Guest Blogger: Julie Kenner
Julie's winner is: Lori T! Congrats, Lori. Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Julie. Thanks to everyone who participated.
I love being a writer, partly because I get to be so many different things. For example, in my books (on shelves and upcoming), I’ve been a cat, a spy, a demon hunter (different demon hunters, actually), a vampire, a succubus, a werewolf, a demon, a psychic, a fireman, a bookstore owner, a werecat, a ferret, a codebreaker, a spy, a film producer, a superhero, and even a mom.
One thing you might notice is that my books often have paranormal elements, which is great for me because the paranormal market has really taken off, and that’s the natural direction of my imagination. There was actually a time (in relatively recent memory) when paranormal books weren’t nearly as hot. But I was always confident that couldn’t last. Why? Because paranormal stories strike a chord in people.
Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we, and I'll show you what I mean.
Think about all the stuff that’s been out there in pop culture for years:
Dark Shadows -- this one's a bit before my time, but even I can't miss the allure of Barnabus.
My Favorite Martian
Lost In Space
Star Trek (and the 8 bazillion sequels and spin offs it spawned and still spawns)
I Dream of Jeannie -- anyone who's read my lighter stuff can probably tell that I was weaned on Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. In fact, I had it so bad that I used to go to flea markets with my mom and check out the old bottles, convinced that one of them would have a genie.
It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th St.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Invasion of the Body Snatchers,
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
And the list goes on and on.
Those stories cover the gamut. We've got pure fantasy, future worlds, magic, demons, vampires, immortals ... all inbred as part of our pop culture now.
So where were all these wonderful paranormal ideas coming from? Well, they come from the very beginnings of storytelling. Mythology, Homer, the Brothers Grimm.
The paranormal is nothing new.
In fact, have you every thought about how much classic children's fiction is fantasy or paranormal?
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings
Alice in Wonderland
A Wrinkle in Time
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Pretty much all the fairy tales
So what does that mean? Fantasy -- make-believe -- is a huge part of childhood. And it's spilled over into television and film and books. It's grown up with us, and its woven right in there as part of pop culture. No, not even pop cultures. Culture.
And, yes, maybe there was a period when the books weren’t a direct reflection of these paranormal worlds, but I have a thesis. I think that paranormal is inherent genre fiction, if not all of fiction. Heck, that it’s inherent in writing itself. Authors, after all, are creators. And if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
Thomas Carlyle said--All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.
"Lying like magic" ... and authors put those thoughts and deeds into the books, and make a little magic of our own.