Experiencing the Supernatural
by Susan Berliner, author of The Disappearance, Peachwood Lake, and Dust
I'm the author of supernatural thrillers, but of course I'm not like Allison DuBois, the clairvoyant character of the former TV show, "Medium," who solved crimes by teaming up with the Phoenix, Arizona district attorney and with dead people. And, although I live in New York, I'm also nothing like Theresa Caputo, the likeable psychic star of the current TLC hit reality series, "Long Island Medium," who relays messages from departed souls to appreciative relatives. However, during my career as a novelist, I have had two weird, albeit not psychic, book-related experiences.
In June, 2010, I had a book signing for my first novel, DUST, at a small café in Somers, NY. Just when I arrived, the electricity went off. There was still no power two hours later when the café owner escorted me to the restroom in the back of the restaurant. Out of habit, I flicked the light switch, and, at that exact moment, the electricity returned--and the bathroom light went on.
The owner told me the experience gave him the goose bumps and then he asked me if I had paranormal abilities. I thought maybe I could be a new super heroine (Electric Woman?) until I found out what had really happened: Heavy winds had knocked down a nearby power line. But the timing was kind of eerie.
The second incident, another weird-weather situation, occurred this past September and again involved my supernatural novel, DUST. I participated in a Grandparents' Day Marketplace event with other vendors at a facility for seniors in Ossining, NY. Although the day started out with dark clouds, followed by periods of heavy rain, the coordinator decided to hold the event outdoors. As a result, I wasn't able to display my books until I was relocated under a protected porch.
Then, a few minutes before noon, I heard a siren blast from a nearby vendor's phone. It turned out to be a "Tornado Warning" for Ossining, instructing everyone to "Seek shelter indoors immediately!" So that's what I did. I packed up my books and signs and went into the adjacent building.
Several residents of the seniors' residence joined me in the room and one lady, named Dorothy, asked to see my novels, and then decided to purchase DUST. The whole experience was very strange: During a tornado warning, I sold DUST, a book about a mini-tornado, to a woman named Dorothy, the heroine's name in The Wizard of Oz-another tornado story. And did I mention that this Dorothy was 100-years-old?
As the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction!
Susan Berliner, author of the supernatural thrillers, "DUST," "Peachwood Lake," and "The Disappearance," has been a nonfiction writer for nearly her entire career. She had originally planned to be an elementary school teacher, but left after a year to become a newspaper reporter for Fairchild Publications. She covered men's retailing for Daily New Record, a men's wear/textile trade newspaper, which was the "brother" paper of Women's Wear Daily.
After Susan's children were born, she switched to freelance writing-mainly in education-publishing several book series dealing with editing skills, language arts, and standardized testing. She has also created teachers' guides, student activity sheets, and test passages. During this time, Susan was the project editor for a national science magazine for elementary school students and edited subject-related manuscripts for children in grades 7 and 8. In addition, she freelanced as a local reporter, covering board meetings for the North County News, a weekly newspaper in Yorktown Heights, New York.
When she returned to work full-time, Susan became the promotion manager of the Yorktown PennySaver, a job she held for 20 years. She created many original weekly contests-Phony Ad, Rhyme Time, and PennySaver Prophet.
Susan lives with her husband, Larry, in Yorktown Heights, where she's editing her fourth book (Corsonia), and writing her fifth novel (The Touchers).