Where are you from?
I grew up in North York, Ontario, moved to Bradford after our second child was born, and then moved to Newmarket when he graduated high school.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was a software/web developer for ten years, but have always been studying and learning. Before I got my diploma in Computer Information Systems, I studied literature and philosophy at the University of Waterloo.
While I was working in the computer industry, I got my Reiki Master/Teacher certifications, my Angel Therapy Practitioner® with Advanced Standing certifications from Doreen Virtue in Hawaii, a Bachelor of Science in Parapsychic Science, and am currently working on my master’s thesis. The masters is in Parapsychology.
My husband and I have been married over thirty years and have two adult children and three grandchildren—and a cat named Scully.
Tell us your latest news
I’m almost finished the first draft of my fourth novel, a romantic suspense called Gillian’s Island.
Have you ever finished reading a book (OR...been intrigued by a synopsis) and wished you could get to know one of the characters a little better? Well you’re in luck. Meet Carolyn, the heroine from The Valiant Chronicles Series...
Carolyn, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? Is there anything you would like your fans to know about you that maybe wasn't revealed in your story?
I grew up in the city of Toronto, Ontario and moved to Bradford, Ontario when my high-school sweetheart John and I married. When Samantha, our daughter, graduated from high school, we moved to Newmarket, Ontario.
I’d been struggling with my psychic abilities since I was a child, and only accepted them and used them to help other people after Sam was born. Before that, I tried to block it.
John and I went to Mexico once, and I foresaw a tour-bus accident. I couldn’t prevent the bus from leaving the resort. Some people heeded my warning, but others didn’t, and they died. The tragedy demolished me. What’s the point of glimpsing the future if you can’t change what happens?
But I learned to accept that some things I can affect and other things I can’t. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do what’s right with the information I have. I think if it wasn’t for that accident, I never would have been able to do what I did to survive after Michael abducted me.
What makes you Carolyn so special?
Most people say that my psychic abilities make me special, and I suppose that’s true. But I believe everyone has a measure of ability in that area. Mine is simply more pronounced and practiced.
I like to say that no one is special, but everyone is unique.
Tell me about your reputation and how it has impact your life and your relationship?
Oh, my reputation as a psychic medium almost ruined my marriage once. The media uproar after that trip to Mexico hammered away at my family. It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of me, of John. I resented that the most—their hounding us.
This was well before what happened in The Experiencers. By the time Michael and the Agency came into my life, the media furor had died down, I had accepted my psychic abilities and was using them professionally, and my relationship with John had deepened, had grown sweeter and more companionate, yet he still turned me on physically. We had it all.
It’s hard to look back on that time and not feel wistful, regretful. I don’t blame Michael. Much. To be honest, we have some problems in that area. Yes, we broke our pattern, the pattern set over various lifetimes, but we still have our problems in this lifetime.
Life goes on, but it’s difficult to let go of the past even when you know it’s for the best. We work together on it because we love each other.
Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you wished you had done differently?
Oh, God. That’s a difficult question to answer.
How would my thread have run if I’d made different choices? I wish I could have saved John—that’s my biggest regret. Why didn’t I see it coming? I wish it would have been shown to me so I could have prevented it, but, well, even when you see it, you can’t stop the inevitable. I learned that in Mexico.
But, God, how I wish I could have saved John. I miss him, crave him, every day. Sometimes it’s a dull ache. Other times it’s a gnawing hunger.
I have a new life now that I don’t regret. I have my twin flame with me.
You may not understand the term “twin flame.” Most people would use the term “soul mate,” but there’s a difference between the two.
Anyone can be your soul mate if they help you learn in this lifetime, help you advance in your soul’s purpose. Soul mates can even cause you grief. They aren’t necessarily lovers. They could cause conflict and problems for you, but you’ll learn from the experience.
A twin flame is the love of your life—of each of your lives. I recognize that in Michael.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We’re in a difficult time. There’s no telling what’ll happen five years from now. What if the aliens return? What if the Agency comes looking for us? What if we can’t survive, can’t repair the damage done from the triggering of the Aurora machines?
Michael has his regrets, too, you see. He has to live with the consequences of his actions, and he’s changed since his near death experience. Sometimes it threatens to break us, but we have our Christina, our daughter, to think of, and, thank God, our love for one another remains strong.
If you could go anywhere with one person, who would you take and where would you go?
You know where I’d like to go? Home. I would resurrect my house and take Michael there. We’d sit in the hot tub and drink champagne and have chocolate-covered strawberries. We’d make love under the stars. I’d give almost anything to have that one simple thing.
I asked him if we could restore it. He said it might happen, but I know him. He doesn’t think so.
If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?
You think I’ll say Jim Cornell, don’t you? I won’t. He tormented me, but I don’t have it in me to do that to anyone else. He’s experiencing torment at his own hands. Even now, he’s in pain. I don’t envy him his journey. His soul suffers for what he’s done. I pray he comes through it to peace and love quickly. You can’t rush soul growth, though. It’ll take however long it takes.
Would you rather be ugly and live forever or attractive and die in a year?
Nothing is ugly at the soul level and no one really dies.
If you could go to anyone (living or dead) for advice who would it be and what would you ask?
I’m a medium. I can do that. We all can, you know. Most often, I call on the angels for help and advice, particularly Archangel Michael.
Want to know more about Val Tobin? Continue reading her in depth interview...
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I learned to read. I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Anytime I wrote, I considered myself a writer, whether it was the technical articles I wrote for Community MX or general interest articles for Suite101, or whether I wrote in my journal. Writing makes you a writer. Publishing makes you an author.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The Experiencers was inspired by the sky watches we did with some people from the UFO group we belong to. I’ve always had an interest in that subject and have had some interesting experiences. I wanted to explore UFOs and the conspiracies that go along with them.
How did you come up with the title?
The term “experiencer” was originally coined by Dr. John Mack, who worked with people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. The term is controversial. Some consider it a euphemism that downplays the reality. Others say abductee is too harsh and that there are positives to the experience. The different characters in both The Experiencers and A Ring of Truth fall on one side of the debate or the other, depending on what has happened to them.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the incidents in The Valiant Chronicles are based on true events. Carolyn’s experience with the UFO in the school yard is based on a true event, as is her encounter with John in the spirit world, and Michael’s “dream” about Jessica. Injury is a complete fabrication.
What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
The books that have most impacted me are The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, Atlas Shrugged, A Wrinkle in Time, Gone with the Wind, anything by Margaret Atwood, and so many other books that I can’t begin to list them all. I consider author Alan Annand a mentor. Without him, this indie-publishing journey would have been much rougher. He’s an excellent writer, editor, astrologer, and all-round human being.
What book are you reading now?
High Noon by Nora Roberts, Betrayal by Sharon Brownlie, The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton, and Heaven Time by Lorri Brewer. I am not monogamous when it comes to reading.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rhoda D’Ettore, Tom Benson, Kayla Howarth, Nico Laeser, you (Melanie P. Smith), and many others I haven’t mentioned who I came across in the Indie Author Support and Discussion group. These authors’ books are on my TBR list. Samples I’ve read of their works show promise, and I can’t wait to dig in.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on my master’s thesis. It’s on the after-effects of near death experiences (NDEs). I’m also working on a fourth novel, Gillian’s Island. The one-sentence summary for it is this: A socially anxious divorcee confronts her greatest fears after she is forced to sell her island home and falls for the handsome and arrogant new owner.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favourite author is J. R. R. Tolkien. I love The Lord of the Rings. His prose is lyrical and poignant, his characters are fascinating, and the story has depth and meaning for me.
Who designed the covers?
The covers for all my novels were designed by Patti Roberts of Paradox Book Covers
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but one of my favourites as a preschooler was Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching
X-Files. The Bourne movies. The Lord of the Rings movies. Gone with the Wind. Friends. Frasier. Seinfeld.