Guest Post: "Do You Believe?": Dianne Hartsock, Author of "Alex"

Today we have Dianne Hartsock, the author of “Alex” visiting with us! Welcome, Dianne!

Do You Believe?
            ALEX is the story of a reluctant psychic. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal and wanted to create a character who, by his very nature, could suspend disbelief for the duration of a novel.
            It’s not that I don’t believe a person can be psychic. I’ve had a few unexplainable happenings in my life. There was a time several years back when I was out shopping with my sister. Right in the middle of the mall we stopped and looked at each other. For some inexplicable reason we were suddenly worried about our brother. A few days later we learned that he had been in a hospital in Mexico, deadly ill, and had returned home to convalesce.
With ALEX, I wondered what extreme circumstances could lead to his ‘gift’. I decided it would have to start with his childhood. Alone and isolated, living with the anguish of abuse, perhaps a person’s mind would expand, seeking escape from the sadness and loneliness of life.
            I believed his isolation would also make him hypersensitive to the people around him. He’d be empathetic to the point where he could sense and sometimes see the emotions of others. Their thoughts would leap to him in a wave of a sympathetic connection.
            Here’s one example:
            “Doctor Beckett’s here. Will you let him take a look at you?”
He widened his eyes in alarm. “What?”
“It’ll be okay, I promise. Will you do this for me? I called him because I’ve been worried about you.”
He looked closely at her. She seemed tired and stressed. “Okay. But will you stay with me?” He regretted sounding like a child. “Forget I said that.”
She nodded and called the doctor. When Beckett entered the room, Alex stared unwittingly at the angry swirls of purple and blue radiating from him. His thoughts became entangled in a web of the doctor’s own. He saw the images of a tiny girl with enormous blue eyes and a bleeding heart. “Megan,” he whispered, tears in his eyes for the little girl on the cold table.
Beckett gave him a piercing look but said nothing.
And again:
A knock on the front door disrupted their kiss. They both looked up and Jane reluctantly stepped from his arms. “Come in.”
The screen door creaked open and Ben joined them. There was strain around his eyes. He ran a hand through his hair, not meeting anyone’s eyes. Alex began to ask a question but fell silent when Ben glanced up. The man’s eyes were dark with emotion and his thoughts leaped to Alex in a wave of anguish.
“No,” Alex said.
Ben’s shoulders sagged. “Sally had a stroke this morning.”
“Oh, no,” Jane murmured.
“She doesn’t remember me.” He made a visible effort for self-control, folding his arms across his chest.
Alex cleared his throat. “Can we see her?”
“She’s in the ICU.” His armor cracked. “I can’t talk about her right now.”
“But …”
Ben cut him off with a sharp gesture, his voice bitter. “I don’t want to know what you see.”
Alex has many such experiences throughout the book. Can a person truly be psychic? I hope that with ALEX I’ve shown one way it could be possible.
Alex is twenty and confused.  He always is.  The world presses on him with its horrors and pain, with scintillating auras that pierce his eyes and drive the migraines deeper. He hears the cries of children, the screaming women. He sees the brutal images of the tortured victims. He feels out of control and his mind slips…
 Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s the cause of the problem, not the solution. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always comprehend. 
Dianne Hartsock


  1. I believe–not only in psychic ability but in the power of the book Alex and the author who wrote it, Dianne. I've always been fascinated why some people are psychic and others apparently are not. Is it because they haven't learned to listen to this extra sense within all of us? Or does it really happen for only a few?I'm also intrigued about the psychic trigger, the event, usually traumatic, that lets us let down our barriers enough to use this gift. I wonder how many authors have had psychic or paranormal experiences? I'm a little shy about being the first commenter to discuss my experiences, though. :)What an excellent and thought provoking interview, Dianne. And thank you, Brea, for having Dianne here today. **waves** I see we're both from California. I'm glad to be following your site.P.S. I won't enter the contest, since I'm fortunate enough to already have a copy of this incredible book. It touched me on a personal level.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing today. I would love to read Alex and am having fun traveling around and reading the different posts today. I left a comment on Clu's All Night Preview :)dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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