I was able to sit down with Maighread MacKay and talk about life and writing.
1. Where did you get the idea behind Murder at Mother's?
The writing group (WCDR) to which I belong, was having a contest. The theme of the short story was "where sharks gather". I had an image in my head of "sharks" - the wall street type - and wrote a short piece about a family of sharks waiting for the Matriarch to die. No, I didn't win the contest, but I got thinking I could turn the small piece into a longer story. Thus, the beginning of Murder at Mother's.
2. Since you've asked a lot of questions having to do with the paranormal, have you ever found any answers?
Yes. I do believe there is much more to this life and universe than what has been taught in the past. Everyday there are new discoveries. Quantum physics, alternative realities, parallel universes - so much we had never even thought of fifty years ago. The Hubble sends back extraordinary pictures of space. Men have walked on the moon. So much we have to learn.
3. Did any particular event start you asking questions about the paranormal?
As a small child, one of my favourite books was "Artie and the Princess". It is the story of a small dragon named Artemus Peter Edward Aldebert Jehosaphat Dragon - Artie for short, and his adventures. It's probably out of print by now, but I still have my copy. Then, when I could read, I moved on to Nancy Drew. I especially loved "The Ghost of Blackwood Hall". As you can see, my love of all things mysterious began right at the beginning. As I got older, I wasn't satisfied with some of the theology I was taught and began to explore other perceptions of this world and our place in it. I have had a couple of extraordinary experiences which confirmed to me the existence of more than we encounter with our five senses. Our senses are limited. For example: we know sound covers a wide range, but humans can only hear a small portion of it. Dogs have a much larger spectrum. That is why, to us, dog whistles are silent, but are heard by dogs. It doesn't mean the range doesn't exist. Only, that we cannot hear it. I know it's the same with our other senses. We only see and hear a small portion of what exists. When conditions are right, sometimes our senses expand and we are able to see or hear things we usually can't. It doesn't mean the other realms don't exist. It only means that within the normal range of humans, we don't know they are there. I love to talk to people who have experienced a wider range of sight or sound to broaden my own horizons and understanding.
4. Any words of wisdom for new writers?
Advice for new writers? Put your baby in the hands of a competent Editor to make sure it is the best it can be. A good Editor will catch glaring holes in the plot; errors in tense; the flow on your piece; errors in grammar and much more - to make your writing the best it can be.
MURDER AT MOTHER'S
A killer lurks at the Bancroft estate and the Matriarch, Martha Bancroft is murdered. Royally pissed, she hangs around to see what happened. When she doesn’t go immediately to the light, a member of her soul group, shows up from the other side. Gladys is adamant Martha needs to come with her, but Martha has no intention of going anywhere until she helps Detective Ian “Mac” MacKellar and Coroner Dr. Cecilia “Cissy” Walsh find the murderer. Gladys joins Martha and the two set out on their quest.
5 STAR REVIEWS FOR MURDER AT MOTHER'S
I hope that Author MacKay had fun writing this story, because I know I had a marvelous time reading her latest book. - J.C. Henry, Author
This is a wonderful light weave of mystery, family drama, metaphysical and psychic threads ...with a dark strand of greed added to the tapestry. I loved it. - R. Davies
This book has good pace, excellent characterisation and enough twists and turns to keep you interested. There's humour too. - Becca from Amazon.co.UK
Ghosts, spirits and things that go bump in the night. Ancient mysteries and the riddles of our vast universe. Questions - lots of fascinating questions about the reality of our cosmos. Are there other dimensions or planes of existence? Are they inhabited? Do parallel universes ever converge? Angels, Spirit Guides. Are they real? Can we communicate with them? What about other entities such as the Fae, Unicorns, or Dragons? Could they exist? What happens when we die? Has the soul that inhabits our body been here before? Why would we come back? What about animals? What happens to them when they die?
These questions have led me on a journey of investigating Christian Mysticism, Yogic Spirituality, Native Theology, Wicca, Celtic Shamanism, Quantum Physics, the Realm of the Fae and many other related topics.
Using my experiences to draw on, I weave tales of Visionary Fiction for both children and adults. Whether nine or ninety, I hope readers will join me in exploring alternate paradigms about life and the after-life experience.
Excerpt from Murder at Mother's:
The fire was the first incident which caught Martha’s attention. One of the ranch hands needed a rope from the tack room and arrived in time to smell smoke and dampen the blaze. A few weeks later, Jared discovered a fence bordering the back forty was down. He repaired it before any of the horses escaped. She shivered as she thought about the danger they’d be in wandering around the forest at night. Both episodes could have been accidents.
Today, dressed in her favorite jeans and boots, Martha strode down the hill to the horses. As she walked, her cane stirred the dry ground with small circular puffs of sand. Her heart and pace were more accelerated than usual as she thought about her beloved mare. Her first baby. Wonder how she’ll take to being a mother. Jared said the delivery went well, but I’ll feel better once I’ve seen her for myself. As she approached the barn door she heard a call. “Grandma, look out.” Forceful hands grabbed her in a firm grip. Her cane went flying. Her hair lifted as something whizzed past her ear and caused a burning sensation where it grazed her arm. She clutched the arms which held her and looked up into the shocked eyes of her grandson.
Other Books by this Author:
If you could plan your life before you were born, what could that life look like? Rebecca Wainwright, successful, polished EVP tumbles into depression and panic attacks after a traumatic incident. Seeking a respite from the well meaning, but smothering care of her family and friends, she stumbles onto an old stone cottage where she feels like she has come home. After purchasing the home, she discovers it already has an occupant. Annie McBride has been trapped in her home for over 150 years. What do these two women mean to each other? Why meet now? A story of how love bridges the years and can heal even the saddest of hearts.
5 STAR REVIEWS FOR STONE COTTAGE:
The reader gets to know how the events finally affected the characters’ lives and how they are dealing with a new reality. A lot of books omit this important piece and the future of the story is simply left up to the reader’s imagination. - Edna Marie
I enjoyed the stories of the main characters, and found this book to be an entrancing read. - A Happy Reader
That the author weaves two parallel plots in different historical frames seamlessly is a joy for this reader. - A.B. Funkhauser, Author of Shell Game
Excerpt from Stone Cottage:
The cacophony of the moaning wind and lashing rain concealed any sound of a horse’s hoofs. She could see nothing, except the murky fog. No light. No Will. Where are you? Her anxiety escalated to new heights. Her baby girl was asleep upstairs, but she seemed to have been sleeping for a long time. Was Maddy sick? Victoria knew there was something important about the baby that she had to explain to Will, but she couldn’t quite remember what it was. She needed her husband to come home to take her in his arms and tell her everything would be all right. Panic, like a bird’s wings trapped by the cage of her ribs, fluttered in her chest. She leaned her head against the cold glass and clenched her fists. Taking deep breaths to try and calm herself, she flattened her hands on the window.
“He’s fine,” she said. “I know it. Oh, Will, where are you? I need you so much. Please, please come home. Everything will be all right once you get here.”
Tears coursed down her cheeks. The old dog, sensing her unease, leaned into her leg and began to whine. Absentmindedly, she reached down to stroke his head. She would just wait. Wait for as long as it took for Will to come home.
Wait...wait...wait, her mind chanted to the ticking clock in the hall.
Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/maighreadmackay
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MURDER MOST FOUL AT MOM’S HOUSE