Let's give Bernadette a warm Diva welcome. She has cruised by today to talk about what we love to read, paranormal romance.
Witches and Faeries and Demons--Oh My!
Last week when an acquaintance asked me what I was writing, I mumbled, “a paranormal romance.”
“What’s a paranormal?” he asked.
“It’s, uh, about witches.”
He was very nice and said, “how interesting,” but I was a little embarrassed. After all, writing about witches sounds, well, juvenile. However, my Devlin Legacy books are anything but. They deal with infertility, infidelity and the sometimes strained relationship between mothers and daughters -- with a little witchcraft thrown in for good measure.
I found that working within the paranormal space allows me deal with”real life” issues in a way that avoids a “Lifetime movie” feel. I think a book about infertility to me would be too heavy, and frankly I thinks it’s been done to death. However, in a paranormal I was able to use a woman’s burning desire for a child as the catalyst for her to make a deal with a devil-like creature.
I think its important when writing paranormal to ground your characters in ordinary experiences. If your characters are constantly running from dangers or casting spells, they can feel like cardboard characters rather than living breathing people. Charlaine Harris does this so well in the Sookie Stackhouse - True Blood books. Yes, Sookie spends her time running from or sleeping with sexy vamps, but in every book she deals with experiences that we can all relate to: shopping for a new dress, running short of money before pay day, sunbathing. These types of normal activities serve two purposes. First they allow for a “rest” in between the more suspenseful vamp action, but more importantly they help frame a relatable world.
In my first Devlin Legacy book I really winged the paranormal element. I described the characteristics of my primary paranormal character -- he can take the form of animals, he is can visit people in dreams and take over their bodies -- but I never really identify what he is, although since the book is set in Ireland I infer that he might be some type of fae. Because I was essentially making up my own paranormal entity I didn’t need to conform to any of the reader’s pre-existing notions, as I would for example if I was writing about a vampire. That provided me with enormous freedom.
However in Book Two I will be dealt more with the witchcraft aspect of my heroine. One downside to paranormal being so popular right now is that readers know at least the basics of the popular paranormal species: witches, vampires, weres. Since I don’t want to make the kind of mistake that will take readers out of my story, I researched witchcraft on the web and I even attended the New York Witch Festival in Smithtown, Long Island.
So far I’ve enjoyed my time in paranormal land and I think I’ll stay for a while.
I have always been a bookworm and had always meant to write a novel “someday.” You know, when I won the lottery and could live in beach house and look out onto the water and feel inspired. Four years ago I decided to stop waiting for my winning lottery ticket and sat down and started writing. In between work and family obligations, I piled the words on top of each other until they formed sentences, paragraphs, chapters and eventually a book. My first novel, a contemporary romance, Gold Coast Wives, was published in November 2011 by Lyrical Press and my second, The House on Prospect, was released in January, 2012 by Echelon Press. The first book of my paranormal trilogy, Devil’s Mountain -- Book One of the Devlin Legacy, will be released June 18, 2012 by Lyrical Press. Books Two and Three, Devil’s Shore and Devil’s Daughter, respectively, will be release by Lyrical Press later this year.
While I’ve hopped around genres, all of my books to date have a common theme: strong women handling what life throws at them the best way they can.
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