Let’s Talk with Maggie Toussaint

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.

BubbaDoneItFront

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.

Enter the Rafflecopter contest to win a copy of book one of this series, Gone and Done It. Winner may opt for digital or print, US only.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on this page about why you love mysteries for a bonus mystery prize from me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Comments

  1. Curiosity and imagination go hand in hand!

  2. Glenda S. Hefty says:

    I have always loved reading and read about anything. I do go in spurts and read a genre but then need to change to another. I enjoy cozy mysteries as a change for the more draining suspense/thriller genre. All the better if I don’t figure out the culprit one fourth of the way from the start. I enjoy all the different types of cozies…amazing the variety there is. I like the paranormal too so this makes a win-win kind of read I believe. As I’ve gotten older I’m afraid I’ve gotten a bit jaded and get bored more easily.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Glenda,
      You and I have a lot in common. I read several genres and I’m a bit of a spree reader myself. I like to think my series is a little bit different but not so “out there” it is unbelievable. So glad you found us at Booklovers Bench!
      Magie

  3. I think it’s great that you give Baxley’s power a weakness in that it saps her energy. That’s important for paranormal elements of any kind. As Mr. Gold says in Once Upon A Time, using magic comes with a price. Baxley is lured by dark elements when she’s on the other side as well. It adds to the mysterious component of what’s out there hovering in the Great Beyond.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Nancy,
      You make great points, and you make me look smart! I’m not sure where I got the idea from that the paranormal activity would take a toll. I think it seemed intuitive to me since I tend to get exhausted when I over-exert myself. The trade-off seems logical too. You use something up, then there’s a void that needs to be filled. Makes sense that you need to recharge and sleep is the way most of us recharge. I enjoy stretching the bounds of my imagination and exploring more of what might be in the spirit world.
      Maggie

  4. Love trying to figure out who the villain is.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      I hope you’ll have your hands full trying to sort these Bubbas out, Mary. I didn’t make it easy for you, and the Bubbas are all in it for themselves!
      Maggie

  5. Betty W says:

    I have loved mysteries since I read my first Agatha Christie book years ago. I like the well-defined characters, the settings and trying to figure out whodunit! Most of the detectives have little quirks that are endearing-Miss Marple with her knitting, Poirot with his fastidiousness, Nero Wolfe with his orchid room, etc. Thank you for the great post and contest! Happy writing to you and happy reading to me!

  6. I agree with Sally…would I try to solve a real mystery like my amateur sleuth…nooooo…do I enjoy writing mysteries or reading them, oh yeah! I was, however, a sci-fi guy when I was younger. Now, I enjoy watching that genre, but not reading. It’s funny how our tastes change.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      My reading tastes have changed through the years as well. I’m not sure if that’s a function of aging or of my greater acceptance of concepts which I’d previously thought were not my style. In general, it feels like US culture has begun shifting away from the rigid mores of the 50s and 60s. Though the 70s were about free love, the 80s, 90s and the new century saw the continued erosion of what could be on prime time television, for instance. I remember my husband’s grandmother absolutely shocked at seeing underwear for sale in newspaper advertisements. My how times have changed!!!

  7. Karen Hansen says:

    I have loved mysteries since I was very young. As others have said I love puzzles (but not rubiks cube). My dad worked with codes when he was in the service and he and I loved to work on code breaking. I find a mystery similar to trying to break the code. I started with Nancy Drew and then Perry Mason followed by Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books. I find also that some SF and also dystopian novels have some mystery to them in the way that you want to solve what they should do to save the world or something of that nature. I love a basic who done it or something a little far out. I wish I could write one but that is not in the cards, I’m totally mathematical and just not creative enough. Well I think I’m babbling. Please have a great weekend.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Ha! I could never figure out that darn Rubik’s cube either. What an agonizing object. Karen, I’m absolutely riveted by the fact that you know how to break codes. No wonder you enjoy mysteries! You are so not babbling in your comment. I’m looking forward to the weekend, and I hope everyone enjoys a great holiday.

  8. I fell in love with mysteries when we were assigned “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (Sherlock Holmes) in school. I prefer that kind of mystery (as opposed to suspense, where the reader knows things the detective doesn’t). Good luck with this book.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Terry O, Thanks for the good wishes for Bubba Done It. I believe in the power of positive thinking, and I hope that all those good wishes for the book will come true! How nice that you discovered mysteries so early. I came to mystery via old timey romantic suspense where there was always a mystery. But I’m also a visual person, so TV shows and movies have long fascinated me. I’ve loved the James Bond series from the beginning, and the Pink Panther movies absolutely transported me to another plane of existence!

  9. Hi Maggie,
    Why do I love mysteries? Mysteries have always been my favorite genre, from Nancy Drew onward. When I read for pleasure, I like to be challenged as well as entertained.
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    Jane

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Hiya Jane, You are a dream reader, that’s for sure. But also a challenge for me as a writer. I have to think: she’s read so many mysteries. What can I do to make mine stand out? To make my story(s) intriguing and complex? It’s a wonder we writers don’t suffer from writers block all the time!

  10. tinawhittle says:

    I really enjoyed the first book, Gone and Done It, because Baxley’s abilities were presented like any other skill set an amateur sleuth might have — good to have, limited in scope, better with practice, and definitely problematic at times. Can’t wait for the second!

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Thank you, Tina. I am very much enjoying Baxley’s thought processes myself. She seems very organic to me.

  11. sallycootie says:

    I love mysteries because they make me use my brain a bit, I learn the answer at the end, and I can experience the excitement without the danger.

    • maggietoussaint says:

      Hi Sally, I’m delighted you like the kind of books I write. I, too, like to solve the puzzle when I’m reading a mystery. The complexity of writing a mystery is an amazing task that I oddly relish! But it’s also very heartwarming when folks tell you that they couldn’t figure it out until the end of the story. That’s when a writer feels like they’ve done their job. Thanks for posting and I hope you entered the Rafflecopter contest for the giveaway.