I’ve been writing now since 2012. Just to think about that passage of time is pretty scary. Since then I’ve turned out lots of books, one of which has been adapted into a film for which I also co-wrote the screenplay. Other titles have since been translated into multiple languages all over the world which gave me the ability to write full time for the last four years. Writing, it’s fair to say, has been kind to me.
Today, I want to talk a little about…..
Not, as you might expect, in the realm of fiction where I have built my career, but in the real world. It is, after all, the great unanswered question. Do we carry on after death in some way? Is there something after when our mortal bodies fail?
The irony of both of those questions is that one day, we will all find out the answer. In the meantime, as our human-machine ticks on, wouldn’t it be good to know the answers to those questions before our time, however long it may be, is up?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a deep interest in the paranormal. My father was the same way, and I remember when I was a boy picking through his countless books on the subject and finding my interest grew more and more. Remember, this was a time before the internet and google, so books were the best way to learn. My dad encouraged this interest. We talked about ghosts, Cryptids, UFO’s. I remember a discussion we had about a new series of books covering the unexplained. As a child they were mesmerising. Huge black covered titles covering all manner of weird and wonderful mysteries. My dad, ever supportive said he would buy them for me as long as I looked after them. They were on a mail order type system and once a month, a new book would arrive about a different subject. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those books. Every new volume was devoured, the contents inside committed to memory. Because he knew I loved them, my dad bought the whole series, something like 30 plus books. I still have a few of them here, and they are amongst my most treasured possessions. My sister has the rest of the series at her house. When I visit, I look at them on the bookshelf and I’m filled with great memories of waiting for each to arrive. One day, I’m going to visit and look through them again just for nostalgia’s sake.
I mention this because it ties into a new project I started in February 2018 and is still ongoing which I’d like to talk a little about. As you can see from the above post, the paranormal world has always been one I have been hugely interested in. It shaped my writing career and many of the books with a supernatural twist have their roots in those early years. Still, there was a desire within me, an itch that had been there in some way since I first started writing. Fiction was all well and good, but I was interested in exploring the truth about the phenomena.
As 2017 neared its end, this idea of doing some kind of nonfiction title about the paranormal world grew and wouldn’t leave me alone. The idea was, in principle, simple. What if I, as a sceptic (just because I’m interested in the subject doesn’t make me a believer) was able to shadow a real paranormal investigation team for a full year as they travelled the country visiting various locations. I would independently log each investigation and gather my own evidence which would be presented without any preconceptions. It would be a book about the truth, even if that meant saying there was little to no activity to write about or, on the opposite side of the scale, showing as much potential evidence as possible that a location actually is the source of real paranormal activity.
Even at this stage, I didn’t think it would be possible. Most paranormal investigation teams are fiercely guarded and would likely not be interested in having an independent person watching their every move and forming their worn conclusions, which, for me, was key for this project if I was to do it. Unless it was with complete honesty and without interference, I just wouldn’t go ahead.
Fortunately, my brother in law had been dabbling in paranormal investigation over the years and had recently co-founded a new group called Gatekeepers Paranormal (www.gatekeepersparanormal.com) and they were about to embark on a tour of the UK to some of the world’s most notorious paranormal hot spots in order to raise money for charity. This was potentially perfect as long as I could get over the stumbling block of needed complete and independent access to essentially conduct my own investigation. I knew this was a professional outfit and even though it was co-owned by a family member, I knew I was asking a lot of them. To my surprise, they loved the idea and agreed that not only could I shadow them, but I would have the complete and unrestricted freedom and access to draw my own conclusions from every event attended. I told them I would be doing this straight down the middle with no bias to either the believer camp or the sceptical view (which as I mentioned was where I personally sit).
With everything agreed, it was done, and starting in February 2018 I would attend the first of 11 investigations with GKP, culminating in February 2019 after which I would draw my own conclusions on the world of the paranormal and, hopefully, have a compelling book to show at the end of it.
Fast forward to August 2018, and I write this on the eve of investigation nine of eleven that I have attended and the journey has definitely been crazy! They even responded in kind to a further request a couple of investigations in when, after a particularly memorable event, I approached them with the idea of doing an accompanying web series alongside the books o curious readers could go and actually see and hear the evidence captured. I assured them I would assume full responsibility for this as far as production and editing goes, and again, GKP agreed which I remain incredibly grateful for.
Close to 300 pages written, the book is shaping up to be pretty special, with lots of incredibly strange events which even challenge my sceptical viewpoint. Along the way, I have followed the team into locations which have a rich history of activity such as the home of Europe’s most violent poltergeist, 30 East Drive for a two-night sleepover, to the foreboding Bodmin Jail and everywhere in-between as the team and I cover the entire country to investigate these locations. True to their word, GKP have allowed me the complete unrestricted access I needed to make this book work the way I wanted it to, and to boot, they have raised a significant amount of money for various worthwhile charities, giving all proceeds from their events to whichever charity has been chosen taking none for themselves. GKP also have a very active Facebook page where members can attend the investigations themselves with the team and discover first hand the world of paranormal investigation.
As for how the project is shaping up eight months in? It’s going well, much better than I could have imagined. There has even been a lot of strong interest from a few leading literary agencies in potentially representing the project which is incredibly exciting.
As far as if my sceptical point of view has been changed by what I’ve seen to date?
Well, for that, you’ll have to wait for the book to release some time in 2019. All I can say is it’s been a rollercoaster of a journey and one which is still going. Currently, the book is under consideration from a few leading literary agencies which is all very exciting. Hopefully, you will enjoy the little look behind the curtain at the paranormal world and I hope what you find there might just surprise you.
To keep up to date on all news relating to this and other projects, you can sign up to my monthly newsletter on my official website and claim a free 4 book kindle box set at the same time: https://www.michaelbrayauthor.com/
You can also check out GKP at their website linked above or on their Facebook group where they share evidence, upcoming events and chat about the paranormal: www.facebook.com/groups/gkparanormalgroup/
Finally, you can view the accompanying GKP web series which will form a companion piece for the book on the GKP YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com/channel/UC8a2fsnurJgGLM6sy0Qo-7A/