Two of the first bloggers I started following in March 2009 when I finally felt good enough to get off the couch and try to get going again were Sharon Day, a.k.a. Autumnforest, of Ghost Hunting Theories and Julie Ferguson, a.k.a. Adsila, of Above the Norm.
I still follow them these days, even though they might not know it. (I don’t comment like I once did. Not because their content doesn’t merit it, mind you. Far from it. I don’t possess the lightning fast fingers like Sharon does to keep up with my three blogs plus comment on everyone else’s.)
But I do love them. They’re always up to some kind of mischief or adventure –usually together. I thought it’d be fun to do a tag team interview with the both of them. I asked them each the same questions. Here’s the first part of that interview.
Haunt Jaunts: Let’s do a bit of introduction for any who might not know you. (Which would be hard to imagine as you both have some of the most popular blogs around.) You both maintain your own blogs, but you live in the same state in cities not far from each other. It was because of your blogs that you met, and are now friends and travel buddies offline as well as on, right?
Sharon Day: I was born and raised in what was once a Civil War Hospital in Northern Virginia. The home was very active with phenomena and I was very comfortable around the unexpected. I am also psychic and was able to develop the skill as I touched objects and got lots of information about past owners. I started hunting as an adult in search of answers for the unexplained. I also started a blog, Ghost Hunting Theories, and got an active conversation going with the paranormal community about phenomena. I met Julie online through our blogs. We realized we lived across town from each other, so I invited her on a hunt. We have been on the road nonstop since exploring abandoned sites, going to historic locations, and doing ghost hunts. We have even written a book about the experiences.
Julie Ferguson: It was in January of 2010 when we finally met in person at the Pioneer Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ. I expressed interest in going on a ghost hunt with Sharon in several emails we sent throughout 2009. A workshop came up at the cemetery and she asked if I would be interested in attending it. I decided to go for it because I wanted to meet Sharon and learn some tips about ghost hunting. The moment I saw her pull up next to my car in the parking lot with Dale the Doll in the seat next to her, I knew we were going to be good friends. At the time, I had no idea all the exciting stuff we would be doing after that night.
HJ: You both write and have published books individually, but also work on projects together. How did that come about? And how do you divide up who contributes what?
SD: Our first book was on Kindle and Nook, “Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)” We went to 12 abandoned locations in the desert, a wide variety of buildings, and Julie photographed them extensively and I did a psychic read on an object in the building to bring together photos of how the place looks now and a story from its past brought to life. For this book, Julie did photography and helped with editing and I wrote the psychic reads.
My next book was “Was That a Ghost?” on Kindle and Nook. This is my philosophy and the way I handle counseling and helping people figure out if they encountered the paranormal and then what to do with that knowledge after.
My third book was “Josiah: Undead Cowboy” which was a fun novella western horror story about an undead cowboy, a ghost town, and some vampires inside the closed down mine.
Julie and I have an editor pitching our next book “Kickin’ Up Dust! (Getting Lost To Find Ourselves)” It’s a book about the year and a half since we met, how we went from Julie being out of work, about to go bankrupt and lose her house and me in a dying marriage wanting to leave, and both of us wishing to find ourselves in middle age. We hit the road to explore Arizona, ghost hunt, and enjoy urban exploration and each trip we made major changes in our lives when we got home and reached our goals together. We explored the state, the unknown, and as a result, we were forever changed. The book has narration from “our” point of view and then Julie what she was going through at each location in AZ we visited and I write my point of view too. You get inside both our heads and learn what our goal was going on the trip, and all the actual results when we were done, which are a huge list of goal achievements and new projects.
We also have a book at the publishers called “Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse.” It’s a light-hearted picture and info book about two 1950s housewives after the apocalypse in their bombed out homes, still going about their idyllic housewife existence in the zombie state. It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek commentary on 1950s zombie-like housewives and also today’s housewife shows. We had a blast doing the makeup and shoots for the book. It also includes their zombie tips as housewives.
We will next get to work on “Spirit Vessels: Why Some Buildings Are Haunted” which will talk about common features in haunted sites and what we can conclude about what sites might become haunted and how likely we are to run into phenomena in a particular location.
I also have book coming out on Amazon and Nook on October 1 called “Don’t Go There! A Flash Horror Anthology” filled with a large collection of horror short stories.
JF: Our first book idea was called “Hug-a-blogger”. We came up with this idea after a couple of fun road trips and meeting another blogger. We had this idea to travel to several states and meet some of the bloggers we followed who had interesting blogs. We would give them a hug and follow along with whatever activity they wrote about on their blogs. We were going to do videos, take tons of pictures all while tweeting and logging our daily activities. The problem was we didn’t have the funds to take on this big of a project.
Our next idea was the “Abandoned Places, Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)” book. I got back into my love of photography by taking pictures of abandoned places. We took mini trips to several small towns around the state. I would take pictures and Sharon would touch objects and be able to get a glimpse of history or a story of each place. The book was born out of these trips. I took all the pictures and she did the readings and wrote the stories. It was the perfect combination. On January 2011, we published our first book on Amazon and Barns and Noble. It was very exciting.
HJ: What has been your favorite project to work on together and/or trip you’ve taken together?
SD: I really enjoyed the abandoned project because we explored so many abandoned sites and being able to take my psychic reads and put them into story form was cathartic as far as being able to share what psychic visions are like. The best trip–Ghost hunt at Birdcage Theater in Tombstone! It was one of our big goals.
JF: I have loved all the trips we have been on. Each one has been an adventure. One of my favorites was the trip which started at Vulture Mine and ended with a night at a haunted hotel in Prescott, AZ. Vulture Mine has a great history and many of its buildings still intact but abandoned. After we spent time there we hit a couple of old west cemeteries on our way to Prescott. The next day before leaving, it was snowing. Coming from Phoenix, seeing snow is a rarity for us. We did end up seeing more snow four months later while in Sedona, AZ. I have to say our latest book, “Kickin’ Up Dust” has been my favorite project we worked on together. We both contributed photos and wrote in our own words what we felt on each trip. We also added what was going on in our personal lives at the time of each trip.
Next week I’ll post the second half of their interview, in which they talk more about working together, some of their favorite things about Arizona, and what’s next on their agendas.
BOOKS BY SHARON DAY AND JULIE FERGUSON
Below are the titles they have published together as well as individually.