by Helen Goltz
Published by: Atlas Productions
Publication date: September 28th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
When Sophie Carell was eight-years-old, her eccentric, clairvoyant great aunt, Daphne, predicted Sophie would be one of the greatest clairvoyants of her time. Sophie wanted to be a movie star. Her mother said not to worry about it—Aunt Daphne was daffy.
When Sophie is called to the reading of Daphne’s Will, she is given a pair of glasses that will change her life. But that’s not all she acquires. Along with the glasses, Sophie ‘inherits’ a protector—the handsome and powerful Lukas Lens; plus brooding Detective Murdoch Ashcroft who is keen for Sophie to fill her aunt’s shoes and put her talents to work for him.
Sophie has to decide if she will focus on her acting career or explore her new-found clairvoyant skills. But danger lurks around the corner…
Sophie studied Lukas.
“You have more questions?” he asked.
“A thousand—like do you age normally, do you change at all when you are doing witch stuff and many more, but not for now, I need to take it all in.”
Lukas ran his hand through his light brown hair. “Good idea, enough for now. But in a nutshell… yes, I do age normally… look at Alfred. No, I don’t change into the Incredible Hulk and I’m on your side.”
Sophie smiled as she stood and walked to the window to look out on the street. “A month ago none of this world existed, now I’m hanging with a witch, it’s surreal,” she said.
Lukas rose behind her. “I imagine it is a bit daunting.”
“That would be the understatement of the year,” she said, turning to face him. “Can I ask you one more question today?”
“Of course.” Lukas leaned against the counter watching her, his hands flat on the counter top.
“Don’t be offended, but you’re not the most masculine guy—in your suit, you look like you’ve just stepped off a Calvin Klein fragrance shoot. How exactly does your line of the family protect us?”
“Mind power,” he answered.
“Is that enough?” Sophie lifted a glass paperweight that was reflecting prisms of light from the window and held it up in her palm.
Lukas glared at the glass prism, his pale blue eyes went amber; it shattered into pieces.
Sophie screamed and dropped the remaining shards from her hand. His eyes returned to a pale blue colour.
“I’ll do my best,” he assured her.
Author links:Publishers: http://www.atlasproductions.com.au/Publisher – Atlas Productions:
Q&As with author Helen Goltz
1. In a nutshell what is The Clairvoyant’s Glasses about?
It’s about Sophie Carell who wants to be a film star. She auditions and has some small roles but she isn’t getting ahead in her career. Her best friend Lucy is a model and is getting regular work. Sophie’s great aunt, Daphne, is a renowned psychic and all her life, she predicts Sophie will follow in her footsteps. Sophie doesn’t want to know about it, but when Daphne dies, she inherits some special glasses with a power of their own, a long family history and two very interesting men—a protector, the handsome and powerful Lukas Lens, and brooding Detective Murdoch Ashcroft who is keen for Sophie to fill her aunt’s shoes and put her talents to work for the police service. She has some big decisions to make.
2. If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead characters?
I often have images of the characters in my head when I write them, so here’s my cast list:
- Sophie: Jennifer Lawrence
- Lucy: Emma Stone or Nina Dobrev
- Orli: Dakota Fanning or Amanda Seyfried
- Lukas: Robert Pattinson maybe … or Liam Hemsworth (a bit of Australian bias there)
- Murdoch: Zac Efron or Taylor Lautner or Evan Ross
- Daniel: Colton Haynes or Alex Pettyfer or Chase Crawford
3. What project are you currently working on?
It’s a year of firsts—The Clairvoyant’s Glasses is my first paranormal novel and I’ve just finished working on my first YA novel Ophelia, adrift. Both books are part of two-book series so I’ve got to get to work on book two! I’m half way through the second Ophelia book which is called Ophelia, aground.
4. What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
In The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, neither Lucy nor Sophie is like me, but there’s a bit of me in both of their emotions. Lucy is a bit naive, especially for a model and she hasn’t always had successful relationships. Sophie is confident but is a bit lost… she isn’t getting where she wants to go quick enough for her liking. I think the NA audience will relate!
5. Do you plot your stories or just sit down and write?
I’ll have an idea of the bones of the story and then I let it roll out. A couple of times I have sat down and planned the book, the plot, timeline and characters, but then I have found it hard to write because it was prescriptive. So in most cases, as I did with The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I let it flow. I have to tell you, sometimes my characters really surprise. Something I just don’t see things coming. J
6. Do you read your reviews?
I love this question because I don’t think readers and reviewers realise the impact they can have on an author. I get reviews from NetGalley, Amazon and Goodreads and the positive reviews are really heartening. They give you a lift and make you feel like you are doing something right. I’ve had some gracious negative reviews too, and I understand not everyone is going to love your book, but the nasty ones do sting. You have to develop a bit of a thick skin, if possible.
7. Did you do a lot of research of The Clairvoyant’s Glasses?
I did actually. I wanted to be sure I was a little faithful to the genre and some of the psychic cases mentioned, like the Tichborne Affair, are based on true events.
8. What inspired this book?
I went to a psychic and she asked to hold something that was important to me. I gave her my wristwatch which was a gift from Mum. Then I began thinking ‘what if psychic power could be transferred by an object?’ That got me thinking about psychic talent being handed down from generation to generation. I was also terrified by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, when I was a kid. My sister and I were babysitting our two younger siblings and we were up late watching it one night. I love birds, but they’ve always freaked me out just a little. They play a significant role in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses.
9. Did a psychic ever tell you anything that changed your life?
Yes, sort of but I didn’t act on it. I was engaged at the time when I had a reading and she told me that the man I was marrying would not be my great love. Another was to come. What do you do with that?
10. Who are the main male characters and why will we love them?
There are three delicious men in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses. Lukas the protector is tall, sophisticated, handsome (of course) and a powerful witch. Murdoch the police officer is the opposite—dark of feature, brooding, well-built and sure of himself. I’ve also included a very cocky Irish Journalist, Daniel who is sporty, boyish and trouble. Personally, I’m torn between Lucas and Murdoch.
11. Sophie, the lead character, has a core set of friends and many of your characters receive support from friends but have little family. Is that intentional?
To some degree. Many people aren’t blessed with a good family or don’t have the network of family like our parents or grandparents did. So our friendships become family. Sophie is very much supported by the people around her, who stick by her even when she is ‘all about Sophie’.
12. One of your lead men, Lukas, had a bad childhood but he is the man he is today because of his grandfather. Did you research abandonment issues to flesh out his character?
I have studied psychology and I am fascinated by how our world influences our personalities and actions. Lukas’s situation was sad; he was orphaned as a teenager, so you understand why he is frightened to love too much. But his cousin Orli and his grandfather work at teaching him trust.
13. You talk about generational grudges and protection in your book. Is this based on the traditional battle between good and evil?
I guess it is in a way. In fantasy and fairytales there’s always been good and evil—the good witch, the bad witch, etc. But in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I think you can empathise with the baddies a little because the curse was earned. You can understand why the ‘curse’ was placed.
14. What's coming up next for you?
So many stories, so little time. I’m keen to get back to writing the next Mitchell Parker book—my vulnerable and sexy FBI agent. But I’m at proofing stage with a psychological thriller at the moment. Plus I am halfway through writing my second YA book, Ophelia, aground and I’ve got to start book two in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses series.
15. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in this book?
If there is, I think it is about the importance of having people and pets in our lives. Not just family, but friends and support networks. Also, to remember that nothing is black and white… lives are complex and sometimes we have to allow for a little grey!
The Agony of Love by Helen Goltz
“Everything you say, I’m feeling it too,” he assured her. He felt a sharp tinge behind his eyes. He cleared his throat, looked away and looked back at her. “I’m falling in love with you Lucy.”
We’ve all been there … that first month of love; the ecstasy and the agony of all the promise and all the fear.
The wanting to call, not wanting to be too eager; hoping every text message, email, phone call is them; impatient with everyone who is not them.
Lying awake at night thinking of them and wondering if they are thinking of you. Being wonderfully exhausted the next day.
Thinking about that first kiss, trying to remember to capture every second of it in your mind so you’ll never forget it. Going back over every word they have said, every compliment they have given.
Worrying about their ex, their friends of the same sex, how long it has been since their last relationship. Not being truly calm until you are together.
Ah, the anguish of love! Capturing all the emotions of a romance scene is a challenge for any writer and I hope in the scene in my paranormal romance The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, where Lukas tells Lucy he loves her, readers will understand his vulnerability and how brave he was saying that to her.
I’m inspired by some of the wonderful scenes of love and loss I’ve read by authors who have captured the ‘anx’ perfectly. Such as Kylie Scott’s description in Play when Anne thinks she’s lost Mal: “Anger and sadness owned me” and in Lick when Evelyn loses David: “I had to chase him out of my mind a thousand times a day.”
Charlotte McConaghy’s beautiful characters in Avery are so rich in their depth of emotions. As the love builds between Ambrose and Ava and they are yet to touch as lovers, Ava inhales as Ambrose is “sinking down to press himself along the length of me. My heart was beating so fast I thought it might give out.”
Finally, here’s a thought for the true romantics—there are theories as to why we wear our wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. The Romans believed there was a vein in this finger, referred to as the ‘Vena Amoris’ or the ‘Vein of Love’ which directly connected to the heart.
Long live love.Naming a Character and Other Tough Decisions
Okay, it’s not like you are naming your first-born, but it might as well be. That name you choose for your characters must reflect the character through thick and thin; they have to live up to it or down to it; it might have to be sexy or tough or mysterious.
When choosing a name for my masculine stars in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I chose the name Lukas for my male witch because it was sexy, interesting and old-world. It didn’t lend itself to nicknames. For the street-smart police officer I picked the name Murdoch. I worked with a Murdoch once and the name says ‘reliable, strong, solid’ to me. Everything my Murdoch is. I looked up popular Irish names to select Daniel for my cute and trouble-making Irish journalist.
For the girls in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I took into account the era and the genre. I found some great ‘witch’ sites with witch names and their meanings.
I selected Orli as the name for my ethereal, white-hair spiritual female. Orli means ‘my light’. Sophie and Lucy were popular names in the year that those characters were born—I estimated their age and looked online for the ten most popular female names that year.
So, where do you source your names from? Here’s some of my sources:
1) Popular names lists for the year in question
Depending on the genre and when your book is set, there are plenty of lists online that can help. For example when I was writing the 1940s historical romance Autumn Manor, I Googled most popular boy and girls names in the 1920s, because my characters were now about 20 years old.
2) The cemetery
Yes, I get that it sounds a bit morbid, but I’ve found lots of great names from cemetery headstones. Lovely names like Matilda but most importantly, plenty of surnames, because they can be harder to ‘create’ than first names.
3) The newspaper or online
Who hasn’t done it? Been searching quickly for a surname that you are probably only going to use once (e.g. like a witness giving a report in your story) and glanced at the local paper or stories online and grabbed a name.
Have you ever glanced down that work phone list, or been searching for a quick name and ‘borrowed’ a first or last name from the office? Mm, me either :)
5) Friends and family
Both handy sources for first and last names … just make sure you mix them up and you don’t insult anyone.