Thursday, February 20, 2014

Get Lost with Paranormal Mystery Author Amber Foxx

Get Lost in a Story readers, introducing Mystery Reader Amber Foxx and the intriguing tell of Shaman's Blues, the second Mae Martin psychic mystery

 Every person is a mystery. Every life hides a secret.

Mae Martin gets a double-edged going-away gift from her job as a psychic and healer: beautiful music by a man who’s gone missing, and a request to find him.
When she arrives in her new home in New Mexico, aiming to start life over as she comes to terms with her second divorce, she faces a new challenge in the use of her gift. Her new neighbors are under the influence of an apparently fake psychic who runs the health food restaurant where they work. When Mae questions the skills of the peculiar restaurateur, the woman disappears—either to Santa Fe, or another dimension. The restaurant’s manager asks Mae to discover which it is. Finding two missing people proves easier than finding out the truth about either of them, or getting one of them, once found, to go away again. 

DONNELL:  Amber, welcome to Get Lost in a Story.  This book sounds amazingly compelling.  First, because it’s a psychic mystery, second because it takes place in my beloved New Mexico, and three because it sounds loaded with conflict.  Tell us about your psychic protagonist.  Why should we believe she’s real and the fake psychic in your story is not? 

AMBER: The fake psychic is based on a bizarre encounter I really had with a woman who ran a vegetarian restaurant in Santa Fe. Her “reading” was the strange one that Muffie gives Mae—intrusive, and absurd, and yet utterly confident. Readers who know my protagonist Mae from the Calling will be familiar with how she explores her gift to see if she can really use it accurately—and safely. She’s quieter and more careful about it than this apparent fake. I’m not sure if that says why readers should know who’s real and who’s not, though, until the scene where Roseanne, the manager of the restaurant owned by the fake psychic, tests Mae. Roseanne isn’t sure who’s real or fake either.

 DONNELL:  Why did you choose to place this book in New Mexico? 

AMBER:  Partly, it’s the adage, “write what you know”. I live part-time in Truth or Consequences, NM (T or C, for short) and love it. I used to live in Santa Fe. Although I have to spend part of the year elsewhere for work, I think of New Mexico as home. Also, both Truth or Consequences and Santa Fe have strong elements of alternative healing and eccentricity and that appeal to me both as a person and writer. The series started with Mae in her home state of North Carolina, where she ran into challenges with the discovery of her gift. In New Mexico, I see no end of potential characters and situations for this series. As the T or C T-shirt says, “We’re all here because we’re not all there.”

DONNELL:  Have you or someone you’ve known experienced a psychic gift?  Why do you think these stories are so popular?

AMBER: My psychic gift isn’t the same as Mae’s. I dream the future, sometimes with picture-perfect accuracy. Occasionally an insight about something that is about to happen pops into my head, coming as a kind of voice and dim vision—and it’s right.  These predictions have ranged from trivial—where I’ll find an open parking place—to serious, such as health crises for family and friends.

I think we’re interested in mysterious phenomena now because we know from things like that that there is more to life than our ordinary experience. Life is so measured and scientific, now, too. We have labels telling us every little thing that is in our food, and we have data on everything we do being collected—we can feel compartmentalized or de-mystified, to say the least. Life is a mystery. The big questions—the nature of consciousness, life after death—those are still mysteries. Just like a person can be attractive for being a little mysterious, so can story that puts the reader in touch with the unseen realities. To be fully human, we need whatever it was that our ancestors got from sitting around the fire telling stories of magic.

DONNELL:  Love the other dimension twist… Should we expect paranormal elements in this story?

AMBER: The paranormal elements are of course Mae's psychic gift, and then the question of exactly what happened to the missing woman—was it something extraordinary, or not? And there is the other missing person, the musician. He brings his own elements of mystery to the story. To say what they are would be a spoiler, but I will say that readers have found him fascinating. Feedback from people who have read the book pre-publication always centers on him. A lot of the conflict in the story revolves around how Mae relates to him, conflict between them and within herself. I’m excited to turn him loose on the world with this book.

DONNELL:  Let’s talk about Amber.  How often do you write, and let’s turn this.  How often do you get lost in a story?

AMBER:  I write every day. I haven’t missed a day in two years. Sometimes when I’m travelling from Virginia to New Mexico and back, it's only twenty minutes after a thirteen hour drive, but I made that commitment: I will not miss day of writing. When I have time I like to spend hours and hours on it. I’m working on the fourth and fifth books in the series now—I start them years before they come out. I get lost in my own stories! When I’m running, I do some of my best plot work.

I love to read, too, of course. Like writing, I have to spend some time lost in a good book daily. My favorite writer is the late James D. Doss, whose mystical mysteries I could never imitate. His books have delighted me with characters, setting and language, a mix of humor and mysticism and whodunnit.

DONNELL:  Outside of writing, which I hope is enormously fun for you, what hobbies do you enjoy?

AMBER: Writing IS enormously fun. Running and yoga are, too. I’m a fitness nut. I'm also an art lover with no visual arts skills at all. New Mexico is a great place for that. I can spend a week in Santa Fe going to museums and galleries and be in a state of total bliss.

DONNELL:  What is the most fascinating thing you’ve learned while conducting research?

 AMBER:  Wow. Where to start. I don’t know if it’s some of the remarkable shamanic practices I’ve read about, the personal experience with energy healing, or the hard science on remote viewing and precognition. From the colorful to the dry, it's all been interesting. Since my protagonist is a psychic, though, I’d have to say the PEAR lab studies. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research lab documented psychic ability in a large number of ordinary people in tightly controlled scientific studies. It’s easy for skeptics to doubt one person’s anecdote, but harder to dismiss something like this. (For readers who want to dig deeper, several of my blog posts go into more detail on my research and personal experiences.)

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

AMBER: You really want to know? Almond milk, coconut milk yogurt, brown rice tortillas, English muffins, pumpkin butter, peanut butter, almond cheese, vegan soy-meat, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, green chile mustard, vegan mayo, walnuts, pecans, dates, juice… and little bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider that one of my yoga students gave me for Christmas. I keep waiting for the right moment to open it and celebrate something, but I keep setting higher targets for what constitutes a significant achievement and not opening it. I don’t know what that says about me. I should probably just drink it. (The dark chocolate is in the cabinet.)

DONNELL:  What do you hope readers take away from your stories?

AMBER: The immersion experience of a good story. I want people to have what I get from a book—that utter absorption in people and places, the excitement of wondering what happens next, and the catharsis of going through the characters’ struggles with them. Shaman’s Blues is an off-the-beaten-path book, with elements of romance turned sort of upside-down and backwards, and a three-layer mystery that’s not about murder. I want the reader to get lost in that story. My beta-readers, who are British and Australian respectively, have enjoyed the vicarious trip to New Mexico.

Amber, now it’s your turn.  Time to ask readers a question.  

Question: If you were psychic, what would you do with that gift?

Giveaway: Shaman’s’ Blues comes out Feb. 27th.

I’ll also have a giveaway for e-books on Booklikes, and for paperbacks on Goodreads, both starting next week.

Links and Contact Information.

Amber Foxx

Paranormal fiction for people who don’t like paranormal fiction. 
And for those who do. 
No murder, just mystery.
Love is a mystery. Every person is a mystery.
Every life hides a secret.

Thanks for joining us!  Love the turquoise on the cover. 



  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Amber !!
    Awesome to have you!

  2. Nice interview. Predict winning lottery numbers

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. If I can change the results, would love to prevent any bad things from happening!

  4. I had the great pleasure of reading this pre-publication, and it is absolutely fantastic! I was pulled right in. It stands on its own, but I'd recommend reading the first in the series, THE CALLING, to begin with. It's a wonderful book, too. I haven't really read anything else like it and love the way it crosses genre boundaries. Way to go, Amber!

  5. Amber, thanks for joining us today. I can't wait until my TBR pile goes down a few notches. I agree, this sounds like a fantastic read. Happy Release Day next week!

  6. Welcome Amber! I'd like to say I'd use my psychic powers only for good, but I'm sure I'd get in trouble somehow! ;)