller. Love happens quickly, but they’ll never live happily ever after if her parents have their way. Despite their objections, the couple elopes. Wedded bliss soon turns to despair, however, when Harry is arrested and Ivy is sent to the Baker Cancer Hospital in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. But Ivy doesn’t have cancer. She’s pregnant with Harry’s child—the child who will someday become Zan Fuller’s father.


JOURNEY ACROSS TIME


Emma wakes up, but not the way she’d expected. Her soul has entered the cancer-riddled body of a woman who had died only moments before. And to make matters worse, she’s trapped in time—it’s 1938. She’s back at the Crescent Hotel, which is now the Baker Cancer Hospital. The people who had once been simply characters in a ghost story are now living, breathing human beings. But Emma’s biggest worry is Zan’s grandmother, Ivy. If anything happens to her or her baby, Zan will never exist. Can Emma, imprisoned in a sick and dying body, rescue Ivy and Harry? Can Zan, in 2011, prevent the hospital from ending her life support and harvesting her heart?



NIGHT JOURNEY Excerpt:

Two-fifteen.


The red numbers on the digital clock seemed to waver as Emma blinked to focus her eyes in the darkness. A blustering wind wailed mournfully outside and rain pelted the windowpanes. She sat up in bed and scanned the dark and misty chamber. Instantly alert, her heart shifted gears.


Something was in the room—something evil. She wrinkled her nose at the smell; the cloying odor of camphor and alcohol permeated the air.


She gasped when she saw the shadowy wraith hovering just inside the bathroom door. Intermittent flashes of lightning illuminated the sky like a strobe light and sifted through the shuttered window just enough to reveal the outline of the apparition.


Emma clutched the blanket to her chin and stared, too horrified to move or speak. She felt icy cold, yet sweat beaded on her forehead. She turned toward Zan lying beside her. He snored peacefully, oblivious to the terror lurking so near.


Emma heard the creak of footsteps moving across the floor. Whoever—or whatever—was in the room passed from the bathroom and headed toward the door, leaving a bitter chill in its wake. She watched in horror at the murky ectoplasm’s metamorphosis. Even in the darkness Emma could make out the shadowy form of a woman wearing a mid-calf length dress and a handkerchief-shaped cap.


The rasp as the deadbolt disengaged and the groan of ancient hinges fractured the silence; the door began to open.


Light flowed in from the hallway, casting uneven shadows on the parlor walls. The apparition became more distinct. Emma trembled at the intense hatred that emanated from the mad, cold stare of the spectral woman.


Emma summoned all her strength just to move her hand enough to touch her sleeping husband. The warmth of his skin reassured her and she shook him harder, but he didn’t wake up. She tried to call his name, but her vocal cords refused to respond.


Terror gripped her heart like a vise and squeezed until she thought she might faint. She closed her eyes and prayed to wake up from this hideous nightmare. It had to be a dream—a terrible, horrible hallucination.


She opened her eyes and looked toward the door. The phantom was still there. It watched Emma for several more seconds, and then passed through the open door and into the hallway. The door hung halfway open as if to remind her she wasn’t imagining things.


An overpowering compulsion swept over her. She climbed out of bed, slipped a nightgown over her head and crept toward the door. The coldness of the doorknob surprised her. She glanced back toward the bed. The back of Zan’s head was all she could see with his body beneath the mound of covers. She pulled the door all the way open and stepped into the hallway.


The ghost was clearly visible now. Emma stared in horrified fascination at the figure standing near the stairwell. Could it be one of the phantom nurses Cheryl had talked about on the tour? Or was it the pursuer in her reoccurring nightmare? Perhaps they were one and the same?


The woman was dressed in an old-fashioned nurse’s uniform, with starched cap and apron. Her dishwater blond hair was pulled back in a severe knot at the nape of her neck. She looked young, no more than thirty. But the expression of madness in her eyes, combined with the grotesquely scarred cheek, lips, and forehead made Emma flinch with revulsion.


As if she were hypnotized, Emma followed the woman down the stairs. The black cat on the bench arched its back and hissed as the specter passed it on the stairwell landing. Emma stumbled, almost tripping on the hem of her long nightgown. When she looked up, the ghost had vanished.


Emma scanned the third-floor hallway, searching for the nurse. She didn’t know why she followed her. She only knew that some irresistible urge pushed her. When she saw a movement at the farthest end she gathered her nightgown in her left hand and hurried toward it.


Whatever she had seen turned left. She came to a glass door leading onto one of the observation decks. The wind formed a vacuum and she had to tug with all her strength to open it. She gasped when she felt the full force of the storm. The battering rain pelted down on her, immediately soaking the thin material of her gown.


Emma flinched when she saw a girl standing there. From her profile she looked young and beautiful. She wore an ankle-length white dress; her long, pale hair was plastered to her head from the driving rain. She turned her back to Emma and slung one foot over the balcony railing. A scream rose in Emma’s throat. “No!”


The girl turned and looked at Emma, her face a mask of utter despair. She gazed sadly, then pulled her other leg over the balustrade and jumped. Emma ran frantically to the edge of the veranda and searched the ground. The storm lashed violently around her, making it difficult for her to see. A bright lightning flash momentarily lit up the night sky. She could see no body on the ground below.


Emma turned and stumbled back inside the hotel. Her teeth chattered; her hair and nightgown were completely soaked. She stood shivering in the hallway, trying to calm her spinning nerves. The clattering screech of unstable wheels approaching from the end of the hallway arrested her attention.


The ghostly nurse advanced, pushing a long cart on wheels. A white sheet covered the object on the gurney.


Emma stood paralyzed as it drew closer; the shrill noise grew louder.


She couldn’t move—she couldn’t think—she couldn’t breathe.


The nurse stopped and smiled at Emma. Her scarred lips twisted into a leer as she pulled the sheet forward. A woman’s corpse lay on the gurney, its face contorted in the final throes of agony. She hadn’t been told who the dead woman was, but somehow Emma intuitively knew. She’d seen that face before—somewhere—sometime.


Overcome with grief, Emma collapsed in the hallway. She pounded on the door of the room where she sat, crumpled and sobbing. She heard voices from inside the chamber; someone fumbled with the deadbolt. The door opened and Emma cried with relief when she saw Moonbeam and Chief Whitefeather.


“Emma, what’s wrong?” Moonbeam clutched her wrap with one hand and helped Emma with the other. “You’re soaking wet.”


“She’s dead,” Emma babbled, shivering and sniffling. “Anna’s dead….”


“Who’s Anna?”


Eyes wild, confusion painted on her face, Emma scanned the hallway. “I don’t know…I know Anna’s dead…but I don’t know who she is.”

Caroline: That’s a great excerpt. I’ve read the story, and I love it. Where can readers find your books?

Goldie: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Journey-Goldie-Browning/dp/0983279225/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308086830&sr=8-1

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58080

Caroline: Anything else you’d like readers to know?


Goldie: One of the subplots in NIGHT JOURNEY deals with the heroine having an accident with a closed-head injury. She’s in a coma and the evil hospital administrator schemes to push her husband to “pull the plug” and allow them to harvest her heart for a senator’s daughter in need of a transplant. The conflict is that she had just signed paperwork for an upcoming outpatient procedure and she’d signed a “form” Living Will, so they were pushing the legal boundaries by trying to rush it before they were absolutely sure she wouldn’t come back. The ironic thing is that soon after finishing NIGHT JOURNEY I became very ill and learned I had cardiomyopathy, also known as congestive heart failure. I received an implanted cardio-defibrillator and was told I might need a heart transplant! But luckily, the transplant cardiologist changed my medication drastically and by the time I had completed the extensive testing for transplant evaluation, my heart had remodeled itself and was back working in the normal range. My personal cardiologist called it a miracle. I’ve often thought it strange that I had chosen this plot element and then it almost came true for me.

Caroline: Your close call had all your friends praying for you. How can readers learn more about you?


Goldie: My website is http://www.goldiebrowning.com/ and I’m also active on Facebook.


Thanks for sharing personal details and information on your new release, NIGHT JOURNEY. Best of luck with sales.

14 comments:

Celia Yeary said...

Hello, Goldie--another Texan here. I was born on a farm, too, in rural Palo Pinto County--Salesville. I basically know where Springtown is, too. We had an outhouse, etc. but moved away when I was four to follow the oil fields with Daddy.
There's a novel titled Night Journal, and when I first saw your title, it startled me..I had to sit here a minute and remember Night Journal. It, too, had a story in a huge mansion, Nineteenth Century.
Your book sounds wonderful. Caroline and I look forward to your visit on Sweethearts!
Celia

Caroline Clemmons said...

Goldie, so pleased you're here with readers today.

Karen said...

Hello Goldie!

I really enjoyed your interview and extend belated Congratulations on the release of Night Journey. I loved the blurb and excerpt, too. Headed out to purchase the book! Wishing you much success with Night Journey!

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

It is always fun when I know the location where a book takes place. This one sounds really interesting!

goldiebeth said...

Thank you Celia, Caroline, Karen and Stephanie for your comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Goldie

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOW, I could have kept on reading your interview, Goldie. What an interesting life you've had and your story sounds something I need to read. I live near a haunted town - Placerville, CA where the 1849 gold rush happened. The hotel across the street from the art gallery I worked in was on the television show about most haunted hotels. Our gallery had a playful ghost who drove me crazy. You can see I am definitely a believer. Our town was called Hangtown at one time so there are a lot of lost souls here.

We've also had to deal with cancer the past years so this topic will be of interest. I wish you lots of luck with a huge amount of sales.

So very nice to meet you today.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I just put your story onto my Kindle and cannot wait to find the time to read it.

goldiebeth said...

Wow, Paisley! Thanks for all the great encouragement. I would love to visit a town called Hangtown. Did they have the gallows there? I love California. Only been there once, but I'd like to go again. Can't travel much right now. My husband of 38 years has very delicate health and is on the liver transplant list--and he's barely ever drank alcohol in his life! I escaped the heart transplant list. Irony at its finest. Thanks for buying Night Journey!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

They had a hanging tree and part of it is still there - encased inside an old building. Supposedly, if the judge even thought a person might do something tomorrow or whenever, he'd hang them today. It's rumored three of the ghosts are buried under the highway. When I was taking photos of the Cary House Hotel for my book, one of the two resident ghosts would not let me into the elevator so I had to walk up four flights of stairs. He certainly was happy to let me ride down and get out of his hotel. He died on the floor of the lobby when he made eyes at a cowboy's girl. There are so many neat stories in Placerville. I hope you can come some day. I'd love to show you around.

Sorry your hubby is ailing. Best of luck to him in getting that transplant soon.

goldiebeth said...

Paisley, what did they do to keep you out of the elevator? That was so cool. I'd love to experience it!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

The old-fashioned elevator is encased in a closet. We couldn't get the door open when we wanted to go up, but it easily opened when we came down. The ghost in our gallery would turn the paintings to the side and rip the title cards from the wall, we could hear heavy footsteps upstairs and doors slam, but nobody was there and one day my boss and co-worker were on one side of the gallery when a four foot tall ceramic vase slammed against the wall,cratched the legs of the mahogony table and broke into six pieces. That's only time he was violent. One morning my boss came in to find the hot water faucet in the kitchen running full bore and blamed me for not turning off (I hadn't used it so it wasn't me) and our one pink out of several gray wastebaskets disappeared forever. The building was a corner saloon during the gold rush and there is a creek running underneath it. It was exciting to say the least. :)

goldiebeth said...

I've been invited to be a guest blogger on Sweethearts of the West on August 20. I'll be writing about the bad guy in Night Journey, Dr. Baker. Everybody be sure to tune in on August 20.

goldiebeth said...

Paisley, that is so interesting. I'd love to come there some day. The experiences I've had have mainly been at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. One night I saw a blue fluorescent cloud hovering in a reportedly haunted room. Theodora, the ghost, also made a loud crashing noise in the parlor, but we could never find the source. I've also been touched by inivisible hands, once while I was filling a coffee pot, which made me flinch and break it! The last time we stayed, we had a spirit that didn't like for us to put the toilet seats down. It kept putting them up! The only other experience I've had was at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. We stayed the night and nothing happened. Then the next morning my daughter was in the bathroom, so I went to a public one. There was no one there when I got there and nobody came in, but I could hear the other stall doors moving and hitting. It was weird. Now I want to come to visit you and go to your hotel!

Ashley Kath-Bilsky said...

Carolyn, I loved the interview with Goldie. How nice to hear from her. I am so looking forward to reading Night Journey since I was privileged to read some of it in its early stages. I know it will be wonderful. You didn't mention that she is having a book signing on July 8th in Azle at the Gazebo in Central Park. I believe it starts at 6:30 PM. Anyhow, THAT is where I intend to get my signed copy!!!! :))))