Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

urban fantasy in a romance...

 purchased from CanStock
Urban fantasy novels, as best I understand them, are setting something supernatural into a real world setting. Fantasy often creates a whole new world but an urban fantasy uses the existing one but with a little addition-- that which most of us don't see or experience. These kind of books have been around for a long time where certain characters are normal humans, but others have mystical powers, which they can use for good or ill. Think Mists of Avalon in the '80s or further back, and Frankenstein, or way back and Beowulf.

The world I will set mine into will involve a family with normal interactions between parent and siblings, but where certain inborn talents have been passed down from one generation to the next. On the one side are Yaqui shamans and on the other witches and those with super-sensory skills. Some families have these inborn talents (for wont of a better word) but they are discouraged. In this family, they have been encouraged and enhanced to be used for good-- i.e. witches, shamans, shapeshifters, mystics, psychics, etc. The extrasensory skills come in handy when the family runs a detective agency.

A few years back, I had done research on the paranormal. Sky Daughter and Diablo Canyon didn't fit into urban fantasy because they were in rural areas, but they are urban fantasies in other ways. In each of them, some ordinary people have extraordinary experiences. 

To write those stories, I found books where people described experiences that were very scary involving monsters and ghosts. They were the kind of stories many put down as the product of a deranged mind or purposely fraudulent. The books though described very convincing experiences. It gave me the energy I wanted to write a work of fiction about a world I didn't personally want to experience other than vicariously through words. 

When I write books like this, I use the white light as a way to keep what I shouldn't know out of my research and stories. I don't want to draw to myself something that might not be real... but might. I have never understood how someone like Stephen King can write what he does and still remain normal. Maybe he uses white light... or maybe he does not believe his fictional characters are real and he doesn't let them become real.

To create the covers, I wanted them to warn off readers who were not wanting the supernatural in their books. They turned out different from anything I've done. Using some fantasy imagery, I think the covers reveal the essence of the stories. I debated whether to put women or men alone on them or couples. I went for the couples with something else in the background of each. 

For the new series, some of my research involved a book written by a ghost hunter. I've seen a few TV shows where they go into places known to have ghosts-- reportedly. Mostly it's never seemed very real to me. The book I bought was more scary about what had created the potential places for spirits to lurk than about the spirits. Humans really do horrible things sometimes and even as a society.

Having had friends who had experienced ghosts or whatever they are, I don't disbelieve in them or the supernatural. My books will treat them as very real with very real witches (that I have yet to meet-- or if I did, I didn't know it).

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