Dreamwalking with Maggie
By Maggie Toussaint
Curiosity is one of my strengths. I often wonder about things for a long time. I’ll get stuck thinking “Why’d that happen that way?” Or, “Why’d that person do that ugly thing?” I’m sure most people have similar wondering moments, but I’m not sure they take them to the next level. I reason out how unexplainable stuff happens in a story, and then I write it down.
In other words, I use my imagination and limited knowledge to fill in the gaps. Not a good thing for answering an essay question, for instance, but perfectly acceptable for a paranormal mystery author. I enjoy learning about psychics and people who know things they couldn’t possibly know. Since I’m a mystery writer, I apply that paranormal skill set to murder investigations.
For my Dreamwalker mysteries, pet sitter and landscaper Baxley Powell communicates with the dead. With each book, she learns more about her unusual talent and the entities on the Other Side. As with most skills, the more she practices, the more she’s able to do. Though it is unusual for psychics to have multiple paranormal talents, I skirted convention so that Baxley has a wide range of skills.
Her talent to communicate with the dead gives her a leg-up as a crime consultant. She’s able to locate her case victims on the Other Side, but, to her frustration, only occasionally do they talk to her. Often, she is shown a vignette from their life because the victim is more concerned about his or her unfinished business. Since the crime information comes to her in fragments, she pieces it together as best she can.
These dreamwalks occur during her sleep, but she can also touch an item that belonged to the victim to access information. In addition, touching the dead will lead to a waking vision, but there’s a catch. Each item or person she touches will only yield one set of images.
Dreamwalks come at a high cost for Baxley. They burn energy like crazy. Oftentimes, Baxley must go to sleep immediately afterward to recover and recharge. When she awakens, she drinks a special homemade broth, courtesy of her mother, to finish the rebalancing process.
Another aspect of her dreamwalking job is to carry messages between the living and the dead, which comes with its own set of pitfalls. Bad boy entities on the other side are always looking for a portal to the living and they do their best to trick Baxley. She’s had a steep learning curve with these tricksters, making plenty of mistakes along the way!
For many years, Baxley shut down her paranormal side because she wanted to be normal. In book one of the series, Gone and Done It, she learned she couldn’t deny her true nature. In Bubba Done It, she learns more about the benefits of being different.
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