Friday, November 16, 2012

Why I Live Paranormal…

For me, paranormal embodies the immensity of the inexplicable, the unseen, the unquantifiable. Science fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror all blend together in a realm of pure creation where boundaries don’t exist. It boils down quite simply, where do I want to live?

Writing paranormal allows me to invent mind-boggling worlds full of characters with limitless potential and a bit of love story thrown in. Any story, any character quirk, any scenario flipped into a paranormal venue means my writing can go into the past, the future, the nether world, outer and inner space. No boundaries… as an artist, I love that freedom of expression. So with Smitten Image, I jumped into the future and immersed myself in painting, which I know, and magic, which no one knows! How much fun can a writer have?

 (Excerpt) She had pulled her paint smock off over her head, skimmed out of her T-shirt and unzipped her jeans when she heard a loud sucking sound behind her. Turning, Lily watched in horror as the figure in the painting moved. Just a twitch of a hand at first, a stretch of an arm. Then in one violent lunge, the man tore himself free of the canvas and stepped onto the floor, real, animated, looking around her apartment with every naked inch of his skin gleaming in fresh oil.

In Smitten Image, Lily drinks a love potion that torques her inherent magic into an omnipotent power, volatile and unpredictable. Magic can be as simple or complex as the story needs. As a writer, I chose language and imagery to illustrate the paranormal phenomenon I wanted the characters to feel, sense, fear.

(Excerpt) It took no great leap of imagination to see that this sudden green house explosion came from magic. Lily’s own damned magic! Somehow her lovely houseplants were feeding off her powers as if she’d offered up bloody fingers like the clerk in Little Shop of Horrors!
 She hauled a ladder up from the basement and was cutting free the ceiling when she heard a tinny voice near her ear. “Half a league, half a league, half a league onward!”
On the string of lights dangling amongst the leaves, a pink flamingo grinned at her. Lily’s jaw dropped, and so did the shears, and she hugged the ladder in sudden, disconcerted vertigo.
Another voice spoke, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” God’s Afire, the plastic flamingos were quoting poetry! Shakespeare and Tennyson, no less.

I absolutely love writing dialogue and in a paranormal context dialogues just aren’t normal! I can have as much fun and go as far with humor as I need a mood to take the reader. That doesn’t always mean keeping it light. Sometimes, contrast and conflict make for terrorizing rides into the deep dark.

(Excerpt) Half afraid a complete body sketch might jump to life out of her sketchbook, Lily focused on drawing only the model’s hands in different positions, the angle of his arm meeting the shoulder, or a foot curving into an ankle. Tonight she felt wound tight as a hair trigger, waiting ... waiting for the articulated body parts to animate themselves like zombie limbs in a B horror flick! Long before the session ended, she’d slapped her sketchbook closed and splurged on a taxi cab ride home. That night she dreamed of headless torsos walking the streets and woke screaming, clutching the geode to her chest like a talisman.
The idea that an incomprehensible power she couldn’t control lived like a freakish thing inside of her became a kind of suspended panic in her mind. She painted like a mad fiend, slapping tumultuous emotions onto every canvas along with the paint. Loneliness consumed her…

So leap into 2039 New Chicago with Smitten Image, Lily Barnett, her best friend Daniel, magic, love, fear… and me. You’ll have fun, I promise.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tag! You’re It!

What is the title of your book? My Work in Progress is titled Bedrosian Born: Broken Eros. It is the first in a series. I hope!
Where did the idea for the book come from? I don’t write vampires and werewolves, and try to tell a story very different than your average paranormal. Legendary succubae were demons who sucked the souls from men while they dreamed of sex. So I chose the descendants of succubae as my heroines. Over millions of years, these once demons have been genetically bred, enhanced, and through genome magical manipulation, become humans designed for sexual pleasure. The “Bedrosian” family corporation is most famous for their bordellos of beautiful, high priced courtesans. The story is set in 2059 in a restructured, corporatized America. Plus, as in my first book Smitten Image, the pole has switched from north to south, releasing magical elements into the universe, creating all sorts of catastrophic problems but also unimaginable possibilities.
What genre does your book fall under? It is essentially a romance but with more emphasis on paranormal intrigue with some science fiction, futuristic concepts thrown in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This is an impossible question for me since these people are so specifically designed in my head. But if I had to choose, then the hero, Dawson “Cutter” Greely, would be played by Gabriel Macht (because he’s cute and has a lively grin) and the heroine, Garin Bedrosian, a misfit who refuses to conform with the family tradition of selling sex to the highest bidders… well, maybe a young Hilary Swank (because she’s an atypical beauty who is daring and intelligent). Ach, I’ve defined them in the flesh… the pressure is on!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? In 2059 New Chicago where magic has gone viral, an apprentice courtesan genetically designed for sex but unable to love, fights to escape the family business with the unwelcome help of a space-rifting spy who will sacrifice anything and anyone to save her.
Will your book be self-published or agented?  I am currently a writer for Crimson Romance and hope to continue there, but in this business one never knows…!
How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript? Writing this first draft has been a struggle. So far it’s become over complicated and very busy and I am not done by a long shot. I hope to finish by Dec 1st and then my own personal grueling process of editing begins, which can last months. Or not…

What other books within your genre would you compare your WIP to?  I might compare it to Laurell K. Hamilton books, minus the vampires and shape-shifters. And without the sensual explicitness. There are small aspects of horror, but I’m not a fan of horror so I’m keeping that in the background. And it will be sensual, but more about character, magic, societal boundaries and tearing apart tradition. And string theory! See? Way complicated!
Who or what inspired this book? I’m a sci-fi/fantasy geek. Magic and wizardry mixed in with  futuristic science possibilities and off the wall steam-punk concepts totally fascinate me.
What else about your book might pique the readers interest? Maybe that I’ve carried around this idea for years and it keeps morphing in directions I can’t control. And that a story can be about a taboo, like prostitution, but that the characters involved can still wrap themselves around your heart, make you love and hurt with them and draw you into their struggles. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Debating Politics with Will Shakespeare!

... more the fool I, for Will may match words with a poniard and come away unscathed. Yet, I take him on to pluck out the heart of my pathos. Election day is on the morrow. Methinks I am easier played on than a pipe!

Will:   Then assume a virtue, if you have not. There’s special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ‘tis not to come, if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come.

Me:   O! woe is me to see what I have seen. Reason in itself confounded! Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart. Tell me, Will, are they good men and true?

Will:   Words pay no debts. And to fear the worst, oft cures the worst. I had rather a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.

Me:   But in the gross and scope of my opinion, this bodes some strange eruption to our state. Oh, how full of briars is this working-day world!

Will:   You can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks egg! Trust none. For oaths are straws, men’s faith are wafer-cakes. And that is the humor of it. The game’s afoot.

Me:   Oh, what men dare do, what men may do. What men doing do, not knowing what they do!

Will:   Like a scurvy politician, you seem to see things thou dost not. Get thee glass eyes! The saying is true, “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.” They but commit the oldest sins the newest of ways.

Me:   Truly sits the wind in that corner, Will?

Will:   As cold as any stone.

Me:   Then men of few words are the best men.

Will:   And the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself a fool. Truly, I would have made thee poetical, woman. So give thy thoughts no tongue. Set honor in one eye and death ‘i the other and I will look on both indifferently. We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

Me:   Cudgel thy brain no more about it, Will. Brevity is the soul of your wit.

Will:  What should such fellows as I do, crawling between heaven and earth? We are errant knaves, all. Though this be madness, yet there’s method in’t. Let me have men about me who are fat, sleek headed men and such as sleep at night. For the little foolery that wise men have, hath made for a great show. I must be cruel only to be kind. All the world’s a stage and all men and women merely players.