I devoured this book over the course of about 1.5 days. Debra Robinson gives a candid and highly personal account of “ghost stories from a reluctant psychic(as subtitled).” Still dealing with the death of a child, her perspective reads inspiring and uplifting while obviously still feeling and living with the pain from her loss. I would recommend this book to anyone who has recently lost a loved one. I would bet that you will find some peace and consolation from Debra’s book.

I was able to reach Debra from her website, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Chapter 7 (“Never Say Goodbye”) was one of the most touching, powerful chapters in the book for me. You shared some of your personal experiences with your son, James, returning to communicate with you, your husband, and James’s old friend, Tazz. The experience of Gerald and Dwayne in the hospital is quite a tale, but one that I completely believe in based on my own personal experiences and upbringing! Many, many, people of faith will relate to these events, and the one where Maura’s husband left a message on the answering machine. How do you think our loved ones are able to come back and communicate – I almost wonder if it is out of sheer love and determination?!

Yes, I honestly believe it is sheer determination on their parts. In A Haunted Life, I tell the story of finding my dad after his suicide, shortly after James was killed. And how later that day, as I sat with my husband on the couch crying about Dad and blaming myself, “someone” snapped their fingers twice, a foot in front of our faces. We knew it was him, saying “snap out of it, it wasn’t your fault” etc. I think it takes quite some time to gather the energy needed, and also learning to direct it-so anytime we hear these types of things from our loved ones immediately after their deaths, I believe it is from their very strong determination and strength of will that somehow allows them to focus their ability to make themselves known. 

Some of the most captivating stories for me are those where EVPs are captured of unknown spirits having conversations about the ghost hunters! Any theories on the prevalence of this phenomenon? Do you think it is going on around us much more often than we realize, or do you think this is actually quite rare?

It is definitely not rare! This has happened many times to investigators I’ve accompanied. Some spirits seem to recognize their changed “conditions” and some do not. But apparently, our humanity itself attracts them to us. And I have always believed that spirits notice us, our “light” if you will, and those who have a bit more natural psychic abilities show up brighter to them that those who don’t.

While your book contains many uplifting stories, there was one in particular that totally creeped me out! In Chapter 3 (“School for Ghosts”), we hear the story of what was experienced in the basement of an old infirmary/nursing home/poor house from the mid-1800s. Any theories on what the source of the mysterious heavy breathing could have been?

They finally tore that building down and I assume plan to eventually put another in its place. I am curious to see if the new building will carry the same haunting, as many others have done throughout history. No one knows who the spirit was in the basement. We have all conjectured about it, but the fact is, until the spirit speaks to someone about its origins, we may never know. So far, it has been silent.

“The Children of Death” (Chapter 13) discusses a phenomenon occurring in nursing homes, where the spirits of children have been seen/heard visiting patients just a few days before they die. (I would love to see a book from you about this, by the way! That nursing home log sounds fascinating!) Do you think this is a peaceful story, or a sinister story? I can’t decide! There is something about the idea of child spirits that just doesn’t sit well with me, for some reason. I am always suspicious that it is something masquerading as a child.

Yes I totally get the “masquerading as a child” thing–I am also of the same mind and wary of this usually. However, in this case, it literally seems to be a phenomenon seen all over the world in nursing homes. I believe they are true spirit children, and although the nurses were creeped out by it, they too believed it was simply the children’s job to “take them home” when it was the elderly residents time. Some others have even mentioned to me that they thought it could be other elders who passed over, but allowed to come back as they were as children. Interesting thought.

Do you think that paranormal investigators or ghost hunters are putting themselves in danger when they go out seeking to engage with something? Is there such a thing as “safe” if you are doing the spiritual work to keep your armor up? On Page 32, you touch on setting ground rules, and that you’ve had to do this in your own house over the years. Do you think it is one of those things where, if you believe the rules work, they stick? (Just as a caveat, that’s my line of thinking – it is the belief and the confidence when giving them, I feel).

I do believe people put themselves at risk whenever attempting to contact the other side. Some spirits are totally benign as you know, some are not. So, yes, I think it is important to have a spiritual basis for dealing with these things. I am of the school of good and evil–I simply believe we are in a war between the two and our choices matter, and will put us in danger if we’re careless or flippant about it. A Haunted Life tells the deeper story in my case, how too many “coincidences” led me to believe there ARE no coincidences…I believe in the Light and the Dark-and you don’t want to attract the attention of the Dark.

Chapter 18’s “House-Ghosts” gave me pause when I was reading the story of Teri and “Old MacDonald.” Teri found her daughter having a conversation with someone that she couldn’t see, but whose voice was coming through over the baby monitor! It really makes you wonder how many children are actually having conversations with actual spirits, while the adults around them label it as playing with “an imaginary friend,” doesn’t it?! Do you think there is any danger or anything that a parent should be concerned about if they find a child engaged in one of these conversations?

I want to think most of these childhood ghost friends are harmless, but then again, knowing what I know, it worries me. If I was a parent with an imaginary friend problem, I would investigate it further and then do whatever necessary to send the spirit away from my child. It’s just unnatural, and I don’t believe it is good for either child, or spirit!

I know the psychic sense is not something that you can turn on and off at command, but I am wondering if you have any advice for people that are looking to develop their own psychic abilities? (My Dad used to always tell me, basically get in tune with nature, and meditate sort of while hiking/walking).

Some families are simply accepting of the abilities (mine was) and I think that makes them natural from a young age. Also, those who suffered abuse or trauma at a young age seem to have abilities stronger-to keep them safe, I believe. If you want them, and practice, they will increase.

What can you tell us about how you work as a writer and your writing process? (Are you a pen and notebook person, or strictly a typist? Morning or night person? Write on a schedule, or as the mood strikes? How long does a book take you to complete?)

I use a laptop so no pen and paper for me! I started writing my first book A Haunted Life in 2012-and will have my 8th book out this year. I have several publishers both fiction and nonfiction, and I do about two books per year so far. I have a bestselling post apocalyptic series right now titled “Red Death: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller” written under pen name D.L Robinson, about surviving an Ebola pandemic that wipes out most of the world. I am starting on book 3 right now, and it will bring natural disasters and other problems into the mix. I found writing to be a wonderful release, after losing my son and father so tragically, and I really love it.

Tell us how to keep up with you/where to find you and a bit about your upcoming release dates for new books.

Below are my sites:
Goodreads: https: //www.goodreads.com/author/show/6981130.Debra_Robinson

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Debra-Robinson/e/B00BMHA032/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Website: http://www.debrarobinson.net

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/debra-robinson/11/71a/336/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debrarobinsonauthor?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reb_robinson

Red Death http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TZHRS86

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/ly6dgor The Dead are Watching

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/ctrljjg Haunted Life