A Civil War Paranormal Romance
The Crossings Series
Book One of a Trilogy
Genre: Inspirational Fantasy, paranormal elements
Print Length: 258 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing
of the Carolinas
Three years after losing her family in a car crash, Grace MacKenna is set to inherit her stepfather's ancestral estate among the mountains of West Virginia. Seeking solace and healing, Grace discovers the ghost of William Kavanaugh, a dashing Civil War captain in Virginia s 17th Infantry, haunts the property. When William charms Grace into investigating the mystery that led to his death a hundred and fifty years ago, she finds herself drawn into a world of chivalry and honor, but also deception with secrets too dark to speak aloud.
Meanwhile, Clay Baxter, home from service in Afghanistan, fights his own demons and ghosts. When Clay senses Grace falling deeper into the realm of the dead, he seeks to pull her back. But is he too late?
Torn between her love for two mysterious young men - one living and one dead - Grace stands in the shadows of the Antietam Battlefield with a choice: one that could leave Grace lost forever, "crossing into the Mystic."
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/4RKylDUi0sc
In Crossing Into The Mystic, D.L. Koontz makes a very different world real. ~ Ann Vanino
The story is complex and unexpected and I enjoyed the twists of plot. by Felicia Bowen Bridges
I kept going back and reading a sentence, a paragraph, some of the time the whole page.~ Tricia Scoggins
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
When you’re little, you think you can do and be anything, so on my list was veterinarian, famous author, and fashion designer and rock star...and of course I was going to do all those at the same time.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
In fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Flamm, dubbed my poem, Wild Horses, as “brilliant.” That was heady, exciting stuff for a pudgy awkward farm kid.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I’ve had several non-fiction books published in a long-ago season of my life. I got frustrated and left writing. Turns out, it never left me. My desire to write fiction kept festering, which is not surprising since I come from a long line of fablers who loved to sit on our porch in the Appalachian foothills and spin tales. Finally, I woke up one day with a story in my head that wouldn’t go away and I began to write and kept at it until I typed “The end.” From the start of that novel to actual publishing, it was about three years.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Yes, I’m a consultant in the energy world. I do all my work from home, so I’m very blessed in that respect. I started my professional life as a journalist, then moved into public relations for a nuclear power plant. I learned the energy world from there.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Name: Crossing into the Mystic. 20 words or less: Insufferably independent teen orphan tackles the unfinished business of ghosts in her house, but soon suspects they’re demons in disguise.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Publisher is Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC). They are a mid-size press. Years ago, I published non-fiction with big houses (Avon, Bloomberg Press). I much prefer the mid-size houses due to their author focus and their terms and conditions. I’ve had a wonderful experience with LPC so far.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I’m a slow writer because I work full-time, and with my husband, manage a ranch in southeast Georgia. We have 50-plus head of free-range cattle, two dogs and a cantankerous cat. I also have a son in West Virginia and my father in Pennsylvania, so I travel too. The downside is that all of that eats into my writing time. My first book took about one-to-two years to write; the sequel (Book II in the trilogy) took about a year.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
After the trilogy is done? Probably the same genre. I love the mystery and mystical aspects of the unknown. I have a strong spiritual side to me, but love science. Together, they convince me that it’s possible we can’t even see what’s right around us. I love to explore that.
What genre would you place your books into?
Good question! I’m wondering that myself. My only answer is a genre that I’ve made up: Young Adult Suspenseful Paranormal Inspirational Romance. LOL.
See what I mean?! But hey, it’s working....I’m getting incredible feedback, such as one gal who called me and talked for an hour as to how she related to my main character and how she can’t stop thinking about the story. I’m still trying to figure out how she got my number.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
As I said above, I’m fascinated with the notion that we probably don’t see and understand most of what’s around us. Scientists say that ninety-five percent of the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy whose fundamental nature is a mystery. In short, you can’t see most of what’s out there. And, I harbor a strong faith in God and an afterlife, so I also believe in the potential for incredible miracles.
So when you merge all that together – Well, that’s where my mind goes. What’s more, according to Gallup polls, nine of out ten people believe in God. And the Harris poll found that fifty-one percent of the public believes in ghosts. So clearly, there’s an overlap. I wanted to explore that too.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
When I was a little girl, I would climb onto my parents’ laps with a book, push their books aside, and demand to be read to. From that toddler age, I wanted to do for others what those authors did for me – open up the world. Then, as I mentioned above, my fifth grade teacher was instrumental in influencing me.
But let’s be real – writing is a disease. If it’s in you, there is nothing you can do about it. If you can leave it, then you’re not a real writer. So, I suspect that without any inspiration from my teacher, I would have found my way “home” to writing anyway. If it’s in you, you’ve got to let it come out or you’ll never be happy.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I can’t write in the same place that I do my professional work. The vibes and energy are just too different than what I want. So I often write on my porch. We have a 360-degree porch around our house and it’s perfect for the tranquility I need to write. No, I can’t listen to music. I have to write in silence. Other than that, I always try to “prepare” before I sit down. I constantly think through my plots when I’m driving or writing. If I sit down to write without knowing exactly where I’m going next in the story, then I end up sitting there just tapping my desk, praying for inspiration to come.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
LOL – yes, I did, and what a mistake that was! Actually, after the 40th review, I stopped, even though they were very positive. It wasn’t serving me well and I found that I focused more on what was already written (the book they reviewed) rather than the book I was working on at the time.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I research like a mad woman. I love names and how they can impart a visual or reflect a time in history. In Crossing into the Mystic, I use names like Asa, Braxton, Jubal and Holland...the first three are names common in Civil War times. Holland Greer is the resident shady guy from modern times, and I think his name is perfect.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
As odd as this may sound, I shop for names quite often in cemeteries. I walk every morning from my home into the local town, and I pass two cemeteries as I go. I often stop and read the names and wonder about their lives.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I suppose there is: Be open-minded. Open-minded to miracles, and God, and the unknown. There is so much more out there than what we see and know. Question it! Explore it!
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Ugh...I’m old-school on this one. There is nothing as delightful as the smell, feel and crinkling sound of a hard-back book. It’s my tangible ticket to a whole new world where I’ve never been before!
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Lonesome Dove. I know, you probably didn’t see that one coming. The reason is the dialogue is amazing, so perfect for each character, and the characters themselves are so well-developed and interesting.
D. L. Koontz was born in Pennsylvania, but with her husband, now splits her time between their home in mountainous West Virginia and their cattle ranch in coastal plains Georgia. She has a son and a stepdaughter. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors), she is a former journalist, business consultant, spokesperson, and college instructor. After several non-fiction books, Crossing into the Mystic is her first novel.