Guest Post: Laura Bickle, Author of the Anya Kalinczyk Series
Hello all! Today I have Laura Bickle with us. She is the author of Embers and Sparks, which are a part of her adult urban fantasy series titled Anya Kalincyzk.
Laura Bickle has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she’s never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses.
Writing as Laura Bickle, she’s the author of Embers and Sparks for Pocket – Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she’s the author of Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle.
What I love most about this series is that it takes place in a paranormal Detroit, Michigan! I’m a Michigander so it’s exciting to see one of our cities featured in a book…it’s not very often I tell you.
Today she’ll be talking about Michigan Central Station and why she decided to feature it as a central location in her book series.
Magical Places: Michigan Central Station
There are some places in the real world that have just stuck with me as I write, and have managed to work their way into my fictional worlds. These places have their own magic, their own special gravity that pulls pieces of stories around them.
One of those places is Michigan Central Station. In Sparks, I was needing an architectural focal point. A place that was beautiful, haunted…and could serve as a way station for ghosts in my fantasy world, a gateway to the afterworld. Michigan Central Station fit the bill perfectly.
It’s served as a conduit for all kinds of travelers in real life. Built in 1913, Michigan Central Station rose up in an era in which public buildings were made to be beautiful. It was designed by the same architects who created Grand Central Station in New York. The train depot included three stories of vaulted ceilings, and the office tower was eighteen stories tall. More than four thousand travelers passed through its arches daily by 1945.
But that was not to last. By 1988, passenger rail traffic had dwindled to nearly nothing, and the station closed. Since then, suggestions to revitalize it have been raised and discarded, and the once-beautiful building has fallen prey to vandals and disrepair. It still holds the ghost of beauty, though, in its bones…and I imagine that it holds other ghosts.
Photo Credits: Flickr
Unemployment, despair, anger–visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.
Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya–who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern–suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya–with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team –can stop it.
Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.
Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.
Leave a Reply