Monday, October 25, 2010
THE WORLD OF PARANORMAL, FACT OR FICTION, OLD OR NEW?
by: Anita Clenney
We’ve all heard the saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and if you look at the news you’ll see it can be true. I see things on the news that can’t possibly be real, but Yep…they are. Some of our best material can come from real life. But what about the world of paranormal? The paranormal genre is more popular in fiction now than ever before; vampires, demons, werewolves, shape shifters, and fairies, and of course, the old standby…ghosts. Gotta love a good ghost story. The world of the paranormal has left its mark on every genre, wiggling its way into romance and suspense, cozy mysteries, and YA. But while there may be more paranormal stories than ever before, we have to wonder if it’s really new.
If you look back through history, you’ll find myths and legends of otherworldly creatures woven into every culture, passed down from generation to generation. From harmless, whimsical beings that like to play jokes on unsuspecting humans to creatures that make otherwise rational people arm their homes with crosses and garlic and do horrendous things to the dead bodies of loved ones, to insure that they stay dead. From Europe to Asia, Africa and beyond, all civilizations have these stories. Some are downright bizarre.
For my Modern Day Highlander series, to be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca next year, I chose angels and demons, the battle between light and darkness, and the humans caught between. My secret warriors rely on their strength and secrecy to protect the humans from demons who are hiding among them, perhaps disguised as their neighbors, friends, bankers, babysitters. Maybe their mother-in-law. These demons want to destroy the world, and the warriors are the only ones powerful enough to stop them. Yeah, my warriors are really cool and can do some X-Men-like things, but they’re flawed too. Sometimes all those muscles, good looks, and swords just aren’t enough. The warrior needs a quirky historian who can kick butt and keep him on his toes.
As the story unfolded in my head, I realized that I wanted Michael the Archangel working behind the scenes, ordering my warriors on their missions. Michael has always fascinated me. One of the most revered of the angels, a mighty warrior himself, capable of casting Lucifer and one third of the angels—those who’d rebelled--out of Heaven. I have two children that I have a hard time herding into the bathroom to brush their teeth. Can you imagine having to herd thousands of fallen angels out of heaven? So they can go to hell? Come on. Would you leave?
While I tried to handle the topic of Michael with respect, at times, I shuddered, hoping that what I was doing wasn’t blasphemous, because Michael is real and sacred, whereas vampires--I have them too--in my estimation are not; although I saw a program recently on TV about people who would beg to differ. But that’s another story for another day. So while paranormal seems to be a new buzzword in the world of entertainment and even in real life, paranormal really isn’t new. It’s been around for as long as humans have, and as long as we exist, we’ll be telling our stories, stretching our imaginations to carry us into the future.
Do you have a favorite paranormal story or series, a favorite character? Edward, Jacob, Asheron, Dracula, Wolverine? Let’s hear it. Bring those bad boys (and girls) on.