Friday, October 9, 2015

Do You Believe in Psychics?

I have no idea what made me choose a psychic for a main character―a woman who, by touch, can see into another world. It started when she was six years old and found a missing neighbor’s child by picking up the boy’s stuffed animal. At that time, no one knew she had “the gift.” Her wily, con-man father turned her into a phenomenon and then an entertainment act.

I’m not a particular believer in the occult or in psychic phenomena, but I have a friend who has visited many psychics and swears that they could not have known what they told her during her sessions. One even insisted she had three children. She has two, but the psychic wouldn’t back down. Then my friend thought of the miscarriage she had between her two children. Another told her she’d be going to Florence in the near future. Three months later, she did.

In a rather creepy experience, my friend sought out a medium after her daughter died. She wanted to see if she could make contact. Here’s what she wrote me—I paraphrased to keep names out and with her full permission:

Most recently I have had sessions with a psychic/medium and was able to communicate with my daughter. The last medium that communicated with my daughter said she has a black lab with her. Her dog, a black lab, had just died 1 month before.

Connecting with my daughter was by appointment and by phone.



Both ladies—two different times--asked me to concentrate on who I wanted to come through. Then she would tell me by describing the person or persons she was seeing. There were always more than one. My father, my maternal grandmother, my husband’s brother, etc.

I could not hear what the spirits were saying...only the medium. Then the medium would tell what the spirits were saying. I could ask a question and she would tell me what the answer was from whomever.

It was always accurate as to their description and what they had to say.


I have no desire to see a psychic who would forecast my future. In fact, I can’t imagine it. What if it’s something bad? What then? Plus, my cynical nature would probably poo-poo the whole experience, which rather defeats the purpose. One has to be predisposed to believe psychic phenomena exists.

As for my character in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Diana can see things when she touches someone or something belonging to a person. In the first book, Mind Games, her first psychic experience to readers is when she finds a missing murdered woman by holding an article of her clothing. Even the cop who will become her lover doesn’t accept she can do what she does, but he becomes a believer when Diana leads him to the body. In the last book, Backlash, Diana channels the body of her murdered friend and sees the last thing he saw, which was another dead body.

Many people believe in the paranormal and hold a particular fascination for all sorts of supernatural, psychic mind-delving. Books about psychics do well in sales, even mine at times. Psychics abound on TV, some claiming they can connect you with your loved ones; others even work with the police to track either missing persons or killers, as does my character, Diana. As I researched the book, I found mention of many psychics, some famous, some charlatans, some working out of their homes. There’s no doubt that some people have “the sight.” The ability to sense when something happens to someone close runs through another friend’s family.

When I put “Psychics” into Google, I got no less than thirty-four famous names in modern times. There's even a paranormal mention in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and of course, there was Nostradamus from the sixteenth century.


I guess whether you believe in the paranormal or not, their stories and the stories of the people with firsthand knowledge fascinate me and others. Maybe we want to believe there’s something on the other side. Harry Houdini believed and said he’d let the mortal world know after his death. So far, he hasn't.


Polly Iyer is the author of seven novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

31 comments :

  1. I am a skeptic at heart, but I do love a good paranormal story. It is a fascinating concept. Energy doesn't dissipate, it changes form. Does energy leave traces? We are electrical currents. Can someone pick up on them? All juicy questions.

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    1. I'm with you, Diana. A born cynic, or skeptic, as the case may be. But it's fun to write the stories because you can pretty much do anything you want.

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  2. Personally, I like my mediums rarely ... but you seem to make it work, Polly. I foresee great things ahead for Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series.

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    1. And I like mine medium rare. Oh wait, that's steak. Diana is taking a break, Christopher. In other words her creator is taking a break. She needs a standalone to keep her storytelling fresh.

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  3. Interesting that you wrote a psychic protag when you don't really believe in them--was that difficult for you? Personally,I consider myself a pragmatist, but I've seen some amazing stuff throughout my life that defies explanation, so I just assume anything's possible and leave it at that :-)

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    1. I think I'm just a born skeptic, DV. However, I've heard too many accounts of psychic experiences to discount that some people have the gift. I am not one of them. I'm always trying to figure out the angle of the psychic or medium. But I don't count anything out entirely. It is fun writing about one though. Leaves a lot of doors open to explore.

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  4. Yes, I believe in knowledge that transcends our Earth-bound experiences. I respect skeptics and don't push to "prove" anything to them, though I could tell you some stories (smiling). My cynical side knows disbelievers won't listen. (grin)

    I hope you do well with Diana Racine sales!

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    1. I want to hear your stories, Ashantay. I promise I'll listen without rolling my eyes. :-) I know there are real cases. I'd love something to happen to me to make me a true believer.

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  5. I keep an open mind on real psychics, I think they are probably some that are genuine, but some are opportunists. It is wise to be skeptical. However, I do believe in the paranormal. I have seen the ghosts of my dead parents. I do not consider myself a psychic by any means, but I do believe that spirits exist. In my debut WIP, my protagonist can see and communicate with ghosts. Along with a spirit sidekick, she solves murders that keep victims earthbound. I am hoping for a series, but the first one will be solving my MC's parents' murders from when she was 7 years old, and her sidekick, the spirit of a madam from 1871. Whether skeptic or believer, the only important thing is to make a believer out of the reader. :)

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    1. Exactly. I think writing psychics and ghosts leave the opportunity to make the supernatural solve the crime. That doesn't work for me. I want the person to solve the crime with aid from the ghost or psychic. It's a slippery slope. Good luck with your series.

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    2. Exactly. I agree with that. My concept is that the ghost will help my MC come out of her shell and give her confidence to be the strong women she is.

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    3. Glad that's the case, Rebecca. Sounds like you have the theme down. Again, all the best.

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  6. I believe in the existence of paranormal elements, and I've known people who could see and know things they shouldn't. I also believe in electricity, cell phones, automobiles, and space travel, but I don't understand how any of it works ((grin)). Love the Diana Racine series, Polly. Good stuff.

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    1. Thanks, Maggie. You make a great point. Science, any kind of science, leaves me scratching my head. I'm still not sure how a plane stays up in the air no matter how many times it's explained to me. Fiction is so much more fun because anything goes. You should know in your Guardian series. Aliens and space travel. Who'd've thunk it?

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  7. Great blog, Polly. I'm clearly on the side of the psychics because I've been a psychic consultant since 1976. It's my belief we're all born with at least four non-physical senses, and we develop them as and if we need them or get interested. In recent years, my focus has been on helping people develop their own intuitive abilities, often by journaling. And I still don't feel any need to persuade people who aren't interested.

    I want to respond to one thing, though. Sometimes a good reader (whether with cards, pendulum, astrology or channeling) can alert you to future events in time to make changes and avoid them. Or give insights into which of several choices is more likely to work for you. In other words, a good consultant doesn't predict the future, but explores its potential _with_ you.

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    1. Interesting, Mary. I'm curious how you found out about your talent, or your psychic ability. I'd love to hear more.

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  8. I think psychics are fascinating. Some of them know more about me than I do myself. My mom brought me a few times as a child.

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    1. I think I would need a few experiences like that. Have you gone to one as an adult?

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  9. What a fascinating subject, Polly. I believe there are people who have psychic ability. The TV shows "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer", which I loved, were based on real people.

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  10. I think you're right, Marilyn. But I do believe there are a lot of charlatans. Buyer beware.

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    1. Too true. People seeking a psychic are often trying to communicate with someone who recently died and are in a very vulnerable state.

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  11. I had one be astoundingly accurate once--the only one I've ever been to. She predicted something I didn't see coming at all. I'm afraid to go to one again--the predicted occurrence wasn't a good thing.

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    1. Which is why I'd be afraid to go. My friend is fearless. I'm chicken.

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  12. Great discussion here. I am not sure what I believe about all this, but I have had visits from people who have died. Since we consciously only use such a small portion of our brain, I think that there are some folks who tap into more areas that have those abilities.

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    1. And I'm reading a book right now that has an imaginary friend helping the main character with some issues. In the story it is suggested that the imaginary friends are from that nether-world and come when a person needs their help. Very interesting concept. The book is The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen.

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    2. As long as the netherperson doesn't solve the crime. I don't like that as a mystery technique. I feel it's cheating. Yeah, we can bring in some paranormal element to do the big save, but I won't like it.

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    3. As far as the brain is concerned, Maryann. I'm happy when I can remember why I went into a specific room these days. I do believe you can train the brain to do what it wouldn't do without the training, but I'll never get geometry, no matter how hard I work at it. It's a spatial thing, and my brain just won't go there. :-)

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  13. Of course I had to read this, Polly, since I have a psychic protagonist in my series, too. And I'm sometimes psychic. I gave my main character a different gift--she isn't me. I dream the future, sometimes in strong symbols, sometimes 100% literally in minute detail. It doesn't happen every night or even every year. I did it on purpose for a friend once and my dream came true for her months later. It had seemed trivial at the time but when it happened, it was in fact a turning point in her marriage. So, I write about a psychic with certainty that such gifts are possible. My protagonist doesn't see the future--she can find people or learn about their pasts--but I'm working on a book now in which a secondary character, a twelve-year-old Apache boy, dreams the future. It can be useful to know what's coming, but also burdensome at times. And it's definitely treated with a lot of skepticism. After all, there are plenty of frauds out there. I like using the frauds in my books as well as the real gift.

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    1. What's fun about writing a psychic character is the leeway you have to direct the mystery. As I said above, I do not have my gal's psychic ability solve the crime. She supplies clues, mainly clues she's not sure what they mean. I haven't found my skepticism hinders the story. In fact, I've had others in the books feel somewhat like I do. In the end, anything's possible, and psychic ability comes in different ways. Dreams was one on the TV show with Patricia Arquette--can't remember the name of the show.

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  14. I believe some people have knowledge that can't be unexplained by ordinary means. There's a definite streak of it in my family, though I don't have it. However, I also think there are many people who claim to know things that are delusional and or con artists.

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    1. I was thinking of your family and the stories you mentioned. There is definitely something there. I've heard stories of psychic connections between twins too.

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