K.L. Pickett is on the blog today for a conversation about her latest novel, a MG historical paranormal called The Unwanted Gift (see my 5-star review here). And her book is on sale. Let’s give a big welcome to K.L.!
Katie: Welcome, K.L.! Thanks for chatting with me today. I understand you have your third book out now. Congratulations! What kind of book is it and what’s its title?
K.L.Pickett: Thanks for having me back, Katie. My latest book is a middle-grade paranormal ebook entitled THE UNWANTED GIFT.
Katie: That’s an intriguing title. It makes me wonder what kind of gift would be unwanted?
K.L.Pickett: The main character, a twelve-year-old girl (whose name by the way, is also Katie), receives the gift of healing when her grandmother passes on.
Katie: Great name! Why wouldn’t someone welcome having a special power, especially the power to heal other people?
K.L.Pickett: Katie was raised by her grandmother. She saw firsthand how people constantly interrupted her grandmother’s life because they needed her help with their illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. All of her grandmother’s time was spent serving others; she never had time to herself. Katie doesn’t want to live her life that way; she wants to go places and do things. She wants a life of her own, so she hopes she never has the gift.
Katie: From the title of the book, I assume she does receive the gift.
K.L.Pickett: Yes, her grandmother passes the gift on to her right before she passes away, leaving Katie with a difficult dilemma. Should she keep the knowledge of her power to herself so she can lead her own life, or should she use it to help others, knowing her life will no longer be her own?
Katie: That does sound like a hard decision, especially for a twelve-year-old. How did you come up with this idea for your story?
K.L.Pickett: I’ve always been fascinated by paranormal stories. Paranormal, by the way, is a general term for having experiences that can’t be explained by scientific explanation. Stories about paranormal experiences are found by the thousands in popular culture, folklore, and from individuals.
Katie: When I think about paranormal activities, I usually think of ghosts.
K.L. Pickett: A lot of people do, which is why they have several TV shows based on finding them! But any activity outside of the realm of science’s current ability to explain it would be considered paranormal. Every culture has stories about weird things happening that can’t be explained: Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster, ghosts, alien abductions, psychic abilities, and healing people through touch. There are a whole lot of unexplained things that happen in our world.
Katie: So how did you come with the idea for this particular story?
K.L. Pickett: I got the idea for the story when I walked by a store called The Blue-Eyed Witch. Wondering what kind of items were for sale inside, I went in to discover crystals, incense, books, and other items used for (good) witchcraft on their shelves. There was an advertisement posted on their bulletin board from someone who performed Reiki, which was explained as the “laying-on-of-hands” to promote healing. Those who do Reiki believe there is an unseen “life force energy” flowing through each of us and that it is what causes us to be alive. Reading that flyer made me start thinking about what it would be like to have the power to heal or to take away pain. At first I thought it would be awesome to have that ability. But then I started thinking that if people knew you could heal them or take away their pain, you’d probably be hounded for the rest of your life. And that’s how I came to write The Unwanted Gift.
Katie: I’m always asking people where they got their ideas, but this is the first time someone said it was from a witchcraft store! It sounds like a great book and now I’m curious to find out what Katie decides to do. Will she use her gift or not?
K.L. Pickett: I hope others are curious as well! It’s currently on sale from the publisher for only $2.99. Thanks for letting me chat with you today.
Katie: It’s been my pleasure.
The Unwanted Gift blurb:
Twelve-year-old Katie is destined to receive the gift of healing from her grandmother. But people bother Granny for help every single day – at all hours of the day and night. Katie doesn’t want her life to constantly be interrupted. Who wants to live like that? To Katie, Granny’s ‘gift’ is more like a curse. So she hopes she never has the gift.
Harry, Katie’s school enemy, is destined to live in poverty like his parents. His father drinks and hurts him and his mother. He doesn’t want to end up like that. He wants to be somebody someday.
Together they form an unlikely alliance to help one another. But is it possible to change your destiny?
Buy it now at the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore or other e-book retailers.
K.L. Pickett was born in Southern California. Her first job as a young teenager was collecting eggs on an egg ranch. She’s had many occupations since then: preschool teacher, real estate salesperson, special education teacher’s assistant, loan officer, furniture salesperson, and agricultural biologist. She currently teaches fourth grade in a rural elementary school.
Over fifty of her stories and articles have appeared in national magazines such as Boys’ Life, Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, and Ladybug under the name Karen Troncale.
She’s rescued dozens of cats, dogs, and birds in her life including a pelican, a pheasant, and several crows. An avid animal-lover, she’s a volunteer for the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter, designing their flyers each week and writing their public radio announcements.
Currently she resides in Tombstone, Arizona, along with her husband, dog, and mule. When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, she’s riding her mule along the same desert trails that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday rode upon.
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