Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spotlight Character Interview (Nicholas Zahn) & Giveaway with Gale Minchew


Gale Minchew is a licensed psychologist who resides in East Texas with her husband and two children.  In her professional practice, Dr. Minchew specializes in issues related to children and families.  However, over the past couple of years, she has consulted with adults and children who have experienced a broad range of paranormal phenomena, as well. 

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Minchew has written several other works of fiction, in addition to completing a dissertation.  While she has become adept at technical writing through her professional practice, Dr. Minchew’s heart is with young adult fiction.  She strives to provide a cross-over novel that engenders the creativity and interest the adult population craves while upholding some of the core values that are so lacking in many of the current works of young adult fiction on the market.  Shadows of Destiny is Dr. Minchew’s first published novel.


I awoke to a scream stuck in the back of my throat and my pulse strumming in my ears.  I looked at the clock on my bedside table and realized it was almost morning.  Good, I thought.  I need to get up and clear my head.  Was that real?

I pilfered some clothes from the dresser then shuffled into the bathroom for a warm, relaxing shower.  I felt stiff from the stress of last night.  It had to be real.  I let the hot water splash down upon my head and run off onto my shoulders then down my back like a waterfall.  Between the pulsating water and my lavender shampoo, the tension in my shoulders quickly subsided.

I dried off in the shower then opened the curtain to step out when I saw him leaning against the bathroom door.  My face turned crimson and my eyes must have registered shock because he turned his head away from me and chuckled as I struggled to keep my body covered with the towel while my hair dripped puddles around my feet.

“What are you doing in my bathroom?” I stammered breathlessly.

He chuckled once again, then without looking in my direction, he tossed me the robe hanging on the back of the door.  With his back to me, I hastily donned the robe and wrapped my hair in the towel.  I was mortified by his presence but determined to know what happened the night before.

When he thought I had enough time to change, he opened the door and went to sit in the chair in the corner of my room.

“Nicholas, what are you doing here, and what happened last night?” I said in a rushed jumble of words.

He grinned at my excitement but promptly sobered before speaking.

“Analise, you need to understand how dangerous this is becoming…you following me, me following you.  I am trying to protect you, but you’re making it almost impossible.  Your impromptu visits to me at very undesirable times could jeopardize my work and put you in more danger.  And, of course I have Constantine jumping down my throat whenever you are close to danger, which is often.  We need to come to some kind of understanding here.”

I continued to stare at him in astonishment.  What was he talking about following each other and me being in danger?  And what kind of work is he in anyway?  I finally found my voice, although it was raspy from the ragged breaths I was taking.

“You’re right.  I do not understand how dangerous this is because I do not understand what this is.  I don’t even know who you are.  And, from what exactly are you protecting me, anyway?  I think we need to start with that first.”

“Analise,” he said with a sigh.

“Look, you’re the one carrying around a big black briefcase, traipsing off to the French Riviera to dine in fancy restaurants and dress in tuxedos while staying at posh hotels.  You’re the one who talks to me in the middle of the day while I’m at school.  Do you have any idea how stupid I must look to people when you come to see me?  They can’t see you or hear you.”  I paused for effect, just to savor the power I felt drilling him with my accusations and questions.

“Then last night, you show up in my dream, the same dream I’ve had for the past several weeks by the way, and you attack something while I stand helpless on the sidelines.  How is all this happening?  Who are you?  And, why are you here now?”

My rant seemed to catch him at a loss for words.  Several moments passed as we sat in silence, waiting for the other to reign in the emotions that filled the room.  Finally, he spoke.

“Analise, there are some things I just can’t tell you.  I
need you to understand this.  According to Constantine, our lives are inexplicably intertwined.  What I know is that you are in danger.  This dream, or whatever it is, you are having is complicated.  Last night, I found myself drawn into a battle with something evil and otherworldly.  I want to know why it is so attracted to you.  Or maybe it is Constantine who wants to know.  Either way, I suppose it’s amazing that I even made it out of there alive.  Fortunately, when you faded out, the dream faded, as well.  I found myself wandering for awhile, and then simply ended up here.  If you want my help, I need to know what happened leading up to the time I arrived.”

“Wait a minute.  So I get that our lives are intertwined and you’re here to help me.  But, I still don’t know what or how this is happening or anything about you.”

“I’ll make a deal with you.  You tell me what happened before you saw me in your dream then I will answer some of your questions,” he offered.

“Oh, fine,” I sighed. 

I knew I wouldn’t win this argument so it was better to lose and get some information for it than to fight with him, finally give in, and then not get any information at all.  As I told him about the dream, his sparkling eyes never wavered from my face.  At the end of my recitation he was quiet for several minutes.  Judging by the dark shadow that crossed his brow, I knew better than to say anything until he indicated he was ready to talk.  I watched him process what I had just told him, acutely aware of the silence in the room.


Gale will give away a free digital copy of Shadows of Destiny as well as her new short story Shadows of the Past to one lucky commenter. Be sure to include your email addy with your comment if it is not shown on your Google Profile page so I can contact you if you are the winner. This giveaway is open to everyone (INTL). You do not have to be a follower to enter but if you do follow me you will get an extra entry (+1). Ends Saturday July 30 at 11:59PM CST. Have you ever seen or felt the presence of something you couldn’t explain? What happened?


Tell us about your family.

My family is complicated.  When I was a kid, I grew up in a typical Midwestern town and a typical Midwestern family until I was about six years old.  One day, I went swimming and had an accident.  A neighbor revived me.  I guess you would call it a near-death experience.  After the accident, everything was different for me.  I was able to do things I couldn’t do before.  I knew things before they happened.  The newspapers and television stations were fascinated with my story, and no matter how hard my parents tried to shield me, the media wouldn’t let up.  All that media coverage drew the attention of another group of people, people interested in my new abilities.  One night while I was sleeping, they took me.  I spent the next several years in different homes all over the world.  I was trained in academics, technology, weaponry, linguistics, intelligence, and the arts, among a few other things I can’t discuss.  They helped me enhance my special abilities.  I was well cared for, I suppose.  Over time, I came to consider these people, and the other kids, my family.  I had no one else.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

I suppose if I could apologize to anyone, it would be my mom and dad…even though it wasn’t really my fault.  They didn’t deserve what happened and in some way, I blame myself.  Would you mind if we talk about something else.  I don’t really care to talk about my past.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

That’s funny.  I’ve never been asked that before.  You know, I can travel anywhere I want, simply by using my mind.  It’s one of my gifts…remote viewing.  But if I could physically travel anywhere, there is really only one place I want to be right now.  I just don’t know when I’ll be able to make it back there.  Unfortunately for me, it’s in Dr. Gale’s hands right now, so you may be able to get more information from her.

You mentioned something about ‘new abilities’ and ‘gifts’.  What do you mean?

If I told you I’d have to kill you. (Laughs) No really, some of it I can’t talk about, but I already mentioned remote viewing and precognition, or knowing what will happen before it happens.  I can also talk with others in my mind…people, angels, spirits, it doesn’t matter.  Really, the best way to describe my abilities or gifts is a heightened awareness to everything and everyone around me.  Just don’t ask me to read your mind.  I don’t do that.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

I’m adaptable…my training made me that way.  But if I had to choose, I’d say a night person.  No matter where I am in the world, night time is always the same…dark.  Well, everywhere except Alaska, but let’s not get too technical.

What songs are most played on your ipod?

Like I said, I’m adaptable.  It’s a requirement of my work.  So, I listen to almost anything.  I prefer rock, country, and classically influenced songs.  See what I mean by adaptable?  So, let’s see, right now my ipod has some Daughtry, Nickleback, 3 Doors Down, Yanni, U2, Beethoven, Toby Keith, songs from the opera Les Miserables, and some 80s rock courtesy of Dr. Gale.

What book are you reading now?

I borrowed a book from one of Dr. Gale’s friends before I left.  It’s called Filter, by Gwenn Wright.  Now, the bigger question is when will I have time to finish it?
What is the next big thing?
I’m on assignment right now, although as I mentioned before, I would rather be somewhere else.  I know Dr. Gale just wrapped up a short story about Analise called Shadows of the Past.  We’re just waiting on publication.  Now, for some reason she’s left me out of the loop on the book she is currently writing and tells me she’s not ready for me yet.  I guess she forgot about my abilities. (Laughs) It’s simple to just wander into her mind and see what she’s up to, but don’t tell her I said that.  Look for the next book in the Shadows of Destiny Saga, Shadows of Truth.  I am definitely going to make myself heard.

Find out more about the Shadows of Destiny Saga on:

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Another reader says this on GoodReads:

"Shadow of Destiny was a great read. The author introduced you to a new and exciting story line. She kept you guessing about the evil presence haunting Analise. I am looking forward to the sequel." - Evelyn Byrne 

Thanks so much for taking time out to chat with me today Nicholas. It was great finding out more about you and I am looking forward to reading more about you in a future book.  I'm pretty sure you'll nag Gale until she gives in.  LOL!!

And a HUGE Thank you to everyone else who dropped in to join in the fun.  Hope to see you all again soon....and don't forget to enter the giveaway!  
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