Interview with Colleen A. Parkinson, Author of Beneath This Hallowed Ground

03 Jul 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Beneath This Hallowed Ground?

Okay… This is weird, but a musical composition entitled “Mother and Child” by the great composer William Grant Still inspired the main character, Quinn, whose mother had passed away. I then began to flesh out that character, a bullied teenager who can see and converse with the earth bound dead. Quinn was very close to his mother and longed to see her once more, but Quinn’s mother had never come to visit him after she died, which indicated to him she was at peace. He accepted that easily, but still missed her. What does that have to do with Still’s “Mother and Child”? One has to listen to it to feel the grief of separation and the longing for reunion. I put a link to that music on my author website for those interested in how it connects with Quinn. Now, for weird fact #2: The third day after I moved into my current home, my dog and I observed a fully defined shadow figure walk from my kitchen into my laundry room where it disappeared. My dog followed it cautiously until it vanished. The shadow figure seemed oblivious to our presence, and I assumed it was the spirit of the previous owner because I knew the man and the physical build of the figure matched. Since then, many shadow people have used my house as a shortcut to wherever they are going. Neighbors have reported seeing the same thing in their homes. Apparently, our subdivision sits upon some kind of portal. No problem. We are all used to these visits and view them as harmless as well as fascinating. So that is how I came up with Quinn’s storyline regarding his visits from the dead, some of whom are benign and some, like the antagonist Jake, are extremely troubled and volatile.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Beneath This Hallowed Ground, what would they be?

For Quinn: “Mother and Child”. For Jake: “A Storm is Coming”.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read multiple genres; Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Biographies, History, Dystopian, Horror, The Bible, among others. I enjoy writing Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Supernatural Suspense.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I have finished that pile. Will soon be looking for new reads.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The final scene.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I tend to get tunnel focus when I’m writing. I become so completely absorbed in my work that I block out all sounds and distractions save for the ringing of my phone. Hours fly by. Early afternoon becomes dawn, and the only thing that makes me aware of this is the pain in my back from sitting in front of my desktop too long. I once lost thirty pounds in one month because I was too involved with the narrative streaming on to my screen through my fingers that I lost my appetite for food. I have since learned to pull myself out of this tunnel focus thing to take better care of myself.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Let go of what I can’t control.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Love is the strongest force in the world.


Colleen A. Parkinson is the author of the new book Beneath This Hallowed Ground

Connect with Colleen A. Parkinson

Author Site


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