Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Henri Does Deborah at Disneyland

It was Valentine’s Day, and I was stuck in between bikinis and Coors Lights stretched out on the sands of Malibu, California. There was a nip in the air, yet there were mortals in fish suits perched on top of fancy, wooden planks riding the waves. I sat there, mesmerized at their foolishness. They would come back drenched in seaweed and barnacle shells, yet the dang fools would get back on their planks and do it again.

I was thinking of how much Juicy hated the water when she was alive and, as far as I knew, still hated to be around the stuff in the afterlife. Me? I was Flipper in another life, believe me. I could do the dog paddle better than any Labrador you’ve ever seen.

But, what I couldn’t understand were mortals with wooden planks and riding the waves like they were at Disneyland or something.

Speaking of Disneyland, I had a noon appointment with one of Tour Coordinator's authors, Deborah Woehr, in front of The Haunted Mansion. I was to interview her for her PROSPERITY: A GHOST STORY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR, but I had strict instructions to never reveal that I was indeed a ghost. I’m not sure what the reasoning in that one was because it’s not like I’m the scariest thing put on earth, but I had to abide by Tour Coordinator's rules.

She picked The Haunted Mansion because I figured if I did anything of the ghostly persuasion, Deborah would think it was all part of the act. So, be it, but I had a stinking suspicion I was going to have fun with this.

I figured – what the heck – I’d go over and check out this Haunted Mansion as I had heard there was some gossip about a few spirits that were hanging out there. I thought, cool, I’ll take a few Coors Lights with me and see what was up until I had to interview Deborah at noon. Who knows – I could see one of my long, lost relatives, right?

There was usual Disneyland crowd – tourists, stay-at-home moms with their kidlets, new marrieds – as I floated through the mob until I came to the front of The Haunted Mansion.

I had to laugh because if this was to scare people, they haven’t seen nothing yet. I’d seen more haunted mansions than anyone, and I thought, wouldn’t it be oh-so-cool just to have a little fun before my interview with Deborah?

In my invisible state, I could really show them what haunted was, you know?

So, I flew past through the door and looked for prey. Nothing. Not an innocent mortal kidlet in sight. And then…

I saw her through the open door. An image of beauty. Her long dark hair shone in the California sun and I knew it was love at first sight and I thought, this can’t be the young thing I was supposed to be interviewing! God love tour coordinator.

I materialized quickly and walked out the door looking quite debonair, if I say so myself. I quickly snapped off an Oriental Lily from a shrub nearby to gain some brownie points.

Handing her the lily, I introduced myself.

“Hi Deborah. I’m Henri who is supposed to interview you for your virtual book tour.”

She said, "Hi, Henri! It's nice to meet you."

I was fighting the Valentine’s Day bug – the kind of bug that finds Cupids flying around your head and shooting arrows into your heart – but I kept calm. Collected. Cool Man Luke, that was me.

“Shall we partake of a beverage? What is your choice?”

"A Pepsi would be great."

I was thinking of offering her a swig of my Coors Light to loosen her inhibitions, but sensibility took hold of me. Dammit. I headed over to the concession stand, paid for a Pepsi, and handed it to her.

She took the Pepsi from my hand as if I had just awarded her with a dozen roses. What a lady.

“I understand you are on that wretched tour coordinator's virtual book tour where she sends harmless and beautiful women like yourself out into the virtual highway to sell books. Have you ever sold books this way before?”

"Nope. This is my first time on a book tour. I'm meeting all kinds of people and visiting some great blogs that I didn't know were out there."

As she talked, her smile melted my heart.

“Deborah, before we get any further, I must tell you something, but when I tell you this, I don’t want you to be afraid, okay?”

"Okay."

“I’m a ghost. Are you afraid of ghosts?”

"Really? I would have never guessed because you look so normal. I've watched way too many movies. I'm more fascinated by ghosts than afraid of them. However, I must admit that I would probably gasp if I saw one of my deceased loved ones walk around the corner."

“Well, I’m not the poltergeist kind of ghost…oh no…I’m friendly…think Casper, you know?”

"I've always liked Casper."

Ah…so she was a Casper-liking kind of woman! This made Henri tingly in the ectoplasm department for sure.

“Of course Juicy doesn’t think I’m very nice ditching her the way I did, but sometimes a ghost has to do what a ghost has to do, you know? Juicy is my girlfriend – or was my girlfriend – but I just wanted some space, you know?”

"I understand."

“Deborah, do you have a ghost in your book and does he have a girlfriend like Juicy? I mean, is she a possessive kind of ghost?”

"I have a whole slew of them. One of them is possessive and mean. Her name is Myra, and she's very jealous of Amanda, who is now living in her lover's house."

“Mean? What do you mean mean?”

"Myra was very similar to the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction. She wanted her man, and she would do anything to get him."

Suddenly an image of Juicy crossed my mind.

“The title of your book, Prosperity: A Ghost Story. What is Prosperity? Is that the name of your ghost?”

"Prosperity was a once-thriving town that was nearly wiped out by the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. It's now a literal ghost town."

“Ohhh…now you’re cooking. I remember Prosperity. If memory serves me right, it’s near Joplin, Montana? Were you aware that there really was a ghost town there named Prosperity when you wrote the book?”

“Nope. (grin) What's funny is that I've been researching haunted places for almost two years for the Paranormal Watch blog and never stumbled upon this place. It wasn't until I did a Google search for my book last week that I found this place. Here’s one link: http://www.normantranscript.com/localnews/local_story_295010905.”

“What’s a Paranormal Watch blog? Is this where you watch over ghosties?”

“Yes. I also cover UFOs, strange anomalies, time travel, and anything remotely spooky or weird. You can find it at http://www.paranormalwatch.com/.”

“Deborah, why did you want to write about ghosts and not some other creature of the night? Not that we’re creatures, of course; we’re just like anybody else of course except we might be able to change realms and all that, but why not vampires or werewolves? Do you hate vampires and werewolves, too?”

"I have several reasons for writing about ghosts. One is that they contradict everything I've been taught in Sunday School. Why haven't they gone to heaven or hell? What is keeping them here? It's the mystery of their lives that fascinates me. Vampires and werewolves have never done much for me, although I'm not sure why."

“Vampires and werewolves don’t do it for me either, mon petite fleur. And the answer to why they haven’t gone to heaven or hell is simply that heaven and hell is totally individual. Actually, it’s realms. What mortals perceive heaven to be is actually the top realm and hell would be the lower realm. For each of our lives, we climb either up or down…it all depends on what life lessons you learn in each realm. Does that make sense to you?”

“That makes perfect sense. One of my favorite books is Blessings in Disguise, by Barbara Rommer, where she discusses the different kinds of near death experiences from people of all walks of life. Some experienced bliss, while others experienced torment because of their misguided beliefs and/or deeds.”

“When you were writing your book, did you feel ghosts around you?”

"There were many nights when I would either see something move out of the corner of my eye or sense something behind me. Nothing was ever there, so I blamed it on 12+ hours at the computer."

“If you were sitting at your computer and I happened to pop in, would that make you nervous?”

"At first. But I consider myself an adaptable person."

“Have you ever dated a ghost before?”

"Not to my knowledge (grin)."

“If I asked you for a date for a ride through The Haunted Mansion over there, would you accept?”

"Sure. You seem friendly enough."

Henri is good!!!

“Okay, okay, I never miss an opportunity to hit upon beautiful 21st century woman from California. Not that I was hitting upon you. Was I hitting upon you? Would you like Henri to hit upon you? Haha…bad Henri. Deborah, can you tell us more what your book is about?”

"You are such a charmer, Henri! Okay, back to my book. It's about an embattled clairvoyant who must change her attitude about the afterlife before she can avenge the ghost who was lynched for a murder he didn't commit."

“How did you come up with idea for book?”

"Actually, this idea came to me from my eighth grade science teacher, who was also a writer. After we completed our class assignment, he would tell us stories about my home town. One of these stories was about two men, who kidnapped and murdered the son of a prominent businessman back in the 30s. They were caught and lynched. The way he described the story left quite an impression on me. So much so that I bought the book that chronicled the events that led up to that lynching."

“Do you plan more ghostie stories?”

"Yes, I do. Thank you for asking. I'm almost finished with the first chapter of the rough draft. There's no title yet, but I have the setting."

“Well, interview over, my beautiful 21st century American woman friend. If I wanted to buy your book, where should Henri do that?”

"Right now, it's available on Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/content/1662022). It should be available on Amazon by the beginning of March."

“I shall check this out and I hope my beautiful 21st century fans will do the same. Now, would you like to ride Haunted Mansion ride with Henri?”

"Thank you, Henri. I am honored. And, yes, I would love to ride the Haunted Mansion with you."
And there we were – just the two of us - one ghost, one ghostie writer - riding into the sunset through the Haunted Mansion. Thank you, tour coordinator, wherever you are.

Incidentally, Deborah is on a virtual book tour this month. Leave a comment in Henri’s comment box and you could win a copy of Deborah’s book!

See you on the other side!

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9 Comments:

Blogger Geotrotter said...

Here is 29 Heart from above on Google Earth

February 14, 2008 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger elysabeth said...

Nice interview. Fun place to be - Haunted Mansion - hahaha - that was part of the movie with Eddie Murphy right? What is it you do on the Haunted Mansion "ride". I have never been to California or Disneyland and was at Disneyworld - many, many, many eons ago (yes probably well over 30 years, I can't believe I'm saying tht - lol).

Pick me, pick me - I want to read a book. I have some ghost towns mentioned in my children's stories (since I'm doing all 50 states) that you may want to visit, Henri. Just let me know and I'll find the ghost towns for you to visit. Of course reading my children's series and finding out about each state would be better. Look for the release hopefully in September (first in the series of 50 over the next 5 years) - and maybe my mention of ghost towns will glean an interview with the infamous Henri (ghost extraordinaire). See you in the postings - E :)

February 14, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Henri de Montmorency said...

Mon petite fleur, Elysabeth! It would be an honor to interview you about your ghostie books! Do tell Henri when it is available to buy, okay?

February 14, 2008 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Kathy Holmes said...

LOl! One of the advantages of being a ghost must be the ability to sneak alcohol inside Disneyland Park.

But Henri, I love the Haunted Mansion. I'm so sorry I missed you. Maybe next time. And sneak in a vodka martini for me, okay?

Cyn

February 14, 2008 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Henri de Montmorency said...

Whaaa...mon petite fleur et cruise muffin Cyn...no alcohol at Disneyland? I will be punished for sure...tell you what...you sneakie in vodca martini and I sneakie in Coors Light and laugh at mortals drinking pepsi...deal?

February 14, 2008 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

It's been years since I've been to Disneyland, too. A good decade, if I remember correctly. My husband and I took our kids on the Haunted Mansion Ride.

The first thing you do is walk into a huge room, where the ghosties greet you. Then, you get seated and go for a leisurely ride through the haunted mansion and all of its special effects. It's a neat ride.

February 14, 2008 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Very neat interview. I think Henri and Deborah deserve another Coors Light and Pepsi.

Cheryl

February 14, 2008 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Emma Sanders said...

What a great and entertaining interview!

February 16, 2008 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger elysabeth said...

Henri, your blog seems to be neglected. How about we liven things up with a tag. You've been tagged for a Halloween meme - stop by my blog http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com - to get all the rules and what not - I figured how fun to get a ghost's take on Halloween. So you are tagged my friend.

Follow my children's stories too on http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com - see you in the postings - E :)

October 5, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

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