I’m pleased to welcome Juliet B Madison back to Authors to Watch to talk about her futuristic psychic police procedural Psychic CID series. Incarnate Justice, the first book in the series, is released today.
Welcome, Juliet. Wat made you decide to write about cops who openly acknowledge psychic powers?
I enjoy writing crime fiction and have had moderate success with the DI Frank Lyle series, but I wanted to do something vastly different.
What is Incarnate Justice about?
Here’s the blurb:
In 2015 thirteen-year-old Ellen Shaw disappeared without a trace. No traces of her alive or dead were ever found and the police dismissed a Psychic’s help.
In 2040 the recently formed Psychic CID are called in to investigate when decomposed human remains are found. The original Missing Persons case file yields no clues.
Newly promoted DS Joe Lamont has been plagued by disturbing dreams since his early teens and he feels a connection to Ellen that he can’t explain.
Will Lamont’s intuition prove to be a hindrance or a help and can Psychic CID solve the case and get to the truth about what really happened to Ellen?
You can also read about the ethos of the Psychic CID series on The Official Psychic CID website
It sounds completely different from anything I’ve ever read.
Hopefully it will stand out. A lot of paranormal books feature, shifters, vampires and witches, but Psychic CID has none of those because the market is already oversaturated with that kind of thing. It combines police procedural and forensics based stuff with psychic practise. Set in a future time – 2040 to be exact – when such practices are more open, although some people still tar real psychics with the same murky brush as fakes. I’m trying to challenge that perception.
Did you have to do any speculation or make anything up?
The beauty of writing future based stuff is that you can speculate to a degree and no one can rubbish you for it because they don’t know what will be forensically possible in twenty-five years time. I daresay a few sad little trolls will try, but since they won’t even understand the implications of the title I doubt they will, cope as there are no pictures to help them.
I’ve invented a future where Psychics are able to testify in criminal trials as Expert Witnesses and psychic development classes are freely available to anyone demonstrating ability. I sadly doubt this will become a reality, but I don’t mind imagining it will be so.
Are you psychic?
Not fully, I’m what they call a sensitive, which means I can sense the presence of spirits, but I can’t actually see them. I get messages which come in the form of sudden thoughts. I also know that my spirit guides are there, but I can’t connect directly with them whereas DS Lamont, the hero of Incarnate Justice, can connect with his Native American spirit guide Running Fox.
You’ve said in previous interviews – on this and other websites- that one day you would write a book featuring reincarnation. Is Incarnate Justice that book?
My first police procedural book was supposed to be a story with a spiritual dimension, but as I had no experience of writing police procedurals at that time, I felt that would be too much to cope with. Now that I have written several police procedurals I am confident in managing the two themes together. The most spiritual thing about the DI Lyle series was DS Desai’s Hindu beliefs, which live on through his widow, Almira, and young son, Sunil jr. So yes, Incarnate Justice is that story that I’ve wanted to write for longer than I care to admit.
Are any of the characters based on people you know?
Every character I write has part of me or someone I know in them.
Who are your favorite and least favorite characters in Incarnate Justice and why?
DS Joe Lamont is definitely my favourite, because he has a lot to learn about himself. My least favourite is the forensic pathologist Dr Monica Kaufman as she is totally closed off to the psychic world and thinks that medicine and science can explain everything, which of course they can’t.
What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
I suspect that a lot of people who read Incarnate Justice will already have some interest in the paranormal. Really I want people to read it with an open heart and mind and I hope that they will learn something to help them along life’s thorny path.
Were there any scenes that you found especially difficult to write and why?
I don’t want to give too much away, but the scene where DS Lamont and DI Lynch go to tell a mother that they have found her daughter didn’t come naturally to me. Not having kids myself I was worried about getting it right, but thankfully I have a lot of writer friends who are also parents that I can run this sort of scene by.
Would you be prepared to share a short excerpt from Incarnate Justice with my readers?
This isn’t my favourite part as that would give too much away, but I’m rather proud of this bit.
The yellow and black crime scene tape fluttered in the light breeze and DS Lamont noticed the CSIs padding around in their ghostly white suits and overshoes. DI Lynch showed her warrant card to one of the uniformed officers guarding the cordon. The officer lifted the cordon for them to duck beneath and pretty soon they were on the far side.
“Can you sense anything?” Lynch asked Joe. He nodded; aware that he felt like he was being choked and for a moment he felt unable to breathe much less speak. That was due to more than the inevitable stench of decomposed remains, that sense of foreboding wrapped itself tightly around him.
“What can you sense?” Lynch asked.
Lamont cleared his throat.
“Definitely Spirit here, Boss, and not necessarily benevolent either.”
His hand closed briefly, almost reactionary around his black tourmaline pendant.
“It tells me that whoever buried the remains left something of himself here.” Whitfield replied.
Finally they were permitted to draw closer and they saw an arrangement of human bones on a mossy bed.
“She’s been here about twenty-five years,” Dr Monica Kaufman, the pathologist, said “She was a Caucasian female, very young, In fact, judging by the bones I’d say she was in her early teens. I’ll have to consult a forensic anthropologist to be sure, although I’m hoping there is enough to identify her by her dental records. ”
Joe was aware that Dr Kaufman was addressing the regular police officers and knew that the presence of Psychic CID officers was merely tolerated because of the legal mandate that they attend. He was aware from his time in regular CID that Kaufman was a renowned skeptic in psychic matters and he wished that any other pathologist could have been sent rather than her. Still, sometimes you had to work with what you were given. Joe knew that Dr Kaufman, and indeed most of the regular police officers present, would be hard pushed to find a psychic connection to any case so if there was any to be found it was up to him and his new colleagues to find it.
Joe felt himself being drawn away and found himself in his regular nightmarish dreamscape. He could see that the young girl was running, but for a change he was watching from an observatory, rather than participatory viewpoint. He was aware of her laboured breathing and her adrenaline flushed cheeks as she looked right at him
“Help me!” Her eyes pleaded.
Then everything went black.
Where can my readers get their own copy of Incarnate Justice?
Where can my readers learn more about the Psychic CID series online?
You can Follow Psychic CID on Twitter
You can visit the Official Psychic CID website
Thank you for your visit, Juliet. Best of luck with your new release!