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Writing can be a tough business, especially when you are just starting out. Of course, I had no idea that it would be simply because I never envisioned myself ever becoming a writer; I sort of fell into it by accident. Let me give you a bit of the backstory.

About six years or so ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and then a few months later with Myasthenia Gravis. I was placed off work by my neurologist while he and the Department of Transportation (I was working as a commercial truck driver at the time) squared off to decide whether I would ever be able to go back to work again. After a few months of pacing the floors at home, I got up one morning and told my wife that I had decided to write a book. Always supportive she told me to go for it.

I had absolutely no idea where to start or even the process involved with getting published. I had no idea that would be authors can suffer rejection after rejection before they ever get a book contract, if indeed they ever do. In this case, I guess my ignorance was a blessing……but also a curse. I knew I wanted to write about the paranormal and the history behind some of the hauntings so I did a quick search on Amazon to find books on the same topic and checked to see who their publisher was. Once I decided on a publisher and the topic of my proposed book, I went to the publisher’s website, read up on how to submit a proposal and discovered that I could do it by email. Well, long story short, I sent off the email around 11:00 am and by that afternoon I had an acquisitions editor email me wanting to know more. A few additional emails followed by a brief phone call and by 4:00 pm that same afternoon I was reading through the contract that had been emailed to me. Easy as can be right?

Well, here is where the “curse” part I mentioned earlier comes in to play. I knew nothing about contracts, nothing about book marketing, had never written a book before and for some reason, I was operating under the false idea that once I had delivered the manuscript that all I had to do was sit back and let the publisher take it from there. Boy was I ignorant of the process. My first book, the Haunted Natchez Trace, was a minor success (thank the Lord), and it was also a huge eye-opener about how things really work once the manuscript is delivered.

As I look back now I realize that all I had to do was a little research and I would have gone into the process better informed and with more realistic expectations. So what did I learn from my first foray into authorship? Three key things, really, that would have saved me a lot of time and made me a bit more money right out of the gate.

  1. Just because you are a new or lesser known author doesn’t mean that you have to accept the first contract that is sent to you. If the publisher likes your book concept enough to send you a contract, they like it enough to negotiate. Now don’t go in with the expectation that as a new or untested author that you should get the kind of advance and royalty percentage that Stephen King could command, but you can still negotiate a few more dollars and a few more percentage points even on your first book. Learn a bit about how the process works, make realistic adjustments to the contract and don’t get greedy. Needless to say, if you have a large enough platform, try and sign with an agent and let them handle the entire sale, negotiation, and rights ordeal. They are a wealth of information and guidance and it’s well worth trying to get signed with one.
  2. You need to grow a platform, a large platform too before you ever start trying to get a book deal. What is this “platform” of which I speak? It’s your followers and fans across your multiple social media sites, your website, and your blog. It’s the people who like what you write and want to see more of it. But how do I grow a platform of fans and followers of my work if I haven’t written a book yet, you might ask? It’s easy. Decide on your genre and then set up a blog and start writing short value intensive posts. Setup accounts on social media and start posting, liking and retweeting; interact and grow relationships with like-minded folks. Write a few short stories and give them away to your followers or use them to grow your mailing list, or, start a newsletter and build a mailing list; shoot, do both for that matter. Sound like a lot of work and time? You bet it is, but it can also be the difference in a successful book deal and launch. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your writing career. It’s going to take a bit of time and work but it will be worth it in the end. (And it can help you get a really good agent too)
  3. Understand that you won’t get a lot of support from your publisher once the book is released. They are busy and you most likely won’t be the only book project that they are working on so you won’t be the center of their focus. Sure, they want the book to sell well and make money but they aren’t going to foot the bill for a whirlwind book promotion tour for you or get you booked on major media outlets across the country; you’ll be lucky to get them to set up a few local book signings for you. You have to be proactive and understand that the success of your book rests solely on your shoulders. This is where your platform comes in. Keep them up to speed on the book release, let them know when it’s available for preorder, ask them to share the news with all of their contacts; get the word out about the book release and keep it at the front of everyone’s mind. Make a list of bookstores that you would like to do signings at and then contact them yourself several months before the release to see about getting placed on their event calendar to do a book signing. Once you have a firm date have your publisher’s salespeople contact them to make sure they have an ample supply of your books in stock and that marketing materials are sent to them. Look to utilize other forms of marketing like press releases and donating books to your public library; keep your name in front of the world for as long as you can.

These are just a few of the many things that I’ve learned about the business of authorship over the course of four traditionally published books and two self-published ones, and they are, in my humble opinion, the three most important. If you want to write and market a book don’t do what I’ve done, which is fly by the seat of my pants while I figure it all out, but do some research, read some books, take a marketing class; educate yourself on the process and grow your platform while you’re doing it. It can make all the difference in how fast and profitably you can grow your writing career.


Recently I had the pleasure to be a guest on Beyond Reality Radio with Jason Hawes (Ghost Hunters) and JV Johnson to talk about my new book, Haunted Northwest Arkansas and some of my other books as well. Man, what a great time! If you’ve never had the opportunity to listen in to one of their shows you should really make an effort to catch one. They are extremely entertaining and very knowledgeable about many different facets of the paranormal.

What made my interview so fun was that Jason had actually investigated the Crescent Hotel in an episode of Ghost Hunters so he was very familiar with the layout, the stories, and the entire Northwest Arkansas area, which made it a lot easier to explain some of the stories in the book.

All in all, it was a great time and I was very fortunate to be invited to the show to talk about my work and the paranormal. If you missed the episode just click on the link below to go right to the podcast of the show on iTunes. 😊

Click here to listen to the episode


Hey everyone! My new book, Haunted Northwest Arkansas, is now available for pre-order at Amazon 🙂  It covers some well-known places like the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs AR, Prairie Grove Battlefield, Pea Ridge Battlefield and a lot of other really cool places. If you like stories of haunted places mixed in with the history associated with it then this book is one you should check out. Go to my author’s page on Amazon and have a look 🙂


When Jen and I stayed at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs a week or so ago, I had the opportunity to poke around a bit in the early hours of the morning while everyone else was fast asleep. I had heard rumors for years about the sixth floor, where the ballroom is located, and the paranormal activity associated with it. While I couldn’t carry a bunch of gear and do a full-scale investigation (no permission to do so), I do feel that there is something to be said for personal experiences, if you approach them with the right frame of mind and try to debunk what you might have experienced.

The story is, if you enter the ballroom in the early morning hours while it is still dark, sit down quietly against the wall and remain still, that eventually you will start to see shadows passing in front of the windows, hear the faint sound of voices in conversation, and the soft sounds of music, as if a party was going on. If you suddenly switch on the lights the sounds and shadows immediately go away. Always the curious one, I decided to see for myself, chocking the whole thing up to nothing more than urban legend or sounds from the street.

I sat down in the dark against the wall right next to the door, and sat there quietly for about 15 minutes, listening and watching intently. To my surprise, I started noticing movements in the room near the windows, as if someone, or several someones, were walking or dancing. As I watched the shadows I became aware of the sounds of both male and female voices engaged in hushed conversation, and even heard a very distinguishable laugh from what sounded like a few feet to my left. I sat there for about ten minutes, just taking it all in and trying to make sense of it. The streets were empty and quiet, as was the hotel itself, and I was the only one on the entire sixth floor. Just where the noise was coming from I had no clue. I slowly stood up and waited for a bit to see if the sounds would stop since I had moved, but they continued, just barely audible, but there regardless. I quickly switched on the light, like the story says, and everything immediately became quiet. I walked across the ballroom floor to the windows and looked out but there was nothing moving anywhere. I switched the lights back off as I left and wandered about the area near the closed bar and the elevators, stopping every so often to listen, but it was as quiet as could be, not a sound at all anywhere.

I decided to take the stairs back down, pausing at the top to have one last look around; nothing moving anywhere, no sounds at all. As I walked down the stairs, making the first turn halfway down to the fifth floor, I heard the sound of a door slam up on the sixth floor from where I had just come. I quickly ran back up the steps and looked around, but there was nothing, or no one, to see. I decided to wander each floor, stopping every so often to see if I could hear the sounds of conversation or music, but I never heard anything that was similar to what I heard in the ballroom; in fact, I didn’t hear much at all.

If you ever get the chance to check out the ballroom at the Basin Park Hotel, go do it. If you sit real quiet against the wall, you just might find yourself in the middle of a ghostly party.


As part of my research for my new book, Haunted Northwest Arkansas, I recently made a trip, with my wife Jennifer, to Eureka Springs. While there we stayed the night at the Basin Park Hotel and I conducted an interview with Keith Scales, the Director of Ghost Tours for both the Crescent and Basin Park Hotels. I filmed the interview and plan on putting parts of it on my YouTube channel in the next day or so, and it revealed some interesting stories about the Crescent Hotel that I hadn’t heard before. One concerned a part of the morgue when the hotel was operated as a cancer hospital by Norman Baker.

It would seem that Baker had a penchant for keeping bits and pieces of the autopsied bodies in glass jars filled with formaldehyde. He stored the glass jars on shelves that lined a room in the basement where the morgue was located. After the closure of the hospital, the room and the jars of tissue and body parts were discovered, leading to the room being referred to, even to this day, as the “part’s room”. Norman Baker was truly a twisted individual, and his bogus cancer “cures” resulted in the deaths of many patients of his so-called hospital; many of the deaths could even be referred to as torture, with a concoction of various herbs being injected directly into the cancerous tissue up to six or seven times a day.

I investigated the hotel several years ago with Dave Harkins and various members of our team, and while there is a high EMF throughout various parts of the building, due mainly to wiring and grounding issues, there nonetheless are sightings and occurrences that simply cannot be explained. My wife and I had one such occurrence happen in our room on the fourth floor. We witnessed a water bottle literally jump up in the air, spin around and land three feet from where it was sitting when we entered the room. We tried everything possible to recreate and debunk the movement of the bottle but were unable to get it to move again; unexplainable at best.

If you have never spent the night at the Crescent Hotel or visited Eureka Springs, you owe it to yourself to do so. You just might have an unexplainable occurrence of your own.


As some of you might already know, I’ve recently signed the contract to write a new book. The title of the book is Haunted Northwest Arkansas, and as you might deduce from the title, it will document and tell the stories of variously alleged hauntings across northwest Arkansas. I’ve long been privy to stories about hauntings and ghost sightings throughout that area and have been fortunate enough to have investigated some of them; the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs comes readily to mind as one of my favorites.

I intend to investigate, even briefly, as many of the locations that will be included in this book as possible, so that I might bring some personal observations and experiences to the story to hopefully paint a better picture for you all. I look forward to writing this book, as it allows me an opportunity to get out and investigate some of the places that I have always wanted to investigate, like the Pea Ridge and Praire Grove battlefields. Hopefully, I will be able to obtain some interesting evidence to share with Y’all.

I plan to start a new YouTube channel devoted to sharing video evidence and giving a quick look at some of the places that will be included in the book, as well as other interesting locations that I stumble on while poking about. I’ll share the channel address with y’all as soon as I get it set up and ready to roll. My goal and my hope are to stay better connected with my friends, family, and fans while I pursue research and evidence into the paranormal. So, if you aren’t already connected with me through social media or my blog feed, please take a moment to connect with me so that you can stay up to date with any interesting stories and/or video.


Do you ever experience what can only be described as a “lack of time”? That point where you suddenly realize that you have way too many irons in the fire, mainly projects and work which can’t be ignored and that those irons are burning away at the time you used to devote to the things you love?

The time that I used to set aside to do paranormal investigations, an endeavor that I love dearly, is now eaten away by researching and writing books on haunted locations……seems a bit strange doesn’t it? Writing about something that I only have limited time to engage in?

But, even though my investigation time is limited, I found that supplementing it with my writing gets me the “paranormal fix” that I so desperately need. After coming to that realization, I decided to approach my writing about haunted locations from a different angle. Instead of just researching and talking to people about the haunted locations that I was writing about, I decided to experience them firsthand; investigate when possible and incorporate those findings into my writing. It’s a win-win situation all around. I get to investigate plus get firsthand knowledge and evidence of the alleged haunted location.

Now to be fair, I’ve always tried to investigate, even briefly, a few of the places that I have written about in my other books, and incorporate my findings into that story. But, due to time constraints (there’s that damnable lack of time again!), I wasn’t able to investigate as much as I wanted to, and was forced to depend on research, historical data, and other people’s accounts of what had happened. Well, this time around I am doing it a bit differently. I’ll still have to depend a bit on others to get a full grasp of the story, plus delve deep into the historical research, which is actually fun for me, but I will also be using more of my own experiences to help flesh out the story, as well as including photos that I have taken at the investigation locations.

The book that I am currently writing, Haunted Northwest Arkansas, which is scheduled for release in September 2017, will have a lot of personal observations as well as the usually researched information, which I hope will make it a much more enticing read for everyone. I mean, what’s the point of being a paranormal investigator with over 30 years of experience, if I don’t use that knowledge and experience to help shed light on the alleged hauntings that I’m writing about….right?

So, keep checking back, connect with me on social media if you haven’t already and subscribe to my blog feed to get up to date information about how the book and investigations are progressing. I think it’s going to be fun!


When it comes to hauntings Missouri ranks high on the scale with numerous legends and locations of national fame, such as the Hornet Spook Light near Joplin. But while the entire state can boast claims of documented hauntings and apparitions, no one area is as active as the Ozarks, especially the area around Springfield.

From private residences to public buildings to the ground upon which they are built, there are no shortages of places to investigate. The area around Springfield has a bloody history of traumatic deaths which some feel plays a significant role in the sightings of apparitions and the legends of activity. From duels on the square, murders and abductions to Civil War battles fought here and in the surrounding countryside, the potential to observe and document paranormal occurrences are numerous.

Ghost hunting and paranormal investigation groups are widespread throughout the area, each using not only standardized methods of investigation such as EVP’s, video and still photography but some employing the methods of psychic investigation also. In upcoming posts, I will be conducting interviews with various investigative groups in our area, like Infinity Paranormal Research, to give a broader understanding of investigative techniques and how they can vary from group to group.

Ghost stories have always held a fascination for most people, but for some, like myself, the need to prove or debunk those stories is every bit as important as the story itself. The need to have answers to the age-old question of what happens when we die drives us on. Does life on some other plane go on, or is this life all that there is? Hopefully, someday we might have the answer.

So, settle back and get comfortable as we explore the world of ghost hunting and hauntings around the Springfield area and as I recount some of my own experiences and share evidence that I have documented with you.


A few years ago, The Ozarks Paranormal Society was extremely fortunate in obtaining a Special Use Permit from The National Park Service to conduct one of the first overnight paranormal investigations of the Wilsons Creek National Battlefield. From the start, it would prove to be a most interesting evening and one of which we will be repeating several more times in the very near future.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is located at 6424 West Farm Road 182 near Republic, MO and hosts a section of the famous Wire Road, The Historic Ray House and an excellent museum in addition to a very well laid out walking trail and driving route that covers nearly every position of the battlefield.

When we arrived the night of our investigation it was to heavy rain and sharp lightning that seemed to charge the air with a static electricity that you could almost feel wrapping itself around you as you walked. We knew then that if we were to find any evidence of paranormal activity on the battlefield that we had picked the right night to come.

From the very start, we had personal experience after personal experience, from the sounds of fife and drum music to the sounds of troop movements and clanking of equipment to the sounds of someone moaning in pain in the woods near the small sinkhole. And all of this was before we even started our formal investigation!

We split into teams and investigated the Ray House, the spring house and the area of Bloody Hill near both sinkholes and the marker set near the site of General Lyon’s death. Some interesting occurrences were the feeling of being touched, of being watched, of having the laser grid being moved completely 90 degrees and turned downward in the Ray House, of unexplained voices and sounds, of unexplained faces in photographs and a lot of other interesting things that we really couldn’t explain or debunk. All in all it was a very good investigation and we came away with tons of personal experiences as well as hours and hours of documented footage that is yielding exceptional results. We will be posting our evidence on our website in the very near future and I will be doing a complimentary article on our findings so be sure and check back.

While securing the permit for an overnight investigation can be time-consuming and costly, it is nonetheless well worth it and I would highly recommend the experience to any paranormal investigation group who has an interest in historical paranormal investigations.


The Natchez City Cemetery was established in 1822 and covers approximately 100 acres of ground. Although established in 1822 there are numerous grave markers with dates from as early as the late 1700’s adding testament to the fact that remains were moved to the new cemetery from churchyards, outlaying plantations and from the old cemetery which was located on a hill where Memorial Park and St. Mary’s Cathedral are now located in the downtown area.

It is without a doubt one of the more beautiful and well-kept cemeteries that I have visited with ornate iron fences surrounding some of the graves, beautiful marble monuments and detailed iron benches and mausoleum doors that show the wealth of some of its earliest residents.

It is also a very haunted cemetery with many tales of ghostly lights being seen moving about the cemetery at night, footsteps being heard and sightings of people who simply seem to vanish into thin air; I myself witnessed an iron gate open and close on its own and heard the footsteps of an unseen person walk right past where I was sitting. It is a very interesting place to explore with a lot of interesting stories about some of the people entombed there.

One of my favorite stories is that of Florence Irene Ford which I covered in my book the Haunted Natchez Trace. Florence was a sweet little 10-year-old girl who was deathly afraid of thunderstorms when she passed away in 1871 after contracting Yellow Fever. When storms would roll in she would rush to her mother’s side where she would be comforted and feel safe until the storms passed. When she died Florence’s mother was understandably devastated and she had her coffin built with a glass end where Florence’s head was at and a pit dug and lined with brick at the end of the grave. A heavy iron door covered the steps down into the pit and when a storm would roll in Florence’s mother would go down into the pit and sit with her beloved daughter until it had passed. Due to vandalism, the area where the glass was at was eventually bricked up but the pit still remains much the same as it was when Mrs. Ford would climb down to comfort her daughter in the grave. It’s said that after a thunderstorm you can still find the iron door laid open as if someone had come up from out of the pit; perhaps Florence’s mother is still providing comfort to her even after all these years.

The Natchez City Cemetery is located on Cemetery Road and is open from 7:00 am until dusk and should you find yourself in the Natchez area be sure and stop for a visit; I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed by the beauty or the history.