Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. Psychologist/Writer

The Unholy

A Loving Way of Life . . .

September 28, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

To find our way to love we often have to find our way out of what isn't love. The dark side of religion goes against the grain of human caring and compassion. As dramatically revealed in The Unholy, bad religion taints love and causes us to fear.

Fear gets into the heart when spirituality becomes harsh and dogmatic religion. This is a human enterprise ruled by a religious establishment bent on controlling people. In The Unholy, a young medicine woman struggles to find her way out of religious fear. In her culture, the majority of people followed a dogmatic and dark religion.

Prophets, poets, and philosophers whose inspiration sparked the basis for various organized religions were not about institutions or organizations or the establishment. Jesus, Buddha, and other generous souls simply stated and lived from their heart to the best of their ability. A New York Times article (9.4.16) entitled What Religion Would Jesus Belong To? is provocative and well worth the reading . The writer asserts, “What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a problematic system of beliefs but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion?” McLaren asks in “The Great Spiritual Migration.” “Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life?”

The young medicine woman in The Unholy fights against the inevitable. She must decide between spiritual life and death. She cannot live in the world of fear and the world of love. She must choose to bow before the dark side of religion or to take the risk and discover her own way of life and being in the world. ~ The Unholy

Pure Joy and Inspiration....

September 23, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

Fiona McVie from Glasgow, Scotland reached out via international virtual reality on Glasgow, Scotland Book Interview and asked for an interview about The Unholy. I was struck by one of the questions pertaining to family life. What touched me was how my mind lit on my granddaughter, Zoey! She has learned to watercolor. What a delight it is to see her in action. Only two years old and filled with the joy of a new discovery, eyes bright and heart twittering with excitement. I felt joy in giving this book interview as I hope you will if you can take some time and give it a read.

Where are you from? New Mexico

A little about yourself, your education, family life etc...
I am a husband of 40 years to a wonderful artist and art historian, Kate. We share the joy of four adult children, two writers and two artists, and a wild creature of creativity, our granddaughter – Zoey. I am a Ph.D. in clinical psychology specializing in adult psychotherapy for individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis, a therapist and writer whose writing has been both in non-fiction (psychology and spirituality) and fiction – thrillers, the first of which is The Unholy, a novel that explores the dark side of religion and the human struggle for spiritual freedom.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that my next psychological thriller, Goddess of the Wild Thing, is completed and ready for release in about six months with my publisher, Sunstone Press. It’s a thriller about love and whether bad love is better than no love – a woman’s struggle to find herself and her discovery that love is a wild thing!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I always wanted to be a psychologist and writer since I was sixteen years old. I read Freud, Jung, and William James along with H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, and Arthur Machen. They were the old men that set loose a passion for the human psyche and creativity in the realm of therapy and writing.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It really began when I was sixteen. I saw an image of myself in my mind as a writer. It’s never left and I hope it never will. It’s a good and replenishing thing.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first thriller was The Unholy. My wife, Kate, inspired me to bring my experiences in treating survivors of religious trauma into a story. Out popped The Unholy.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I feel that the old gothic writers like Blackwood and Lovecraft and Machen are guiding lights for me along with Hemmingway and Carver. I like things to be as lean and into the story as possible, to move along, tell the tale, and paint the picture of what can happen when things go wrong and how to set about dealing with it.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ahhh….religious trauma is The Unholy. It gets to the heart of things that violate the soul, human integrity and conscience. The title hit the mark of the darkness that the young medicine woman suffered and had to go up against and deal with in a way decisive and shocking.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message is – the dark side of religion kills. It’s about the soul being snuffed out and fear and despair setting in so deep a person feels there’s no way out. The dark side of religion kills, as The Unholy dramatizes, and it’s how the young medicine woman in the story dealt with it that’s totally riveting.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Oh – The Unholy dramatizes real experiences of real people whose identities are obscured to protect their privacy, a novel about so many people that it is about no one person because it is about everyone at some time or another in life when religion has been questioned and the face of the dark side of religion jumped out front and center.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Like I said, it’s the novels of Lovecraft, Machen, Blackwood along with Hemmingway, Carver, and Castanaeda, with his workings of natural magic in the everyday world, that set my pen afire on the page.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
The new indie authors that I have read such as Tamara Ferguson, Jeff Jackson, Alice Montalvo, Rayna Noire, Nuzo Onoh, David W. Wright, and Sean Platt are stimulating reads. All these folks are great writers, tell a good story, and clear out your head.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
An entity that supported me – well that’s tough – gotta’ say there’s nothing that comes to mind in terms of anything outside of my own sense of self and my intimate relationships.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh…writing is a calling. It comes from deep inside. And, if it’s there you got to follow through and write out the words, tell the story, and speak your mind.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope – The Unholy hits the dark side of religion hard. It’s riled people up. That’s what a novel is supposed to be – a new idea, a novel thought, that provokes and sets the wheels of imagination turning.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Harris Channing did the cover along with my publisher Sunstone Press. I described the actual place of the Devil’s Throne and they did a bang up job of making the image into a surreal book cover.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you feel the urge, do the words. There’s something in you or you wouldn’t feel it in the first place. Do what you have to do and don’t look back.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
When you pick up the story of The Unholy, have a blanket close, wrap up, and get ready for a thrilling read and a wild ride!
Glasgow, Scotland Book Interview

Light at the End of the Dark Path Religion Gone Bad...

September 17, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

Podcast Radio Interview with Authors Talk About It Radio took things to a whole other level. Rob and Janelle Alex got into exploring the dark side of religion and how people are hurt, often badly. Our talk together proved to be enlightening.

I'm constantly amazed by the depth of conversation that I have with those open to seeing the dark side of religion. It's not only about what's obvious such as the sexual abuse cases riddled all over the news media. People suffer in subtle and insidious ways. They are put down for not believing as others do, for speaking as others do, for living as others do.

A friend told me this week that the trouble with talking about religion is force. People try and force their way on people. It may be done under the guise of sharing the good work, but underlying the seeming goodness is manipulation. People attempt to get people to see things their way in the "kindest" of ways. This is the dark side of religion and the dark side of life.

As we spoke about on Authors Talk About It Radio there is hope! Survivors of the dark side of religion can heal. It begins with an open mind and a willing heart. Others have suffered as you have. You can find your way and discover that there is light at the end of the dark path of religion gone bad.

Culture, Story, and Appropriation...

September 14, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

It pains me when authors comment on, criticize or certainly exploit a minority culture, not their own, for the sake of their supposed art. This smacks of condescension and a knowing when knowing is not present. As a New Mexican mestizo of Mexican, Indian, and Italian descent I am acutely aware of my status as a minority writer. In my written work I attempt to move into the experience of my culture and shed light in dark places. A sensitive exploration of one's own experiences within one's own culture is the counter balance to cultural appropriation, light for those who care to see and understand.

In this NYT(9.12.16) article entitled, Lionel Shriver's Address on Cultural Appropriation Riles a Writers Festival, we read, "Ms. Shriver donned a sombrero for much of her speech — an allusion to a case in the United States in which non-Mexican student government members were impeached for doing the same during a fiesta-themed tequila party at Bowdoin College. To frequent laughter from the audience, Ms. Shriver warned that the anti-cultural-appropriation movement that began in America had already reached Britain — where she lives most of the year — and might be headed to Australia. Actually, it seems to have already arrived. In the middle of Ms. Shriver’s speech on Thursday night, an Australian writer of Sudanese and Egyptian origin, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, got up and walked out, making live posts on Twitter about her dismay at what she described as “a poisoned package wrapped up in arrogance and delivered with condescension.”

The importance of culture in story lies in helping us understand what we have been unclear about. To do less than this, is to commit a grave injustice to self and important others. A sensitive respect for other people and other cultures helps us to be better human beings. As we read, we can do so to enjoy, to learn, and to become more human and sensitive beings. ~ The Unholy

Empaths and Seeing into the Heart...

September 7, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

I'm continually struck by women and their intuition. We men have a struggle with it. So often, we're taught that to be a man means being logical and to the point, going with what's obvious. We then miss the subtleties. And, great truth lies in subtle forces and hidden energies.

In The Unholy we read, "The waitress, the owner, and everyone else in the peculiar eatery reminded Claire of those a lecturer at the School for Natural Therapeutics had referred to as the “functionally insane.” “We have to consider,” the lecturer had stated, “that it’s not the ones locked up in psychiatric hospitals who are necessarily the sickest" (p.124).

The medicine women of The Unholy looked beyond the obvious. They peered into what is unseen to the common eye. Where others shunned those deemed mentally ill, they saw hurting people. Those most acclaimed by society, on the other hand, were often suspect, their functional insanity easily seen through by those of sincere heart and well-honed intuition.

Intuitive people, empaths, see beyond the surface of things and into the heart of the matter. When we are willing to see, to be intuitive and empathic, there is a coming to terms with truth. If we are sincere, then it is always for the best to see beyond the surface and into the heart of relationships and character. ~ The Unholy

Animal Totems and Helpful Spirits...

August 31, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

Animal totems are symbols of spirits coming to help in daily life. In The Unholy they appear as guardians. When we are most in need, life reaches our way and helps. This happens when we least expect and often in ways we don't expect. Invisible realities in the form of chance encounters, helpers along the way, and guardians and guides here and there tell us that there is more to life than we realize.

In The Unholy , Claire is caught alone at night, her life threatened. We read, "The heat from her solar plexus became white hot, and she heard the sound of barking in the distance. The man turned to see three gray wolves coming toward them from out of the dark foothills, poised to attack. The wolves drew closer. One glanced at Claire, then shifted its penetrating gaze to the assailant, leaping at him." (p.99)

The Unholy is brimming with supernatural unfoldings. Animals are spirit world entering the physical realm. This is the reality of the medicine women in The Unholy. It brings to mind the experiences we do not pay attention to. Shamans look for signs, birds coming at auspicious moments, winds whipping up when we say this or that, or things breaking when our mind is on something. These are signs to move forward or to stop. Helpful spirits come our way in so many different ways if we, as the medicine women in The Unholy, only take time to be sensitive and accept the message.

The Question of Why We Read...

August 24, 2016

Tags: supernatural thriller, spiritual thriller, urban fantasy, novel, the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller, indie writer

We can wonder why we spend time with words and stories. The Unholy draws people into the mystery and the shock of it. Where there is a strong draw, there's something to say. People grow close to things that have affected their lives. Religion is one, the dark side of religion of specific dastardly influence.

If we stop and think about it, we know stories affect us. The Unholy gets to the heart of the religious matter. It tells us what we didn't know about life and self and a specific religious practice. Perhaps we've wondered if religious events dramatized in The Unholy actually take place. What we did know but weren't sure about happens on the pages of the story. It's refreshing to know that we can stop the hustle and bustle, we can read, ponder and be enlightened about religion, the dark side of religion and natural spirituality.

I came across the following quote that felt pertinent: "The question of why we read and what books actually do for us is as old as the written word itself, and as attractive. Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were “the axe for the frozen sea within us”; Carl Sagan held them as “proof that humans are capable of working magic”; James Baldwin found in them a way to change one’s destiny; for Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, they stood as our ultimate frontier of freedom" (Brain Pickings 8.8.16).

The Unholy takes us to a magical place, the imagination, and there we have the opportunity to glance toward our potential to break free from what holds us back religiously and grow toward ultimate spiritual freedom.

Delving Into the Dark Side of Religion ~ Books 4 A Better Life Radio Podcast!

August 18, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

Books 4 a Better Life Radio Podcast with Camden McInnis delved into the dark side of religion. He asked poignant questions about how to spot religious trauma and how it was dramatized in The Unholy, a story of people losing self in the midst of religious enterprise.

As I was talking with Camden, what came to mind was how new the idea of religious trauma is to people. At one point he noted how he really had never considered that people are actually traumatized by religion. We talked about this and how trauma within a religious context (church, ashram, family, etc. ) is often masked by piety. People who espouse love and kindness and goodness inflict emotional and spiritual injury with power and control in the name of their religion.

This hour long interview moved quickly. The energy in it runs through the discussion of real life events, life-and-death matters within the story of The Unholy, and how story can tune into human pain and suffering and the capacity to heal in a unique manner. I hope you get chance to click into the program and delve into the message of The Unholy on Books 4 a Better Life Radio Podcast !

Hot on Podcast Radio ~ The Unholy!

August 10, 2016

Hot Off the Radio this second...just finished a sizzling interview on The Unholy with Pat Rullo of Speak Up Talk Radio. She interviews doctors in all sort of fields about their research, writing, and their books. What struck me, was how she got to heart of the dark side of religion and understood it. She talked about her own suffering as a child and how important it is for people to know that trauma happens within religion and that, as The Unholy dramatically depicts, there is a way through it if timely decisions are made and follow through is there. We talked after the interview about the buzz we felt doing it.

The Unholy really gets folks going about suffering from childhood that happened because of church and religion. It's a story that has deep roots in many hearts that have known the pain of not being understood, of religion being foisted on them and hurting them. When Pat and I talked after the show, it was obvious that she enjoyed it and took the topic to heart.

I hope you give the show a listen if you have the time. It's less than 30 min., and left us with a fine feeling that I hope it leaves with you too :) Here's the link: Hot on Podcast Radio ~ The Unholy

Let Daddy Fix It . . .

August 3, 2016

Tags: the unholy, thriller, new age fiction, metaphysical fiction, horror, religious abuse, paranormal thriller, spiritual novel, religious novel, spiritual fiction, religious fiction, metaphysical thriller

If it's not a Trump, a wildly out of control and possessed man, it's an Archbishop Anarch in The Unholy , a wildly out of control and possessed man. There's complete lunacy in it. Human need for authentic leadership collapses into a ravenous mouth where people create the political or spiritual leader they want. The unthinking masses simply want someone to think, to live, to do for them - to make all their hopes and dreams magically come true.

An article (Huffington Post 7.19.16 let Daddy Fix It) notes, "In announcing Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump said, “I’m doing a good job, but I’m only a messenger.” Teresa Oster, a retired Jungian analyst and screenwriter in Stuart, Florida says, “The collective and cultural unconscious communicates to Trump. It has possessed Trump. He reflects this message back to his audience. Unconsciously the audience has created him.” Oster sees Trump as the archetype or universal symbol of the Greek god Hermes, the messenger. But Hermes is also the Trickster. “He is the jokester, a thief, and the inventor of lying,” she says. “He is disruptive to Apollo and turns the tables on power. This is what Trump’s audience seems to feel about him, so they hear what they want to hear. His audience feels disenfranchised, left out of America’s promise of prosperity. Trump promises to give it back to then. They are not much concerned about Trump’s contradictions (another Hermes trait) or his lies or his ruthless style.”

You get ruthlessness in politics, religion and any sphere of life where power and control are major players. In The Unholy , a reckoning is required. A young woman needs to think things through. What does thoughtfulness, integrity, and responsibility to self and others call us to do? What is a blind following of the hysterical masses? Ruthlessness or thoughtfulness - it's a critical choice that plays out in life-changing ways.

Selected Works

Book Synopsis
About The Unholy
New Age Fiction
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past, is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

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