by Rain Trueax
It's St. Patrick's Day, about which I thought of writing, since it's important to a lot of people-- even those not Irish. I am though really not much for saints of any sort even if they drove all the snakes out of somewhere, which I personally doubt. Instead, I'm interested in why some supernatural myths appeal to us and others frighten us.
It is ironic to me, is it to you? If you pray to an angel, it's okay but if you consult a spirit guide, it's not. Opening a Bible randomly to give wisdom for the day is fine but Tarot cards not so much. A miracle is accepted if it came from some sources but not from others. The Virgin Mary on a piece of toast is inspirational but a ghost telling someone how to invest in the stock market, not okay. On it goes.
I think these kinds of questions began my interest in the supernatural world which can nicely dovetail with the scientific. Don't believe me? Check out quantum physics sometime for what we know and don't know about what we consider the reality of life. You think you are solid, think again and it's not just about atoms or time. Life is full of what we think isn't actually what is.
When I wrote my first paranormal, I didn't decide early on whether it'd have a real supernatural being in it. I tiptoed into the water of the other side gingerly with Sky Daughter.
More than a few years later came When Fates Conspire. If you are interested in its beginning (out of a 2013 dream), I wrote more about it [here]. It was the first novella of what became three paranormals, which eventually ended up in one book, Diablo Canyon. (I still find that one of the more confusing things I've done as a writer because when I try to list how many books I've written, those three are slightly different without the spice but the same story. Still, I made it that way so that I could open the novel's door on the sexual relationships of the couples). The stories fit together into one book because they involve humans (some with extra powers) coming to eventually fight monsters, of the Native American sort, who have gathered on a canyon south of Billings, Montana. I used a mix of science and magic for the challenges.
The next time I was tempted into the paranormal was driving through downtown Tucson and Barrio Viejo. It was there that I saw the possibility of young, professional couples with a difference-- the women being natural born witches, dedicated to protecting the street. The first of those came out in 2016 and the most recent this year.
To date, my paranormals have met with very limited interest from most of my readers who love historicals. The question then being-- why continue to write a series that few will ever see or give a try? Well, there is a reason. They excite my interest of what might be. It's fun to create a gnome as a secondary character or have a grandmother, who is Navajo, and lives a very physical life with her sheep and weaving but has protected her land in ways that have come naturally to her. That's the nature of the paranormal, where each writer makes their own rules.
In a paranormal, if I want to have a heroine, who can look into someone's memories (The Shaman's Daughter) or is convinced if people just understood more of the supernatural world, they'd see good guys there (To Speak of Things Unseen) or to be a witch and not want the gifts until they suddenly mean life or death (A Price to be Paid), or my latest where the heroine has to open herself to her human side with more trust (Something Waits), those are the fun parts of writing paranormals.
In my case, I also see there being a responsible side when I create these fantasy elements in ways that are positive and show how to deal with what is not. Take away the powers and these books are like all my others for their values and what the story has for important elements.
What they don't have are many readers and finding that kind of reader, open to mystery of life, is what I am looking to do. Turning away from what has been popular writing is not necessarily lucrative in a physical sense, but I don't know any other way to write and stay true to the Muse. ;)