Debra Robinson Guest Blog
Hello, Dwellers! Last night I had a wonderful conversation with Debra Robinson in regards to her non-fiction books, A Haunted Life: The True Story of a Reluctant Psychic, released in July of 3013, and her new book The Dead Are Watching: Ghost Stories of a Reluctant Psychic, which will be released September 8th this year. Both these books are published by Llewellyn Publications.
She also has three books coming out soon by Permuted Press.
Debra’s story is rife with tragedy and heartbreak which lead to the writing of A Haunted Life. I cannot imagine what hell she’s been through, but Debra was kind enough to be a guest and let us in on what made her share her horror.
So grab a beverage. You might want a stiff one for this. Thank you, Debra, for writing this.And Welcome to Darkness Dwells.
I’ve been a life-long professional musician, and currently have an L.A. Music publisher. I’ve signed many music publishing contracts over the years, both L.A and Nashville. I’d never really thought about writing anything longer than a three minute song until personal tragedy drove me to make sense of what happened.
I descend from a psychic line on my mother’s side. They were very religious, but also very psychic. They believed it was a spiritual gift, like prophecy of ancient times. But it was pretty hush-hush, like a family embarrassment. My grandmother’s ancestress was Alice Nutter, of the infamous Lancashire Witch trials, executed by King James in August 1612. I’ve often wondered if poor Alice had this psychic streak. They didn’t take kindly to it back then, nor anything that smacked of witchcraft. And maybe that’s why it was so hush-hush.
I’d dealt with my own childhood demons, having lived in a haunted house for three terror-filled years. This was the stuff of bad horror movies too; something knocking on walls, scratching on my sheets under the covers with me, locking me in the bathroom— real poltergeist behavior. I never knew if it happened because I played with an Ouija Board unwittingly, or perhaps my own abilities were misfiring at puberty, as some in the paranormal world suggest. All I know is, this changed my life, and I needed to understand what happened. I embraced the study of these things and a paranormal lifestyle as well.
In 2009, my only child, my son James was hit and killed by a drunk driver—the mother of his best friend in high school. Not too long after that, my father shot himself. And then, both of them returned after their deaths, I guess to let me know there is more than just this life.
My son was 24, a brilliant songwriter and musician, and a pro roller blader. He also had the psychic streak. He seemed to know something was coming for him; he wrote lyrics about fearing his “heart might beat away and away and away”, and painted a gigantic 4ft by 4ft picture of a bloody heart, severed tubes and veins sticking out all over. Of course, I thought this was weird and kept asking him what was up. He would just shrug.
But it finally fell into place the day I met the man who received my son’s heart after he was declared brain-dead. The man drove all the way from Massachusetts to meet us. He had been dying, hooked to a machine for six months to keep him alive, until James’s heart gave him a new life.
When I found my father’s body not too long after, I was devastated, as you can imagine. All the self-blame, recriminations, and “what-if’s” heaped themselves upon the terrible ongoing grief of losing James. The trial of the woman who hit James occurred at this time as well. It was too much, I wanted to kill her, kill myself, kill something. Instead, I began to write, to piece it all together from the beginning, connect dots and find patterns. I somehow needed to make sense of it all.
I finished A Haunted Life: The True Ghost Story of a Reluctant Psychic, and was ready to self-publish when Llewellyn Worldwide picked it up. It was released last July, 2013. They also contracted the follow-up book of my ongoing visits from James, as well as stories from other people who have dealt with their own family members returning after death, both heartwarming and terrifying. The Dead are Watching: More Ghost Stories from a Reluctant Psychic will be released the first week in September, 2014.
Between these two books, I needed to keep busy, so I tried my hand at fiction. Sarah’s Shadows, a novel of supernatural suspense, was the result, and after that, The Haunting of Black Tower Mansion. Both these books were just signed to Permuted Press, along with the sequel to Sarah’s Shadows, titled Sarah’s Sight, which I’m writing now.
I feel blessed to have this new creative outlet, and to have developed a huge passion for writing. I feel strongly that I am living for
James now. He truly loved life and jumped headfirst into every adventure, making an adventure out of even the simplest things.
This thought drives me more than any other; how precious life is, how good, and conversely, how very bad sometimes as well. I believe all we can do is fight the good fight, and as I like to say—stay in the light.