"You're too young to know what love is. You don't love me. You're infatuated with me." -- Sir Aric, The Prince's Knight

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paranormal Creatures


First of all, what, exactly, constitutes paranormal? Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal) describes it as an experience that defies normal experiences or scientific explanation. UFOs and ETs are lumped into this category, although in the realm of writing, those are more commonly referred to as science fiction. But still, a lot of creatures appear in paranormal writing and lately, this genre has been saturating the market. Take a trip down the fantasy/science fiction aisles of any bookstore and most of the books you’ll find will actually be paranormal. Sadly, this usually isn’t recognized as a major genre, falling under the category of fantasy. 

My two favorite paranormal creatures are vampires and demons. These are the creatures I like to read about and they’re the ones I prefer to write about. With two published demon books out, as well as a planned series consisting of at least six books about vampires, this should be easy to see. What’s my obsession? Far from being the monsters first depicted in old movies, both vampires and demons have become undeniably sexy. And I’m not the only one that loves reading about bad monsters trying to do good, searching for redemption.

There are less werewolf books out there. This creature seems to be perfect for the realm of e-books though. Take a search online and you’ll come across plenty of books about shapeshifters. I’ve never been a big fan of them. I’ve tried taking a stab at my own werewolf story, but that project has stuttered, stalled, and been shelved indefinitely. While I like to think I create strong heroes in my books, there’s something about the completely alpha male of the pack that turns me off. My werewolf character is a bit of a challenge because I want him to be a dominating presence, even though he’s far from an alpha male. 

Witches rank with werewolves for me. I hate them. I generally won’t read anything involving a witch as a main character – with good reason. The few books I have tried didn’t endear me to such a character. It’s probably the magic; fine in a fantasy setting, not so great in the Manhattan of the new millennium. This is ironic, though, considering both Tied to a Demon and Demon’s Torment feature witches as the main heroines. I’m a contradiction like that, so apparently I can make witches work for me. And some writers out there pull it off. Kim Harrison comes to mind. I also enjoy L.J. Smith's witches.

Finally, there are ghosts. This is perhaps the creature people think of first when hearing the word paranormal, thanks to TV shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. I’m trying my hand at a book featuring a ghost, but it’s been put on pause while I work on some other projects. Ghosts don’t seem to be used too often, especially as main characters. More often they’re the scary monsters no one sees – the poltergeists and cold drafts.

What do you think?
Your chance to sound off. Which paranormal creature is your favorite and why? Did I forget or neglect to mention a creature that you’d like to talk about?