I write two kinds of books. Two very different kinds of books. First, there are my romantic suspense books. The other books that I write are paranormals. Recently at a book signing a customer was put off from my books when I said that I wrote paranormals. It didn't matter that the Three Truths of Katie Talmadge is as lighthearted a books as there is out there. It has a positive message and it's a book that truly has to do with opening yourself up to others. But I'm sure in the mind of that potential reader this was not what she was thinking.
By definition, paranormal is pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena. However, most of the books that are out there today that are listed as paranormals within the genre include (but not limited to) Werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, etc.
To me, writing a paranormal means creating characters that are open to, or are able to connect with their own extrasensory abilities. Frankly, I'm a believer that everyone has them, but most everyone ignores them or discounts them. Writing characters with paranormal abilities is as much of a learning process as it is for someone who wants to develop them. In many ways it's as difficult as learning another language.
I have a few rules when it come to writing paranormals:
1. It must be an integral part of the plot. It can't just be an ability that is mentioned in passing that really doesn't have a place in the book.
2. I feel the need to be respectful to those that have the abilities. Offer them the same respect as you would any other character in the book.
3. The solution must be connected to the ability. This is important.... but that leads to my last rule...
4. Even though the solution is reached through extrasensory abilities there needs to be a growth or understanding that comes with acceptance of the gift. In other words, abilties are only expanded through acceptance of the gift and understanding how they pertain to your own existance in the world.
In Katie Talmadge, Katie can't move forward until she begins to see what is that has been blocking her path. It isn't until she can see that there are these invisible roadblocks that we all put up in our lives that she can accept Rita's gifts and know that there is someone out there for her. How many people continue to sit in one spot in their lives, spinning their wheels and reliving the same problems continuously in a cycle because they refuse to recognize and move past it?
Paranormal is more than an ability to pick the right lotto numbers, contact the deceased or sense the past. It's about learning more about yourself and your role within your world.
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