ByPaul DeBlassie III
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.
Excerpt 2“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.
Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.
Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.
All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.
Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage.
The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside.
The crows waited, watched, then flew away.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?
The research that I do is birthed out of years of treating patients in psychotherapy and learning the magic of the unconscious mind and then translating that dramatically to the novel.
The best book/s you ever read?
To me it’s the works of the old masters that I revere---H.P. Lovecraft and his Dreams of Terror and Death, Algernon Blackwood and the Dr. John Silence psychic mysteries, Arthur Machen and The Great God Pan.
Who inspire you?
My artist wife, Kate, is my greatest inspiration since she is everyday true to herself as a potter, painter, and poet, the person who creates from what she knows and who she is!
Do you have strange writing habits?
I have very weird writing habits that I cannot divulge because they involve conjuring secret energies that must remain enigmatic, occult, and ultimately unspoken.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in New Mexico, the actual place of the mythic realm of Aztlan that is the setting of The Unholy and all of my dark fantasy thrillers to come.
Did any real-life political incidents or maneuvering make it into the book?
For over thirty years I’ve treated patients in psychotherapy who have suffered from the political intrigues of the dark side of religion, a literary phenomenon that has also been dramatized in such classics as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Monk.
How did you get into writing?
I’m actually a psychotherapist and a writer and have been writing for as long as I’ve been doing depth therapy which has been over thirty years. Research and writing about the region of the unconscious mind, dramatized in fiction as a mythopoeic realm of phantasmagoric happenings, is a natural extension of being a psychologist.
What do you consider your best accomplishment?
As far as accomplishments, I think the best thing I’ve ever done is having found my way to the most wonderful spouse a man could have, Kate, a woman who is true to self, to me, and to our relationship as it evolves over time as an expression of relational creativity and a striving for mutual understanding.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote: There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. ---Arthur Machen
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?
I don’t feel I’ve made great sacrifices to be a writer other than that that which Hemmingway spoke of as each day approaching the blank page so as to open the literary vein and bleed.
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