Thursday, May 26, 2011

SUPERNATURAL FRIDAY: Interview with Lewis Powell, Owner of Southern Spirit Guide Blog

Today, I interviewing Lewis Powell. He blogs at Southern Spirit Guide about nonfiction ghost books and the blog is very good.

1.) -Please tell us why you started blogging about nonfiction ghost books?

My blog really covers Southern ghosts in all aspects. The entry I wrote on ghost books was an inventory of my personal library. In covering ghosts, I think it’s important to examine the sources in addition to the stories themselves. I was reorganizing my library and decided to post an inventory of my books. This is just the beginning of my attempt to create a comprehenxive library on Southern ghosts. But it also serves as evidence of one issue I see in this area. The issue is that some places, parts of Virginia for example, are very well covered in the literature while other places, most of Mississippi as another example, are very poorly covered.

2.) – Have you always read books on the paranormal?

As a kid, I heard ghost stories from adults, friends and around the campfire at Boy Scout campouts and was mesmerized. Coming from a household where I was surrounded by books, it’s only natural that I would create my own library. I got my first ghost book around 3rd or 4th grade and I’ve been acquiring them ever since.

3.) – Among your own books, have you a favorite book?

I really can’t say I have one particular book that I really consider a favourite, but there are several books and authors that have inspired me recently. Two marvelous writers have really inspired me: David Domine and Craig McManus. David Domine is the author of a series of three books on the Old Louisville neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only are his books wonderfully written and researched, but they are very readable. Craig McManus’ series of four books on Cape May, New Jersey are just as well written and researched, but, as a psychic, McManus provides his own insights into each case.

Very recently, I read Barbara Sillery’s The Haunting of Mississippi, not only was I happy to see a good book about this poorly covered state, the book provided wonderful insights into both the dead and the living.

4.) – Which author got you into reading these books?

An author in my library dedicated her book to Kathryn Tucker Windham with the statement, “Miss Windham, it’s all your fault.” Kathryn Tucker Windham, one of the early authors on Southern ghosts has had a huge influence on me as well. Her 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey was one of the first books in my library and I have loved it ever since. I paid homage to her in my first blog entry by covering a location that she covered: the Ezekiel Harris House in Augusta, GA.

5.) - Have you ever thought about writing your own book on the subject?

Writing a book about ghosts has been a dream of mine since high school. A few years ago, I started work on a book about Columbus, Georgia (I was living there at the time and the city is lacking a book on its ghosts) and that was still on my mind when I started this blog. I edited and co-wrote a book on the historic and haunted Springer Opera House in 2006 and discovered that I really enjoyed writing. I decided to use the blog as a way of networking with other paranormal researchers and writers but also to build my name within the paranormal community.

Recently, I was contacted by a publisher who would like me to write for them. I’ve seriously thought about it and still want to do it, but issues in my personal life have conspired to keep me from writing a book until they clear up. So, it will likely be something that will happen in the near future.

6.) - Besides these kinds of books, do you read anything else?

Most of my life, I’ve been a voracious reader and bibliophile. My tastes range from history to poetry and include a good deal of dramatic literature, the occasional novel but also books on art, the natural world, politics and Eastern religions.

7.) – Have you ever thought about joining a paranormal investigation group?

I’ve certainly considered joining a group, but I have not found any local groups that are what I’m looking for. Ideally, I’d like to find a group that has a good deal of knowledge and experience, though many of the groups I’ve encountered don’t seem to fit that bill.

8.) – What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

So far, I’ve encountered some really delightful people, some of whom have shared their experiences. Having a blog on the paranormal can open up the subject in conversations and I have heard stories from people I would have normally tagged as skeptics. Perhaps the most interesting story came from a former boss whose late son, whom I knew, had appeared to a family friend. It forever amazes me how deeply some ghost stories can affect people.

9.) - Where do your ideas for blogging come from?

My initial ideas for this blog came from seeing a lack of good writing and research on the paranormal in general. When it came to narrowing that down to a more narrow blog topic, I figured my own Southern roots gave me some expertise about the American South.

As for deciding what to cover, I leave that to fate. Sometimes, I’ll be influenced by a news article or something I’ve read somewhere. In other cases, I maysee a lack of coverage on a specific topic and I’ll work to amend that.

10.) - Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)

I’m a Georgia native and my roots in this state date to the late 18th century. Most of my family arrived in the New World via Virginia and settled throughout the South migrating to Georgia later. I grew up here in LaGrange leaving to attend Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia just after high school. Initially, I majored in music and voice but switched to theatre part way through and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. While in school, I worked as an assistant in the university archives and dealt with researchers while doing research as well.

Sticking around in Columbus after school, I helped found the Chattahoochee Shakespeare Company and worked by day in corporate America. After corporate America laid me off at the height of the Great Recession, I was forced to return home and started the Southern Spirit Guide blog as an escape from the ennui and rigors of job hunting. At the moment, I’m trying to survive as a professional actor and trying to find other ways to capitalize on my talents.

When I’m not doing theatre or blogging, I spend time singing with a few local musical groups. I also enjoy travelling, birding and drinking fattening coffee drinks at Starbucks.

11.) - Tell where people can find your blog?

Southern Spirit Guide can be found at


Lewis Powell, IV said...

Thanks again for the interview!

Pamela K. Kinney said...

You're welcome, Lewis. Sorry about how far down the interview was from the picture, but that's blogger for you!

Courtney Mroch said...

What a fun interview, Lewis and Pamela! It was neat to see this other side of Lewis and learn a bit more about him and why he does what he does and how he got into it. Very neat!

Pamela K. Kinney said...

I get interviewe3d on many blogs as an author, but thought be fun to hear why someone's blogs about the subject they do. Everybopdy has a story. :) Thanks for dropping by, Courtney.

Anonymous said...

If this posts twice, I apologize! My ghost books are centered in Colorado and the West, I'm excited to know there is a blog out there about ghost books. Now I can maybe expand my library.

Anonymous said...

It is very helpful!