Guest Blogger: Kassie Burns
You'll find a lot of paranormal books on the shelves that deal with a hero or heroine who lives in two worlds. This isn't really that surprising when you consider that the authors who wrote them are well practiced at living in two worlds themselves, the world of so-called reality and the world of the imagination.
My own experience with living in two worlds started at birth. I'm half Swiss and half Irish, a strange combination, as my father observed. The Swiss are quite the practical race (you have to be to survive in those mountains), and the Irish are probably the greatest paranormal storytellers of all time. So naturally I ended up as a journalist (writing only the truth, please) who tells paranormal stories on the side.
My sister apparently got a bigger dose of Irish genes than I did, and my paranormal journey started with her. She saw "things that go bump in the night," and they were usually hiding under my bed! It gave me some bad childhood dreams. She also had impressive psychic abilities. There was a game show on TV where they spun a wheel and a number came up, and she would always announce the correct number before the wheel stopped. If only we could have gotten her on that show!
When I went off to college, I discovered that our dorm was located across the street from a cemetery. That might explain the ghost that showed up in our room. Or maybe it was because my roommate Sharon was a full-blown medium who could talk to the dead and see spirits in mirrors. (I'm a little leery of looking too deeply into a mirror to this day).
Sharon was the one who told me I was psychic. I didn't want to believe it, although I saw a lot of strange things happen when I was with her. Among her various talents, she could touch any object, pick up on the energy, and tell you all about who'd owned it. I never got quite that far, but she did teach me how to spread out a deck of cards, face side down, feel the vibrations, and pluck out the very card someone else would ask for.
After college, I got fairly busy with the real world and took a vacation from the paranormal, but it found me again when I developed an interest in tarot cards. That led me on to a fascination with astrology. The stars were my passionate hobby for a number of years. I started to post in various astrology groups online, answering questions, and even developed a following of people who wanted me to do their charts for them.
Of course, there are many astrologers who treat it like a science, but my own belief is that astrology is another form of divination, like tarot cards, full of symbols that speak to the inner psychic awareness of the reader -- or astrologer. Looking into a chart is rather like looking into someone's soul and is an awesome responsibility. It got me to thinking about all the other powers and responsibilities that come with a psychic ability, and that got me to writing.
My first paranormal story is called Gabriel's Gift, and it's about an alien who comes to Earth and uses his psychic abilities to send visions into a young woman's mind, visions that he uses to seduce her.
Next, I wrote about the Eight of Cups for the tarot card series put out by Extasy Books. I called that one Dreams of Desire. It's about a heroine who has the ability to dream the future, and shape existence itself with her thoughts. But will this gift truly satisfy her deepest needs?
Last year, I combined my love of the paranormal and SF by writing Starbound for Samhain Publishing. When a group of human colonists journey into the depths of space on the Starbound, they find their voyage interrupted by aliens of pure energy who can possess their bodies, rather like the demons of legend.
And just this summer, I've written two paranormal stories for Changeling Press. One is called Defiant Love. The heroine in this tale can hear the banshee's cry. Since banshees cry to announce an approaching death, that's not a gift you really want to have -- unless, like the heroine, you think you can figure out a way to save the doomed.
And, of course, every paranormal author needs to write a vampire story at some point. In Night Heat, my vampire stalks the shores of ancient Europe a thousand years from now, and a immortal visitor from the stars comes seeking him, hoping to find release from her endless life.
When I first became aware of the paranormal at such a young age, I thought it was cool. Later, after seeing some of the things these powers can do, I became more interested in the question of how paranormal abilities can be used. If you can see the future, can you stop it? If you can live forever, can you still find a purpose in life?
Do you have a paranormal ability and how do you use it?
To enter the giveaway for a download of Kassie's book, Starbound, answer her question here. Winner will be selected Friday evening.