Paranormal fiction author Caridad Pineiro, Interview by Michelle M. Pillow (Originally published in Paranormal Underground Magazine)
Paranormal fiction author Caridad Pineiro, Interview
By Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com
Caridad Pineiro is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 27 paranormal and romantic suspense novels and novellas. In 2007, Caridad was chosen as the New York City RWA Chapter’s Author of the Year. She was won numerous other awards and accolades for her writing and has been featured in various television shows, magazines and newspapers.
Her newest release, THE LOST, is currently in bookstores.
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Q: In your book, THE LOST you delve into the world of an ancient race capable of gathering energy. What inspired you to write about this?
Caridad: A couple of years ago my family and I were lucky enough to be in Rome for Holy Week. When we landed too early to check in, we dropped off our bags and walked to St. Peter’s Square. It was Palm Sunday and mass was being held and as we walked closer and closer to the square where thousands were gathered, you could feel the energy. It was hard to deny that so many people gathered together was producing something different. Since so many cultures believe in things like life forces and auras, I started playing around with the idea of what would happen if there was a race of people who had learned to hunt such energies and use them for various things, like shapeshifting, healing or even killing their enemies. That’s how the Sin Hunter mythology was born for THE LOST. The hero in the book, Adam Bruno, is an heir to this ancient race, but doesn’t know it and doesn’t understand his powers since he was taken from them at an early age. THE LOST is about Adam’s struggle to understand what he is and the battle to keep himself and a very special woman safe as they find themselves drawn into an ages old conflict between two factions of the Hunters.
Q: When world building, did you base your story off of known myths throughout history?
Caridad: I did not base the Hunters on any real people, although I did rely on the history of the Americas in order to craft the civil war going on between various Hunter clans. In my mythology, the Hunters are at war because of the Conquistadors’ arrival in the New World. The Conquistadors brought various illnesses which contaminated the indigenous people, including the Hunters whose energy gathering abilities were affected by the introduction of smallpox. That has created Hunters who have varying abilities to gather energy – the Light Hunters – as well as Hunters who are permanently affected by the illness and forced to constantly gather energy to live – the Shadow Hunters. In addition, I did research both into life forces, auras and also, physics to craft what the Hunters could do with their energies and how they would appear to other Hunters, hybrids and humans.
Q: What myths or legends inspired you?
Caridad: The stories revolving around the conquest of the New World inspired me as well as Eastern influences about chi. Also, a friend recommended some discussions on morphic fields and zero point energies which are really cool concepts about the energy fields that humans possess and the energies in empty spaces, respectively. So the entire mythology is based on a blend of spiritual and scientific principles.
Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal?
Caridad: I think people are always interested in imagining what would be possible if such unusual things really did exist and how we would handle such things. I also think that people like to entertained by being taken away to unique places and things and what could be more unique than a paranormal world where people possess all kinds of weird and possibly dangerous powers?
Q: Do you have any paranormal pet projects?
Caridad: I have a blog at my website as well as a Facebook Fan Page where we discuss a number of things, oftentimes including all kinds of weird happenings as well as the kinds of energies that are explored in THE LOST.
Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies and books?
Caridad: My favorite paranormal shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Fringe and the X-Files. As for movies, I loved the first two Underworld movies, Van Helsing and a whole host of the superhero movies, like X-Men, Fantastic Four, Batman, etc. I’m a comic book geek at heart.
Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a skeptic?
Caridad: I totally believe in the supernatural. I’ve had one or two experiences in my life and because of that, I can’t deny that there are places where spirits remain, but can reach out and communicate with us. As for vampires, I am a skeptic. When it comes to the possibility of a race like the Hunters, I so totally believe that there are people who can tap into such life forces.
Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Caridad: Many many years ago my husband and I stayed at a “quaint” set of cabins outside of Mystic, CT. In the middle of the night I was woken by the sound of chanting and looked up to find myself staring at a man in Puritan garb hanging from the rafters. I thought I was dreaming at first, but realized quickly that I was not. When the man disappeared, the chanting continued and I was filled with the feeling that if we remained in that place we would die. I dragged my husband out of bed and forced him to leave in the middle of the night. As we drove away from the cabin, I felt as if something was chasing us until at one point, the feeling kind of just popped, almost as if we had gone beyond the reach of whatever it was. Hubby wanted to investigate if I had actually tapped into something from the past, but I wanted nothing to do with that idea or that place.
Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet?
Caridad: I think it would be interesting to meet a shapeshifter of some kind or possibly a vampire (if I had a wooden stake, cross, garlic and lots of other protection!)
Q: If given the chance, would you become a shapeshifter?
Caridad: I think that as a shapeshifter you could explore the world from many different perspectives which would be really interesting.
Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost?
Caridad: LOL! See above. While I didn’t go screaming or pee my pants, I was definitely too scared to confront it or find out more about why they were there.
Q: What does the future hold for the Sin Hunter series?
Caridad: After THE LOST, the next book in the series is THE CLAIMED, which will be released in May 2012. In THE CLAIMED, readers will find out a great deal more about the powers of both factions of Hunters and be drawn into the war between them. THE CLAIMED has a Romeo and Juliet kind of concept as warriors from the different Hunter factions are drawn together by love. Readers will also find out about the different affinities that each Hunter has as well as the powers of some really nasty bad guys. I’m already working on the proposal for a third book in the series as well as the concept for the fourth book.
Q: Have you ever been to a psychic and/or a past life regression? What did they predict for you?
Caridad: Nope, I have not done this and am not sure I would like to do this. I have had two Tarot card readings, one of which was remarkably accurate of who I was and what I wanted. The second was a total bust as the person claimed I had too many guardian spirits who were keeping me from being read. Oh well. I am thankful for those guardians if they really do exist.
Q: Have you ever been abducted by aliens?
Caridad: Not that I know of, although I do believe in extra-terrestrial life.
Q: You’ve set THE LOST along the Jersey Shore which is not so scary a place? Why did you do that?
Caridad: I think that the possibility of dangerous things existing a real life place that you visit all the time is much scarier than if the story is set in a fictional place. I think it connects people much more tightly to the story and also has them having that AHA! Moment when they recognize a location they may have visited.
Thank you for joining us, Caridad!
THE LOST is currently in bookstores, Wal-Mart, Target and online retailers. To learn more about Caridad and her other titles, please visit her at http://www.caridad.com.
Interview by Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com