So, you've gone through some serious changes lately. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, well, I'm not overly comfortable talking publicly about it all but I since I signed up for this interview, I guess I should just get it out there.
I lost my mother recently, to lung cancer and the night she died, she
came back as a ghost. I thought I was dreaming, I mean, it's crazy, right?
Crazy. Ghosts don't just pop in during the middle of the night and blame you for stuff, right? Well, my Ma did. She was pretty adamant about it, too. So now Ma dead mother pops in, unannounced, all of the time and let's just say, it's been a challenge. I'm glad she's back but unfortunately she didn't come alone.
Care to elaborate on that?
Apparently Ma re-opened a long ago closed portal between the after world and me. A portal I didn't know a thing about but apparently she did. I guess when I was younger I had the gift of sight but she wanted me to lead a normal life and just didn't put a whole lot of effort into it sticking around. Eventually it went away. I honestly don't even remember
ever having it so it must have gone away when I was pretty young. But apparently good old Fran, my mother, opened that portal up with her re-entrance into this world and now I'm dealing with all kinds of ghosts. It's not that I don't want
to help them. Okay, it is that I don't want to help them but it's not because I'm mean. It's because the whole thing just freaks me out. One day I'm living my life, eating a cupcake or two, hanging out with my best friend, Mel and then
within only four months my whole life absolutely went bonkers. It would been nice if I didn't have to dive head first into this, you know?
It must be hard. Do you have anyone to support you?
Yes, I do and I'm so grateful to them. I have my husband, Jake who is absolutely amazing. It was hard to tell him but I
did. I also told my best friend, Mel. Actually, I told her first. It's not that I didn't think Jake wouldn't believe me, because I knew he would, it's that I knew Mel wouldn't even bat an eye. And she didn't. There is no better friend than Mel. She brings me cupcakes. How can I not love her?
My son, Josh, he's only ten and he also has the gift. He sees Ma, too but he doesn't see any other ghosts, thank God. I'd hate for his life to be a mess like mine. He's too young. But I'm glad he can see Ma. She adores him and I'm glad they still have time together.
You have a daughter too, right?
Yup. Teenager. Some days she's a joy to be around but more often than not she's all drama.
How does it feel though, to have your mother back? It's got to be wonderful.
Oh, it is. I'm not complaining about that, except of course, when she purposefully tries to make me look like I'm crazy or
plays some kind of ghostly trick on me. But to know that I have this time withher, I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful that is. Ma was always the life of the party, you know? The one who got up and danced, the one who did
shots at the bar, the one who made everyone laugh. That personality didn't die with her and as much as she drives me insane, I wouldn't trade having her around for anything. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose her entirely. I feel terrible for people who've lost loved ones.
Are you enjoying helping the dead?
Ugh. It's not that I don't want to help them, honest. I do. It's just that I'm put in a really bad situation. Have you
ever walked up to a complete stranger and told them, "Hey, your dead so and so is here and has a message for you"? Seriously, people think I'm crazy. And then I look like I'm talking to myself all of the time. It's embarrassing. I did
recently meet this British ghost at Starbucks. He cracked me up. He died old, so he's an older-looking ghost and he runs through the Starbucks parking lot, naked, juggling. Funniest thing I've ever seen.
Did he want your help?
Nope. Just wanted to say hi and tell me he's there often and that he's always naked. He thought Mel was hot. It was
What lessons have you learned from your gift? How has it changed you?
I've learned to always wear my ear buds with my iPhone because ghosts are everywhere and it at least looks like I'm
talking on the phone instead of to myself. I'm kidding. I've learned that everyone wants more time, both the living and the dead. They all want one more chance to tell the people they love something, to let them know something they couldn't say before. I've learned there is a lot of regret for the living and just as much for the dead, too. I've learned I should tell my family and my friends I love them more and not let the little things get to me but you know what? I still do. And I don't tell them I love them enough. I take it all for granted just like most people. I wish, if I could impact anyone, it would be
with that, to get them to understand that not everyone has a second chance like me and to take advantage of the time they have with the people they love.
What's in store for you next? Where do you see your life going?
Oh gawd, I have no idea. I'm still trying to deal with raising my kids, not going crazy because my daughter is female and a teenager. I'm still trying to keep them on the right path, be there for my husband but still have my own identity, too. I have no clue what tomorrow will bring and honestly, that scares me. I had no clue I had this gift so I've learned that life can change on a dime. You know though, I don't want mine to change anymore. I've dealt with some serious changes lately and I'd like an opportunity to kick back and relax a bit.
Thank you, Angela and thank you, Carolyn, for allowing Angela to talk with me today.
An Angela Panther Novel
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Sometimes the dead need our help and sometimes, we need
ANGELA PANTHER HAS A PERFECT
A lovely home, an attentive, successful husband, two reasonably behaved children, a devoted dog and a lot of coffee and cupcakes. But while her life might border on mundane, she's got it under control. Until her mother, Fran dies-and returns as a ghost.
It seems Fran's got some unfinished business and she's determined to get it done.
Now Fran's got some nifty celestial superpowers and isn't opposed to using them to levy a little ghostly retribution on her granddaughter's frienemies and even her own daughter, which doesn't make Angela happy.
While Angela's shocked and grateful to have her mother back, she's not thrilled about the portal to the afterlife Fran opened upon her return. Now every ghost in town is knockin' on Angela's psychic door, looking for help-and it's a royal pain in the butt.
Now Angela's got to find a way to balance her family life
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the author of two novels, Unfinished Business An Angela Panther Novel
and Unbreakable Bonds An Angela Panther Novel, both of the chick-lit and paranormal genres.
Carolyn wrote her first novel, Unfinished Business shortly after her mother died. She felt the need to let the world know a little about the woman who drove her absolutely crazy but loved her with an intensity unknown to normal people. While some of the book is loosely based on events surrounding her mother's death, the author swears she'll never tell if she really did bury her mother illegally.
An avid fitness buff, Carolyn writes a monthly health and fitness column for Northside Woman Magazine. She also writes
several freelance articles monthly for various Atlanta area media outlets including the Forsyth Herald, the Milton Herald,
The Revue and News, The Johns Creek Herald, Countyline Magazine and many Internet publications. She's
written notebooks full of great story ideas from the entertaining people she's met as a journalist. If you know one of them,
don't mention her books to them, just in case.
Carolyn has written hundreds of guest blog posts ranging from humorous to serious about varying aspects of parenthood and marriage. She considers herself an expert at not being an expert parent and works to spread her lack of expertise far and wide.
Dogs and recently cats too, are Carolyn's preferred companions. She loves their loyalty, unconditional love and inability to talk in a language of which she understands.
A native of Indiana, Carolyn called the northwest Chicago suburbs home for over eighteen years but because she hates the way snow sounds when she walks on it, has spent the last sixteen living in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, son, two dogs and a cat. Her two daughters live close by.
One day she plans to retire to a peaceful home with a fantastic view of something other than her neighbour's house with a plethora of rescue animals by her side. Oh, and her husband too.
Keep in touch with Carolyn
Twitter: @awritingwoman firstname.lastname@example.org