BBB: What inspired you to become an author?
PD: Thrillers! As a young boy watching The Twilight Zone and Thriller set me on the course of spinning stories that explode into supernatural realms. Paranormal thrillers set the mind buzzing with wondering about matters of good and evil, reality and illusions. Eventually a story such as The Unholy seeps into not only waking life but into dreams and affects readers in deep places of mind. I’ve written three other books, nonfiction in psychology and spirituality, The Unholy bringing together my thirty years of insights and explorations about the dark side of religion.
"A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision."
BBB: How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Unholy?
PD: Over thirty years of treating patients who have suffered from the dark side of religion inspired The Unholy. The travails and dramatic life stories ushered my imagination into a phantasmagoric realm in which a young medicine woman engages in a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Dreams, such as ones experienced in therapy, and synchronous events, natural magical happenings, inform the healing process just as they guided Claire in her battle against evil!
BBB: Tell us about your main character(s). Your protagonist, Claire Sanchez, is a curandera, a term which roughly translates as "Medicine Woman." What exactly is a curandera? What led you to choose this occupation for your heroine?
PD: A curandera is a healer. She spoke to me as the story evolved, told me who she was and told me of her struggle to find herself. The path of a healer is fraught with danger. She dramatizes the life of so many women and men seeking to face their fears, find themselves, and walk the path of healing, natural magic, and life.
BBB: How did you decide on the setting?
PD: I live in the mystic realm of Aztlan (New Mexico). It’s where I treat patients. It’s where I write. Aztlan, the mythic and spiritual realm of the mestizo southwestern United States, is my home. Aztlan is my inspiration.
PD: The Dark Goddess is rolling out. It’s another psychological thriller set in the mythopoeic realm of Aztlan, same region as The Unholy. It’s a novel asking is bad love better than no love? This and other psychospiritual thrillers will be coming on down the pike over the next few years.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
PD: Readers can connect with me through the following links:
Website ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
Read an excerpt from The Unholy
“Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us. We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. “Ya no llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.
The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the light of a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.
Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify.
Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.