Turning the Table by Bekah June
Lifting the veil on the Victorian Era’s paranormal history is Bekah June with the nonfiction book, Turning The Table. In this Tuesday Treat Q&A, Bekah June discusses the challenges of nonfiction, inspiration, comparisons to modern-day obsessions, and more.
What can readers expect when they pick up a copy of Turning the Table?
Turning the Table is a nonfiction primer that gives readers a glimpse of paranormal history during the Victorian Era. It is a book for the reluctant reader, the type of nonfiction book you can pick up and not feel guilty about. Most people are very busy these days, so my book is aimed
How do you describe yourself and what you do?
I am free spirit who takes herself too seriously. I am an over-thinker, which works well when you are a bit of a research addict. I love history. It has been a long-driven passion since I was a child, but then I’ve always been a bit eclectic and odd.
First and foremost, I am a writer. I work as a writer full-time, mostly freelance work, but I do spend a great deal of time conducting research and making notes. Nonfiction books require a lot of research. I am working on my next two books: the follow-up to Turning the Table, and my first solo fiction novel, which will continue with the paranormal themes that many have come to associate with me. The follow-up has been a long time coming and will be much longer in length. It focuses on the various mediums who played a big part in the Spiritualist Movement.
What got you interested in writing stories?
I have always loved to read. Reading inspired me to create my own stories. I would read anything I could manage to get my hands on as a child. I think if you asked anyone who knew me growing up, they’d say that I always had my nose buried deep within the confines of a book. Much to the chagrin of many Literature and English teachers, I would devour books long before the rest of my class. I would write short stories or just general research notes—I have a bit of an obsession with journals, and I still write many of my notes by hand.
What was the greatest challenge you overcame in writing Turning the Table?
Compiling the research was the biggest challenge because I was combing through over 10 years of personal research and notes from lectures I had given at various events and conferences. The next part was to figure out the best parts to fit into such a small book.
What inspired the book and you wanting to into the Victorian supernatural obsession?
The Victorian Era, for me, is one of the single most fascinating periods of our history and in world history. When you have stories of Jack the Ripper, Bedlam, Burke and Hare, and even more commonly known history of our own Civil War, to name just a few, it sucks you into a deep rabbit hole of historical moments that so many do not even know about. I love the weirder macabre history, in general. The Victorian Era is definitely a time when the macabre ran rampant.
How you do feel the obsession for the supernatural is both similar and different from the Victorian era?
We saw a resurgence of paranormal obsession in the 1970s, when parapsychology was established within the academic circles. Jack and Lorraine Warren were at their height within the paranormal and demonological communities. We also saw much of what was occurring like the Amityville Horror become reflected in books and movies. Hollywood was a great reflection of the rise of paranormal interest with films like Hell House and The Exorcist.
I think we’ve seen a resurgence of that within the last twenty years through television shows focused on Paranormal Investigations and even in films such as Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring, which was based on one of the Warren’s cases.
I think we have an obsession with it now in a different way. In the Victorian Era, it was more than just a novelty. It was a spiritual movement for many. There are certainly several parallels between the Victorian Era, the 1970s, and today. I think they each hold their own unique fascination with the mysteries of life after death.
What are some of the biggest takeaways you wish readers would learn from the book?
That history can be weird, macabre, gross, violent, and fun. I love history. I wish more people were
Where are some of your favorite spooky places in Oklahoma?
We have some wonderful ghost tours in Downtown Oklahoma City and on the OU Campus in Norman. My friend Jeff Provine is responsible for those tours. He’s a wonderful storyteller, and his books are very informative when it comes to Oklahoma-based hauntings. The city of Guthrie, while quaint and fun to visit, is haunted and has a great tour. I highly recommend them all.
Anything else you want to say or let people know?
Support your local authors, artists, musicians, and stores. Your local community is important.
My next two books will be released later this year, but the exact time frame has yet to be announced. My current book Turning the Table: A Look at the Victorian Supernatural Obsession is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can follow me on Social Media—Facebook and Instagram. If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma City, you can stop by Dig It in the Plaza District to get a copy of my book in person.