I absolutely love books that involve “past lives.” When I saw some of the amazing reviews for Piper, Once & Again I was intrigued at the interesting twist and captured by the emotional journey. I was also captivated by the snippets I found out about the author, Caroline E Zani, and had to find out more about the woman behind the book as well as the woman IN the book!
Melanie Rockett: On your website you call yourself an “intuitive medium.” Since your background seems to be strongly tied to your book I’d love to know a bit more about your background and what it is you do for a living.
Caroline E Zani: I never really like the word psychic because of the stigma of the old woman with the black cat and crystal ball. So I guess I just prefer the word intuitive to psychic. I’m often asked if I’m a witch. Depending on my mood I usually answer with , “Only when my husband tracks mud across the kitchen floor.” There was a time when I used to get upset about the question but realize it’s just ignorance on the part of the inquirer. Wicca is a religion and I do not practice a religion. I grew up Catholic and was never exposed to anything but that so when it became clear that my path was that of a medium I was actually quite scared. I didn’t know what that meant for me or how I could blend the two worlds. I call my business Bridging The Gap for that reason – everything I grew up with and everything I’ve learned since.
People often ask if I was psychic as a child. All children are, all adults too. It’s just that our society and many religions are not accepting of that so most people call their intuition coincidence or luck and they never really learn to develop the skills. I think it’s more comfortable for them to believe in coincidence. Part of what I do is show people the power of their own god given intuition. Some come to me for a psychic reading about what’s going on in their lives and what the future holds, others come for a medium session where I deliver messages from their loved ones in Spirit. I really have thought about having a sign in my office that reads: Don’t Shoot the Messenger!
I also teach intuition development, card reading and vision board classes which dispel a lot of the common beliefs about this work. I hold a Master’s Degree in Education and taught middle school for 18 years so I feel that gives me some credibility. I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m allergic to cats which most people find funny.
What I find most interesting about all of this is that when I wrote Piper, Once and Again in 2008 I hadn’t yet discovered ( or uncovered ) my gifts yet. I had a traumatic life-altering event that split me wide open about a year after finishing the book. It was then that I realized the book was given to me to write and it was also my responsibility to find it a home in the publishing world so that others can be given hope through its messages.
Melanie Rockett: Piper, Once & Again is your first novel. Can you tell us how you came to write it?
Caroline E Zani: Well, it all started at a pocketbook party in 2008. I begrudgingly dragged myself to the party intending only to purchase the least expensive wristlet, have a glass of wine and leave. When I arrived I was told there was a psychic in the den and for $30 I could get a reading. Being Catholic and not believing in any of that at the time I said, “No thanks.” When I was about to make my escape a woman approached and asked if I was writing a book. I told her no but I’ve always wanted to. She insisted that she saw me writing a book and that it was being given to me to write. She also said that it would be important because there was a message for others in it and people needed it. “It will change your life and will catapult you to where you are supposed to be.” It was then that I realized she was the card reader from the den. I was taken aback because she looked so normal. I laugh at that now all these years later because people say that to me now. She gave me her business card and I thought that I would never be contacting her and I left. I went home that night and was determined to prove that woman wrong because I was NOT writing a book. I opened a blank Word document and boom! It was all there in my mind. Names, faces, scents, dates, places – all of it was there and seemingly waiting for me. I typed and typed and typed until I couldn’t see straight. The next night I sat down and continued because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It was an experience like no other and I realized that woman at the party was right. For 76 consecutive evenings I sat and wrote what was there, what was being shown to me. On the last evening when I finished the book I cried, sobbed actually. It was like saying good-bye to a good friend.
Melanie Rockett: What is the premise of Piper, Once & Again?
Caroline E Zani: Piper is a somewhat “normal” modern 21st century woman striving to get ahead in the business world, find a decent man and have a good relationship but she lacks patience. She also lacks empathy and is a bit self-centered. She has lessons to learn as we all do. What she doesn’t know is that there is a piece of her missing. That is, her ability to connect with her own intuition. Her god fearing parents were quite disturbed by her “imaginary” friend and went to great lengths to stop their conversations. Piper has to go through some very difficult losses and lessons before she is truly open to following the path that she came here to walk. If only those phantom scents of lavender and burnt raisins made sense to her, she might have had some insight into what she needed to pay attention to.
Piper is also a wife and mother in 19th century southern France who left the world with some great accomplishments under her belt but also some deep heartache.
Melanie Rockett: Many first time writers struggle with the mechanics of writing and with the challenge of getting their thoughts and emotions down onto paper. Since distilling emotions and articulating the unspoken are among your daily tools, did you struggle to write? What was your process? Did you write daily or only when inspired?
Caroline E Zani: It’s so funny because I think that if I researched the publishing process and the ideas of agents and publishers and the chances of actually getting a contract with either one, I probably would not have even attempted to write. I think that would have seemed insurmountable. Luckily, Spirit had my back! I was guided in a fun sort of way, almost a challenge in a sense. The woman at the party intrigued me and piqued my interest and that got me to sit at the computer. Honestly the words just came flowing through me as odd as that sounds. There was very little rewriting but a LOT of editing. It’s funny how many errors your tired eyes do not pick up on. I have to say the struggle was with what I needed to do next (find an agent and publisher ) not with the writing itself. I did write nightly, with one glass of wine at hand. I truly couldn’t wait to see what happened each night as I had no idea until I sat down.
Melanie Rockett: You have received numerous RAVE reviews from some very significant sources. I for one am hoping that you will continue writing novels along the same lines as Piper? Do you have plans for more books? Fiction or Nonfiction?
Caroline E Zani: Thank-you, I was quite surprised and very happy with the reviews. My publisher Nancy Cleary is my biggest cheerleader and told me not to expect much from the industry insiders, that they can be brutal. She and I were quite ecstatic to read what was written about my debut novel.
I hadn’t planned on a sequel to Piper but many people have said they are eagerly awaiting a follow up. I have an idea where that story will take me now that I am actually doing the intuitive work and understand it so much better now. I plan to continue with Piper between lives and see how she fares giving messages, rather than receiving them.
Many people think that the story behind the story is equally interesting and I have to say I do too. My life has changed so much that it’s barely recognizable from before my trauma. I can honestly say that sometimes we do get to see why things happen to us and that there is a silver lining. So yes, a nonfiction work is definitely on the horizon though I sometimes say my life, in book form, would probably have to be marketed as fiction. (Laughing!)
Intrigued about Piper, Once & Again? Here’s a short teaser!
Intrigued about the AUTHOR of Piper, Once & Again?
Here’s how to find out more about Caroline E Zani and keep in touch:
Caroline’s Website: http://www.carolinezani.com