Author and medium Linda Pendleton and I have been friends since the late 1980s. We share many of the same interests, and first met at a public meeting place where Thomas Jacobson was channeling Dr. Peebles. Linda shares her wealth of knowledge on various topics in her books. Linda is also a mother and grandmother and an artist. Linda's books with Dr. Peebles on spiritual counseling and personal growth are very helpful. Her newest novel, "The Dawning," [The Unknown] is an exciting book that can be enjoyed by young teens and adults alike. In this interview Linda shares with us her life's journey: her background and skills and how they evolved, including how influential communicating with spirit has been in her life.
Nora: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
Linda: I’d say there has been more than one person but I will start with my father, John. I believe he instilled in me good values, encouraged my thirst for knowledge at a young age, and allowed me to express myself and engage in interesting discussions with him. He was an avid reader and that had an effect on my love of books. I’m sure I got my sense of humor from him, although sometimes I think my humor may be off the wall, and different from many others.
I recall great discussions with him about reincarnation at the age of ten, when the case of Bridie Murphy made newspaper headlines and became a best-selling book in 1952. Virginia Tighe, known as “Ruth Simmons,” in the book The Search for Bridie Murphy by Morey Bernstein, was a housewife from Pueblo, Colorado, who under hypnosis by Bernstein, told of a prior life in Ireland as Bridie Murphy, born in 1798. I was fascinated by the story and my father and I had some in depth discussions about it.
At some point later in the 1950s I remember with delight the Saturday afternoon discussion we had while watching an interview on television with best selling author Taylor Caldwell. She spoke of how she sat at the typewriter and her stories often came to her in what she called “automatic writing.” I believe that was the first time I had ever heard the idea that writing could come from beyond one’s self. I’d heard of the mythical Muses but never gave it much serious thought. Of course, the word inspiration means, in spirit, to breathe in. It would be many years later before I discovered for myself the true meaning of what Taylor Caldwell was referring to. And in Jess Stearn’s book about Caldwell, The Search for a Soul, she goes deeper into her writing experiences and how she had a “presence” with her when she wrote her novels.
My Dad enjoyed the Erich Von Daniken book, Chariots of the Gods, and his other books, and that led to our discussions on UFOs and extraterrestrial life. The famous Betty and Barney Hill abduction in 1961 was additional opportunity for our UFO discussions.
Daddy and I always had great discussions over the years, sometime very passionate ones which disturbed my mother, as she thought we were actually fighting because our voices might be raised! I loved our debates of different points of view over politics, religion, and other matters.
I believe he also taught me patience. He was a quiet man most of the time, sitting with a book in his hands, and often a man of few words. He was a thinker, not at all impulsive, and you might have to wait five minutes for the answer to your question, but his answer was most often thoughtful and wise. I learned patience and persistence from him when he taught me to fish. He was a good trout fisherman and always seemed to know the spot in the stream where the fish were, ready to hit your bait, and he taught me well.
He died in 1978 and I miss him to this day–miss those discussions–and am sad that he is not here to share in my accomplishments, my expanded interest in the paranormal, and spiritual discoveries I have made. Of course, I know he is with me, and does know what I am doing with my life since he went to the other side.
Nora: How lucky you were to have that openness and support for discussing spiritual topics with your own father. Did your mother also participate?
Linda: Yes, I was lucky to have had my father’s openness and willingness to discuss spiritual topics. My mother seldom joined our discussions as they were often too energetic for her. I do know when they were camping together in the mountains or deserts they would often sit outside evenings and watch the satellites move across the night sky and consider that UFOs might also be out there.
My Aunt Loretta, Willie, as my sister and I called her, had an impact on my life. I had a lot of admiration for her. She possessed an inner-strength, a good, positive outlook on life, lots of humor, and was kind, considerate, and lovable. Her life had not been easy. She had suffered pain, grief, disappointments, but was never discouraged by those events nor did she allow resentment to take root. She was born in 1896 and died in 1994 at the age of 97. And up to the last, her mind was bright and her sense of humor always there. One could say that Willie “rolled with the flow”– a whole century of change during her life, and she never appeared surprised or disappointed by the changes, always optimistic and joyful. I believe I looked to her as a role model for living life to the fullest.
For those who know me, it goes without saying the positive influence and impact that my late husband, Don Pendleton had on my life. [Don authored "The Executioner: Mack Bolan" series of books, mystery novels, as well as co-authoring books with Linda.] We met in January of 1983, and were married in October of 1985. Our love story is a beautiful one, and we would often say that we hoped everyone could find that deep love bond in their lives. We were lucky and so blessed to have discovered each other. It was love at first sight across a crowded room and we had an energy that flowed between us that was amazing. It also was scary as neither of us had experienced anything like it before. It was if we were standing naked and knew the other to the very soul. Sure re-enforced a belief in reincarnation!
Don’s love opened my own inner doorways, allowed walls that I had put up years before to dissolve away. He gave inspiration, the understanding to believe in myself, my femininity, talents, and gift. It was a time of awakening for me and I grew in ways I never believed possible. Don was a gifted writer, a world-renowned writer of fiction, and his words, even in his action/adventure novels or mysteries, held a subtle metaphysical flavor. Our mutual interests of the metaphysical, spiritual, and paranormal led us to write our book, To Dance With Angels, published in 1990, currently in its fourth edition. Not long ago I published the other nonfiction book we wrote together, Whispers From the Soul: the Divine Dance of Consciousness. He really was a teacher in so many ways, and his encouragement and inspiration enabled me to express myself through the written word.
Nora: I feel so blessed to have met Don....anyone who met him immediately felt his contagious energy, which was filled of love, acceptance, openness, honesty, intelligence, sensitivity, and he had a marvelous sense of humor. I can't think of Don, or get messages from him, without seeing him smiling and his eyes twinkling.
Linda: Thank you, Nora, for such loving comments about him. You can see why I fell in love with Don in that first instant! Seriously, he had a charisma that drew people to him. Don loved people, loved interacting with them, and loved life. I can honestly say that I did not learn anything new about Don in our thirteen years together that I did not already know in that first moment when our eyes, hearts, and souls, merged. Oh, yes, that smile and twinkle in his eyes! Love it!
Nora: Absolutely - he had lots of charisma!
Linda: I cannot move away from this question without mentioning psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kúbler-Ross. I had a lot of respect for her work and after having the opportunity to spend a few times with her personally, that admiration and respect only grew larger. She was feisty, determined, and dedicated to opening new doorways to healing and the understanding of life and death. I admired her guts, her humor, and even her outrageousness that often came out. A delightful woman.
And then there is Dr. James Martin Peebles, but I will talk about him later.
Nora: When did you know you would become a writer? Was it a process or something you always felt and knew?
Linda: I always wanted to write. I was one of those crazy kids who enjoyed doing research and writing term papers and book reports in elementary and high school! Later while taking junior college classes I also enjoyed writing those term papers.
During the mid-to-late 1960's when my children were young, I wrote a couple of children’s stories and sent them out to publishers. I was rejected, with the exception of one nonfiction proposal, and that editor told me he wanted to see the completed manuscript when done. I chickened out and never finished it!
Nora: As a young person, who was your favorite author? Did you get good grades in English?
Linda: You know, Nora, I can’t remember that far back to pick a favorite author! No one comes to mind but I read a lot. After getting a library card when young, my Mom would take my sister and me to the library every other Saturday. I would walk out of the library carrying as many books as they would allow me to check out. I loved reading about Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, the Alamo, George Washington Carver–things like that. There was a series of youth adventure books that I loved. I wish I could recall the author of those as they were excellent stories and I would have liked to share those with my kids and grand kids.
Nora: That is very interesting, Linda. I think writers have an ongoing, unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I spent each Saturday at the library checking out new books and writing my own stories and poetry whenever I could. I think reading helped us learn how to open up and dive into other realms and live what we were reading, therefore helping us become better writers and channels for spirit.
Linda: I agree, Nora. And yes, I received A’s in English but did not like grammar much, nor did I like my ninth grade English teacher–and she made it far from fun. I did like nouns and adjectives, but not adverbs, or those dangling things!! I never took any writing classes or even literature classes in high school.
My love for Abraham Lincoln is interesting. He was one of my heroes, and I had a fascination with his spiritual side. His interest in mediumship and things of that nature, only strengthened the bond I had always felt with him. In recent years, while doing family genealogy, I discovered we are related. We share a great-grandfather: his fifth great-grandfather is my ninth great-grandfather. [I joked with Linda that this means she's also related to Tom Hanks, but they have yet to meet to discuss that connection.]
My early interest in the Alamo also has a surprising twist. In 1986 Don and I visited the Alamo in San Antonio, TX. I was excited to be there but my visit was cut very short. I had been in the building only three or four minutes and I had to leave immediately. I apparently was “picking” up some sort of “memory” of the horrific events that had taken place and found myself feeling the terror, the confusion and chaos, that had taken place so long ago. In addition, Don felt it also to some degree. So we exited and sat out front on a bench and observed it from there, not able to return. It was disappointing.
Nora: Can you speak about how you realized you had psychic abilities and how did that work for you at the time? Were you open about it with others?
Linda: I can’t pinpoint it to any specific event when I was young but I often had a “knowing.” I’d very often go through that common thing of knowing when the phone was going to ring and who was calling. I was aware that I could tell when someone was lying. But at times I would then question my feeling and not end up trusting it like I should have. It seems that the psychic ability sort of evolved or enhanced and became more pronounced in my thirty’s. Although looking back to when I was fairly young, I believe I may have been communicating with spirit without really realizing it. I also thought as a kid that you had to be Catholic to have a guardian angel and I was not Catholic and felt left out!
In time, my premonitions had become more vivid. In 1972 my then father-in-law had cancer and I had to drive him to the hospital when his pain became bad. Sadly, I knew he would not come out of the hospital and he died ten days later. The morning of his death, we were about to leave for the hospital and I knew when he died. I glanced at my watch and told my husband that we had to go right then. His father was gone when we arrived at the hospital and had died at the precise time I thought. Now, you asked about being open about it with others. This was an example of my knowing he would not survive that I could not share with the family at the time.
In 1978, my Mom and Dad were visiting for a family reunion. I knew when they were about to leave that I would not see my Dad again. I tried to brush away the thought and tell myself that it was a crazy thought, that he was just fine. I did not tell anyone. He died two weeks later of a sudden massive heart attack. Four days before he died my Mom called me and while the telephone was ringing and before I picked up the phone, I “heard” her say, “Daddy died.” When I answered the phone, she sounded fine and happy. Four days later, I got that call, and this time she said in agony, “Daddy died.” I have always looked at the premonitions of his death as God’s way of trying to prepare me ahead of time. Not that I was prepared. I was devastated.
But now days, I am open with others about my ability and my communication with the other side. They either think I am crazy or understand it. I guess it boils down to, it is, what it is. Those who want to understand or believe do, those you do not, do not. And that is okay.
Nora: Was it a shared family trait, hereditary?
Linda: I think so. My sister seems to have psychic ability, as does my Mom. But my Mom is not comfortable with it at all, and tends to ignore the fact that she has had some psychic ability, mainly dreams and premonitions. She has also seen my father and her mother after their deaths. I think it scares her in some way rather than giving her complete comfort. I also believe that my nephew, my sister’s youngest son, was psychic to some degree. Sadly, he passed away very recently at the age of thirty-five after a courageous battle with pancreatic/liver cancer. His oldest daughter, who is thirteen, has already had some communication from him.
My oldest granddaughter, now seventeen, has some ability. She had a vivid upsetting dream about airplanes crashing into buildings, and resulting chaos, three nights before 9-11. The dream disturbed her so much that she told my daughter about it when she awoke that morning. I also believe my youngest grandson son is psychic, especially when he was younger. But as often happens, I think he may have lost some of that, or for now, it is more dormant. Time will tell. So my conclusion would be that yes, it is hereditary and seems to be so in our family. But I also believe that everyone has psychic ability, intuition, to some degree.
Nora: Who are your main spirit helpers/guides? How do they work with you?
Linda: Dr. Peebles, a.k.a. James Martin Peebles, has been my guide since first encountering him in 1987, via the trance mediumship of Thomas Jacobson. (Of course, he may have been one of my guides all along and I wasn’t aware of him). For those of you not familiar with Dr. Peebles, he is on the other side and is considered an excellent spirit teacher. James Martin Peebles was born in Vermont on March 23, 1822, and died in Los Angeles, CA on February 15, 1922. Dr. Peebles was a clergyman, physician, leading figure in the Spiritualists’ movement, world traveler and lecturer, prolific journalist and author of a number of books. He was also a medium, and was in communication with his “band of angels” from an early age. He has been in communication with the inhabitants of school earth since his death. He presently comes through several trance mediums and many others of us work with him in other ways, most often, clairaudiently.
Since shortly after my husband Don died, he has also been in communication with me. I consider him my Number One Angel, and he is with me for guidance and inspiration.
The two of them, Don and Dr. Peebles, are my main guides but I do know I also have had some connection with Elisabeth, a beautiful, loving soul. I have had contact with my Aunt Willie, although her communication is not extensive. I have also received a message from an extraterrestrial, and a confirmation of that message by a “fly-by” sighting. By the way, Don and Dr. Peebles are in communication on the other side and show up together at times.
My communication with Dr. Peebles is clairaudiently [clear hearing], often at the computer when I ask for contact with him. With Don, it can be through automatic writing with pen and paper, clairaudiently at the computer, and at times there are other ways in which Don communicates and/or gets my attention. If I intend to communicate with either of them, I say a prayer and ask for direct communication. Of course, at times I don’t have to ask, they just show up and make their presence known to me.
On a number of occasions, I have received messages from Don a few days before a terminally ill friend or family member dies–a message either for the dying person or for their loved one. And again, usually after their death, Don either brings them forward to give a message to me, or relays their message to me for family.
Nora: Can you explain a bit about your writing process and how they help you out?
Linda: I believe the first time Dr. Peebles helped me was when was writing the last chapter of a nonfiction book, and was having a little trouble wrapping it up. While I was at the keyboard writing, I heard his voice as clear as could be and I could hardly type fast enough. It surprised me that he was there with me as I had not consciously asked or even gave any thought that I could ask! The book is not published, but I can go back and look at those few paragraphs and his words jump off the page at me.
Dr. Peebles told me in 1987 that I would be channeling him. My thought at the time was, no way was I going to trance channel! It didn’t occur to me that the future channeling might take another form. I believe I do go into a light altered state when working with him.
Many times when I write, I am aware that Don is looking over my shoulder. I was working on a mystery, a private eye novel, once and had written a section of a chapter and got up from my desk to go into my kitchen when I heard Don say, “Now don’t give too much away.” It made me laugh and I went back to check what I had just written to see if I had given the mystery away! I really hadn’t given away too much but I was cautious to not do so as I continued my writing.
When I work extensively with Dr. Peebles as I did in my book, Three Principles of Angelic Wisdom, I communicate with him by asking a question and I type his answer. I do not edit him except for occasional punctuation. It normally goes very fast. It is like he is in the room with me and speaking out loud to me and I type what he is saying. I always have a warm, loving feeling when Dr. Peebles or Don are working with me.
I have a special bond with Dr. Peebles, not only in the spirit world but with his life on earth. I cover a lot of his earthly life in my book, Three Principles of Angelic Wisdom. My interest in his terrestrial life began for me while Don and I were writing To Dance With Angels. I wanted to know more about Dr. Peebles, as at that time we knew very little about his life. That began my extensive research on him. He told me several years ago through the mediumship of Thomas Jacobson that we had known each other during his lifetime on earth.
Dr. Peebles’ spiritual psychology and his three principles have always resonated so well with me. His teachings are not esoteric, but down-to-earth and apply to everyday life. His three principles are:
1. Loving Allowance for all things to be in their own time and place, beginning with yourself.
2. Increased Communication with all of life everywhere, and with respect.
3. Self Responsibility, for you are the eternal creator, never the victim.
I often suggest to people to put these principles to work for thirty days, and to think of them as a “spiritual enriching diet,” and see if not their very soul and heart feels fuller, more nourished, more complete. By the end of thirty days, the principles should have become a natural part of every day thinking, actions, and reactions.
Nora: What has working with the spirit world meant for you in your daily life?
Linda: I’m still awed by it happening. I believe it has given me a much greater understanding of life and death, which for me personally has made grief easier. I had mentioned earlier that I was devastated by my father’s death twenty six years ago, but when Don died nine years ago, I would not use the word, “devastated,” nor would I say that about any recent losses. I am also heart-warmed to know that I can share my experiences with others. It is exciting for me to be able to share paranormal and spiritual experiences and I always look forward to sharing in the experiences of others who have been lucky enough to be touched by spirit in some way. I know now, without a doubt, that consciousness and love lives on after the shedding of the physical body. I now understand that loss is but a stepping stone on the soul’s journey and an opportunity for new understanding.
Nora: Can you share a funny story about how one of your guides helped you at a very odd moment?
Linda: One story that comes to mind was in about 1988. It was after Don and I had finished the manuscript of To Dance With Angels. I had gone out one afternoon to the beauty salon for an appointment about ten miles from home. I told Don when I left I would be home before four o’clock. By the time I left the beauty shop I was running a little late. I was driving near Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut, CA, and I heard the words, “Go to the book store.” I remember thinking, “The book store, a used book store across from the college, I don’t have time now to stop, I’m running late and don’t want to worry Don.” As I continued to drive, the thought was more persistent and as I approached the area of the bookstore I found myself making a left turn into the small shopping center where the bookstore was located. I had not been in the store for about nine months. I chuckled to myself as I got out of my car, wondering why I was there. Before I opened the door and went in, I thought maybe I’m here to find some of Don’s out of print books. I looked around the shelves and did not find any.
I was about to leave and the owner was just finishing up with a customer. The customer moved out of the store in front of me, and as I was about to go out the door the owner asked, “Can I help you?” I replied, “No, thank you,” and then for some reason added, “You were doing a book search for me several months ago and I never heard from you.” She looked up a card she had on me, and told me, “Oh, you were looking for books by J. M. Peebles. I found one in upstate New York but the price was so high that I decided not to call you about it. I was sure you wouldn’t be interested.” Not interested!! I said, “Yes, I am interested!” So she gave me the name and number of the man, who happened to be a Quaker book collector. As soon as I returned home, I called the man and Dr. Peebles’ book was on the way to me the next day. Thanks, Dr. Peebles!
Nora: If you could pick just one, which one of your own books is your favorite?
Linda: That’s a hard question, as I love each and every one! LOL. I’m very proud of Three Principles of Angelic Wisdom for several reasons. I never thought we, or I, could do a follow up book to To Dance With Angels and do it justice, as we were so pleased with that book and the response to it. For a long time I wanted to do a book on Dr. Peebles’ principles and the illusion of separation. In To Dance, we did not go deeply into the principles, and I also wanted to share his terrestrial life with others. When I first decided to go ahead with the book, I had spoken to my good friend, Athena Demetrios who trance channels Dr. Peebles, and she agreed to work with me on the book but our timing of getting together for the project never seemed to work out. She encouraged me to write it and channel him myself, and I was aware that Dr. Peebles also wanted me to do that. I really enjoyed working directly with Dr. Peebles on the book, and I loved writing of the parallels of his spiritual teachings of his life on earth and his life now on the other side.
Nora: You’ve had some experiences witnessing UFOs/ET crafts and ETs. What kind of physical or psychic sensation did you experience at that time?
Linda: I’ve had two rather dramatic sightings of UFOs which I’ve written articles about on my website. I’m not sure that I would classify the sightings or sensations as psychic, although I do wonder if at times the sightings are at some psychic level. For instance, there have been sightings of UFOs when only a small number of a group have seen the craft and that seems to open the possibility that sometimes it may be a psychic experience and unless tuned in, or open, one may not experience it.
Nora: I think it may have to do with the ability to see into other dimensions because some people can see what others do not while looking at the same spot. Whether it's an inner or outer vision is something to think about, though.
Linda: On both occasions I have been in awe, and amazed, but not with any fear. In fact, on my last sighting of amber orbs over my home in Sedona, I was excited as I did have the distinct feeling that it was a confirmation of a message I had channeled for The Dawning novel.
I’ve not had any abduction experience that I know of, nor do I want one. So I have never seen an extraterrestrial being or beings, and I believe I would like to keep it that way. I have said they can fly over anytime they would like, but they are not to come into my house or take me out!
Nora: Extraterrestrials play an important role in your novel, The Dawning. How likely do you think it is that one day we will have actual open contact and communication with extraterrestrials?
Linda: I believe it is very likely. Actually, it is already taking place for many around the world. I have believed for many years that our United States government has covered up and kept from us a lot of what they know about extraterrestrials. I was young girl of nine or ten when I recognized my “knowing” that we are not alone, have never been, and how egotistical it is to think otherwise.
I think the day will come in the not too distant future when the extraterrestrials will make their presence known in such a way that there will be no denying their existence. And I do hope that times comes before we destroy our planet earth.
I prefer to hold on to the belief that the extraterrestrials are benevolent and that those people being abducted actually have a “soul contract,” or soul permission granted, to be used by the extraterrestrials. It appears that abduction most often occurs at an early age and then is repeated periodically throughout life. It now seems fairly obvious from the research being done that those abducted have a resulting new spiritual understanding.
Nora: I'm in complete agreement with what you've said, Linda.
Linda: It is so sad that Harvard Professor and Psychiatrist John E. Mack was recently killed (of all things, by a drunk driver while he was crossing the street in London) when his important and ground-breaking work these last few years was adding so much to the understanding of the UFO/ET phenomena. But I know there are other credible professionals in the field and I’m sure new ones will be joining as time goes on.
Obviously we still have a lot to learn about our existence here on school earth. Progress is being made in that direction, but for some of us, the answers do seem slow in coming.
Nora: What message would you give to a parent who notices his or her child has some psychic abilities?
Linda: Children are naturally psychic and what seems to happen is that those tendencies are squelched by outside social influences by the age of five or six. We all are psychic to some degree or another and for some, it becomes more expanded or refined.
I personally believe that the greatest disservice a parent can do to a child who exhibits and shares some psychic ability is to make fun of, criticize, or ignore it. A parent should listen, be opened minded, even encourage the child to share with them any and all of their paranormal experiences or remembrance of a past life. What may be within the norm of a child’s thinking, should not be turned into fear or guilt. They should be told that it is not that unusual and that many children and adults know things before they happen, and even are able to see things on or from the other side, such as loved ones. And avoid using the word, ghost!
Linda: Don and I wrote about a woman and her two-year-old grandson in our book, Whispers From the Soul. We had met the newly widowed woman and she shared with us that she often felt the presence of her late husband in her home. She had tended to chalk it up to her own imagination until one day her daughter, who lived in a distant city, telephoned to chat, and told her in the course of the conversation that her two year-old-grandson had been quietly playing in his bedroom and when he came out and joined his mother, she asked him what had he been doing. He replied that he had been “playing with Papa” (the deceased grandfather). Moments later, when the boy returned to his bedroom with his mother, he was very surprised and puzzled to find that Papa was no longer there. The grandmother now finds comfort and tranquility from her own encounters with “Papa,” accepting them as natural and healing.
If a young child or teenager happens to have a premonition of death that occurs, it is very important that they be reassured that they had nothing to do with the death, did not cause it, nor did anything wrong in not giving a warning of some kind.
It is good to be able to trust in our inner-voice, our intuition, and to listen to the whispers, and sometimes shouts, as it can often be life saving. Our spirit guides are with us for a reason, and it is beautiful when we recognize them and can call on them for guidance and comfort.
Nora: What is the subject of your next book? Will it contain any spiritual tones?
Linda: I am currently working on a novel set in Iowa during the Civil War Period. The story is loosely based on the actual letters of my great-great grandfather to his wife at home on their Iowa farm. While doing family genealogy, I came across his letters in a book put together by his great grandson. I knew nothing about my great-great grandfather other than a name and a Civil War record as a Union soldier from Iowa. When I received the book, which had three pictures of him, I cried and for more than an hour I read through my tears. I felt such a connection to him and it gave me the strong feeling that I had actually known him in his lifetime.
My story will have only a touch of spiritual tones as far as I know at this point. Of course, I never know what my characters might decide to do!
Nora: Hahaha, I understand. Sounds like it will be a very interesting novel.
Thank you so much, Linda, for this very intimate and unique look into your life and perspectives. I hope readers will visit your web sites and learn more about you and the important books that you and Don have written. You and your books are a tremendous contribution not just to the spiritual community but to all people.
No part of this article may be copied or reproduced without written permission.
© 2004 by Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani (for her personal contributions)
© 2004 by Linda Pendleton (for her personal contributions)
A Warm Interview With Author Linda Pendleton
By Estelle Nora Harwit Amrani and Linda Pendleton