Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interview with Beth Dolgner, Author of Ghost of a Threat

 Hi everyone! 
Today we are chatting with Beth Dolgner, author of the paranormal romance novel Ghost of a Threat. Beth Dolgner will be joining us for a live interview on Blog Talk Radio, Wednesday, March 28th, at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time. We hope you'll stop by and listen in.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this interview for your chance to win three copies of Ghost of a Threat. Don't forget to leave your email address in the following format: parayournormalteam(at)gmail(dot)com. Now for the interview!
1. I have to admit that my paranormal investigator geek geeked out on your site! Wow! That was so much fun! Seriously! How did you pick this location? And is it a part of your novel?

The house at 432 Abercorn Street in Savannah is actually one of the stories from my first book, Georgia Spirits and Specters. The book is a collection of Georgia ghost stories, and I was amazed by how much interest there is in that particular story. People started sending me e-mails,
sharing their experiences at the house and showing me photos with strange anomalies.

The story I was originally told about the house involves a little girl dying in the front window, although some say that’s made up. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction: the house is built on top of an old burial ground! I’ve heard first-hand accounts from several people about that house, so
whatever the story behind the haunting is, there is no doubt that there is paranormal activity there.
We’ve pretty much debunked the “girl in the window” photos, because it turns out the architecture
of the fireplace in that room looks like a girl’s face if you get it at just the right angle. However, I’ve
seen plenty of photos that I cannot explain.

As for me? I don’t like that house. It gives me the creeps in the broad daylight.

2. What drew you to ghosts and the paranormal? I see how you were naturally drawn to racing. *grin* But what about the ghosts?

A lot of it stems from my first trip to Savannah, when I was a kid. I picked up a copy of Margaret
Wayt-DeBolt’s Savannah Spectres and was hooked. I loved the blend of paranormal, lore and
history. From there, I started buying local ghost books wherever I traveled. I jumped at the chance
to add my own work to that collection, and Georgia Spirits and Specters was born. The book gave
me the opportunity to go on my first paranormal investigation, and now I can’t get enough of it.

3. What inspired the Ghost of a Threat novel?

I knew I wanted to write a series about a ghost hunter since I love the paranormal and have first-
hand experience to draw from. Savannah was the perfect setting since it’s reputed to be the most
haunted city in America. Plus, my mom lives there now, so I’ve gotten to know the city a lot better,
and she helps me get my Savannah facts straight: I like to include real locations in the books. The
story kind of stalled until I thought up the character of Maxwell. He was inspired by, of all things,
a trip to Disney World. Disney used to have a nightclub complex called Pleasure Island. Mom and
I went there for one last hurrah before they closed, and we were reminiscing about a mural there
that featured a train named “Maxwell’s Demon.” I suddenly got this vision of a crisp white business
card that said, “Maxwell, Demon.” Maxwell was the catalyst that really got the series going, and I
started Ghost of a Threat as soon as I got home from that trip. Maxwell might be a demon, but he is also my muse!

4. The people who review your books say they’re really glad there are no vampires! LMAO! Can you tell us a bit more?

I love vampires, and I have ever since I read Dracula in high school. However, plenty of other authors are doing a great job of covering vampire territory. I wanted to do something with ghosts, and of course, demons wound up being a part of the series, too. What I love about the demons is that I
could really get creative with their abilities and history: there aren’t as many pre-conceived notions
about them as there are about vampires.

5. What inspired these characters?

Characters have a tendency to spring into my head pretty much fully formed. I’ve said before that
I don’t make up the story, I just write down what my characters do. So even though Maxwell was
inspired by a trip to Disney World, I feel like characters just form themselves. I knew I wanted a good nemesis for Betty, though, and Carter Lansford fit the bill. I just love writing his character: he’s so arrogant, and he’ll do and say things that really annoy me. He and I have a love-hate relationship!

6. What was your favorite part of the research to create this book?

I think my favorite part was plotting Betty’s world on a map. I got a map of downtown Savannah—
the historic district—and figured out where she lived, where her favorite hangout was, and other
locations. Seeing it all laid out in front of me really gave me a feel for Betty and her adventures.

7. So you’re writing Book 2. Is there anything you can tell us without giving away the plot?

I’m actually working on book 4 now! Book 2, Ghost of a Whisper, has some sad scenes in it, and
Betty finds herself faced with a tough choice: will she sell her soul to save Maxwell? Book 3, Ghost
of a Memory
, deals with revenants—the walking dead—and that plot gave me a chance to really
have some fun with Carter. Book 4, Ghost of a Hope, is the final book of the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter Series. Betty finds herself in a war against demons, demon hunters, and even some violent ghosts.

8. Where can readers purchase your book? (I may have already done that, but share with the class.)

You can get Ghost of a Threat in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. It’s also available for the
Nook through Barnes and Noble and for the iPad through iTunes. Or, if you want a signed copy, drop
me an e-mail (beth at

9. May we read an excerpt from the book and can you provide it here? 

Of course! In this scene, Maxwell and Betty are at dinner together. He has told her that he’s a
demon, but she still doesn’t believe him…

While Maxwell talked, he absently rubbed the thumb and forefinger of his free hand together. A few
bright sparks of flame erupted from his fingers; tiny pinpoints that disappeared nearly as quickly as they were created.

I’d thought that his trick during our first dinner together had been just that: a clever trick that would
have made a veteran magician jealous. Now, though, Maxwell seemed almost unaware of what he was doing, and he certainly wasn’t doing it to impress me.

Maxwell followed my gaze and his fingers stopped moving. “Sorry, it’s a bad habit.”

“What are you?” The words just popped out of my mouth before I could stop them.

“We’ve covered this territory before, I believe.”

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” I said carefully, hoping I wasn’t throwing away all politeness for the sake of honesty. “You believe, but I wasn’t sure I did.”

“I generated fire for you. I got rid of Sam’s demon for you. How much more proof do you need?”

“I thought the fire was a trick of some sort, like maybe you had a lighter hidden in your shirt cuff or
something.” Saying it out loud, I realized how unlikely that was. Maxwell had held the flame in his
hands; there had been no hidden lighter.

Maxwell didn’t respond, so I continued awkwardly. “As for Sam, well, I just thought you were really
experienced at dealing with paranormal entities.”

Maxwell’s eyes were intent on mine, and for the first time since I’d met him I felt real fear. I couldn’t
look away and I couldn’t shut my eyes against the sight of his face, his jaw rigid and his pale skin almost glowing. My hand was growing hot, and I realized that it was still entwined with Maxwell’s. His grip hardened, and the searing heat flowed up my arm and into my shoulder. I would have cried out if I hadn’t been transfixed.

It felt like hot coals were coursing through my body. I’m going to be burned to death, I thought. My skin will be charred and my blood is going to boil.

The image of Maxwell’s face blurred as the heat slithered up my neck and into my head. I realized I must be passing out and felt relief: at least I wouldn’t be conscious when my body burned.

My relief soon turned to a new fear, though, as images crept into my mind. I saw flames leaping up from a dark pit, smoke curling around me so thickly that I could feel it brushing against my face. I tried to hold my breath, but still the stench of smoke and sulfur filled my nose. The heat was nearly unbearable, pressing at me from within and without now. I looked down but couldn’t see my body. Instead, I saw the precipice on which I seemed to be standing, the dirty rock scored with long gouges. There were two sets of long scratches, and somehow I knew that fingernails had made those as someone fought against whatever had dragged them into that pit of fire.

I shut my eyes against the sight, and the heat dissipated immediately. There was only one part of me
that still felt warm, and that was my hand, which was still clinging to Maxwell. I opened my eyes and he was looking at me grimly, but with sympathy in his eyes.

“Now you see why I wanted to get out of hell,” he said quietly.

10. Where can your readers connect with you on the web? 

My blog is at and you’ll find all of the stories and photos about
432 Abercorn there. I’m on Twitter at!/bethdolgner, and my Facebook page

1 comment:

  1. Hi Beth, I enjoyed your interview. I write an outline for my books but what you said is so true. The characters take on their own lives and take the book were they want it to go! Once the character I intended to be the female villain took on the secondary heroine spot. She just didn't like being bad! Your excerpt sounds fantastic and Ghost of a Threat sounds like a sure winner. Good luck with it and all your future works!