by Patrick R. Field
GENRE: Paranormal Fantasy
Not long after their move into Blackstone, married couple Mitch and Buck begin to witness strange sightings of shadowy figures, physical manifestations and inexplicable events taking place in the former Sheppard family estate nestled in the Northern Poconos of Pennsylvania. Through séances, they learn from the spirit of Jedidiah Sheppard that he has not been able to cross over into the afterlife because the truth behind his sudden disappearance in 1965 has never been solved. During this journey, Mitch and Buck and an eccentric psychic, Gladys Munch aka Madame Fortunesta, encounter interference from the spirit of a Lenape medicine man, Mesingwe Medeu, who protects Jedidiah’s spirit. Mitch and Buck eventually realize that they must find Jedidiah’s remains and let the authorities discover through modern detective work the evidence needed to try and convict the murderer. But is it too late for Jedidiah’s spirit to find eternal peace?
“The spirit led us to this area of the cellar by blinking the lights, making them dimmer and then brighter. When we asked if he would like to be called a spirit, the intensity of the blinking increased, brighter and faster. We thought it was because he liked it, but then the blinking stopped and the intensity of the light grew until the bulbs started to burst, and as you can see, there is shattered glass on the floor,” I explain as we walk across the broken glass, the crinkling sounds underfoot. “Sorry about the glass. I have been a little freaked out to sweep up.”
“Where did you find the album?”
“Over here. It fell off this shelf of the bookcase, where you can see the imprint in the dust.”
Gladys places her hand on the spot where the album once lay and closes her eyes. Suddenly, she opens them, and a surprised, distressed expression comes over her face, the first time I haven’t seen a hint of a smile all morning.
“I would like to leave here now,” she states in a fearful tone.
“Sure, is something—”
“Now, Mitch! We need to leave now!”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After twenty-five years in higher education, Patrick Field traded in teaching and textbooks to pursue his passion of writing spine-chilling fiction. Holding a Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences and Neuroscience, his experience informs his writing, a unique blend of scientific knowledge with supernatural storytelling.
His non-scientific writing career began with Prince Patrick, a memoir of his precocious childhood that he wrote for his mother as she battled pancreatic cancer. This process was not only healing but helpful in stirring his creativity and marked the moment he was bitten by the writing bug.
An avid fan of Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, and Joe Hill, Patrick’s subsequent novels were inspired by his favorite authors. His first fiction novel, The Malevolent, and his two latest novels, The Bedfordshire Warlock (release date in early 2024) and Servant were written throughout the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
His latest novel Servant was inspired by the supernatural events that happened to the author, his husband, and friends that have stayed in their home in northeastern Pennsylvania. Taking a page from his teaching philosophy that those who teach must never cease to learn, Patrick found himself hungry to discover all he could about the area’s diverse cultures, including the Anthracite coal mining community and the indigenous tribe of the Lenape.
Patrick’s writing process is a mix between walking meditation and meticulous research. His novels form while he walks alone with his dogs, imagining plot lines and characters. Once he’s home, he quickly types notes on his computer before fleshing them out later. Research is a considerable part of his process- the scientist in him abhors “alternative facts.” When he encounters an idea or a historical thread unfamiliar to him, he researches all he can about it. While he writes about a world where the supernatural realm is prominent, the real world is always based on facts.
When developing characters, he usually has an idea of the destination he wants for each character but the journey to get there is often written by the character and the environment. Of all the characters he’s written, Gladys Munch in Servant is his favorite, as she’s an amalgam of delightful, humorous “mature” ladies in his life and physically inspired by British actresses Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury.
In addition to writing, Patrick appears on the stage of his community theater and sings in the chorus of a local opera company each summer. He enjoys spending time with his husband, Matthew, and their dogs and exploring new destinations around the world, especially those that have a supernatural history. Haunted buildings and structures associated with the occult fascinate Patrick. His idea of a perfect day: drinking pints of Guinness draught with friends and family over scintillating and humorous conversation.
Links for purchasing Servant
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/servant-patrick-r-field/1143071600