I'm an energy worker, and I don't mean for a utilities company. Some people call me a medical intuitive, but I try to keep the word "medical" out of my own description. It's too close to "legal," and I'm a recovering attorney. I even go to a twelve-step program to ensure I never practice law again. So, once I quit law, I started doing massage for a living full-time, your basic Swedish/Esalen massage. And as I was doing massage, I began to see things, auras mostly. And I began to feel the energy flows in the body. Some of the auras seemed wrong to me, some of the energy flows seemed blocked, and it bugged me.
So I started playing around, maybe taking a massive red blob of color around the liver and imagining it transforming into crystalline light, or imagining energy flowing through the arms and out the fingertips where it had been blocked. And my clients started feeling better. It was wonderful, but it was scary too. In fact, it scared me into learning more about what I was doing. I ended up taking as many classes on alternative healing as I could absorb. And I kept seeing, and feeling, and people kept getting better.
-from Body of Intuition, Chapter 1 (Berkley Prime Crime, Dec. 2002).
Claire talks about Cally Lazar and Body of Intuition in this excerpt from an interview for the mystery newsletter Murder Most Cozy.
What can you tell us about your new series?
My new series will appear in December of 2002. It features Cally Lazar, a medical intuitive healer, "cane-fu" practitioner, and recovering attorney. (She even goes to a twelve-step program to make sure she doesn't backslide into practicing law again!) Once again, I'm using bits of my own experience. I too am a former attorney and am just beginning to learn the tai chi sword form that underlies Cally's "cane-fu" practice. In the first book in the series, Body of Intuition, Cally is doing an energetic healing session on a client who believes her husband has committed suicide when she hears a voice that doesn't belong to anyone alive. The voice tells Cally to tell her client that he didn't kill himself... that he was murdered. Cally is clairvoyant, not clairaudient. She has to find out if the voice is telling the truth. Because if not, she's going crazy. I'll leave it to you to guess if the voice was telling the truth.
Is the Cally Lazar series set in Marin County?
No. Cally lives in the mythical county of Glasse which is located somewhere between the ever-too-real counties of Marin and Sonoma. So, I still get to use all of the great Marin material, and Cally can have goats on her property!
How did you research energetic healing work?
Well, OK, I'll admit it. My husband, Greg, has an energetic healing practice. I'm cheating again by copying real life. However, Cally's practice is very different from Greg's. She concentrates on aura and instinct. When one of Cally's clients has a problem, I imagine I'm Cally and find myself seeing and feeling what she would. It can be a little spooky, especially when she hears voices!
How do you go about writing a mystery?
I always begin with motive, then I backtrack, imagining the murderer's motives. I walk in those shoes until I know everything about the murder and the murderer. And then, the rest of the suspects appear, and the plot and subplots. I take copious notes, do character sketches, outlines, and timelines. I even mimic the characters' voices, mannerisms, and expressions. Once I know everyone and everything important that will happen, I begin to write. By that time, everything is so real to me that I feel I am just listening to the words as they are spoken by my characters and watching as they act. Finally, I write a chapter a week until the book is finished. And then I suffer post-epilogue depression! The cure? I start a new book!
Murder Most Cozy, c/o Jan Dean, PO Box 561153, Orlando, FL 32856-1153. E-mail: email@example.com.
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